We’re very fortunate that Congress funneled some of the ARRA (stimulus) funds directly to the PSRC, because Olympia was (and is) a black hole for transit.
We knew that state funding of transit is well below par in Washington, but a new report from Smart Growth America about the flexible portion of each state’s transportation stimulus funding laid out just how reactionary the legislature’s position is. No surprise here, but our state put exactly zero into public transportation,and 4% into bicycle and pedestrian projects. As Erica C. Barnett points out, 16 states beat us in the former category and 21 in the latter.
As the Transportation Choices press release observes, the road money wasn’t even spent well: 29% went to new highway construction, rather than clearing the sizable maintenance backlog on the state’s roads. This kind of project does little for driver safety and simply encourages sprawl, as well as being less job-intensive than regular maintenance.