In the time since my post on Tuesday – where I asked how Olympia decided which projects to fund – I believe I have come to understand WSDOT’s funding guidelines:

wsdot funding guidelines.
WSDOT funding guidelines in a flow chart

This is an open thread.

25 Replies to “Open Thread: WSDOT Funding Guidelines”

  1. Good analysis, Andrew. Great open thread topic. What are we going to do about it?

    Mark Dublin

    1. Excellent question. There are a lot of things I don’t like about what is being proposed, but I’m not sure what I want to say in a letter to my representatives. Overall, it reminds me of the first “Roads and Transit” initiative which got voted down. It got voted down because some people didn’t like the focus on roads, and some people didn’t like spending so much money. This is an interesting political coalition that should be used again. Lots of Republicans want to spend nothing (or at least spend nothing until the current projects are paid for). It seems to me that we could easily come up with a proposal that simply:

      1) Paid only for proposals that have currently started (99, 520, etc.).
      2) Gave local agencies the ability to raise taxes to fund other proposals (whether for transit or roads). I would be OK with adding the “with a vote of the public” clause to this (although I would prefer not to).

      It seems to me that this would make a lot of sense for a lot of Republicans as well as a handful of liberal Democrats.

      Is there something else that folks want out of the Washington legislature? If so, should there be a blog post summarizing what we want (which would allow folks like me to write a better letter)?

    2. If we elected our legislators by district, I’m sure all our problems would be solved.

  2. So I just now checked voicemail and State Sen. Tom’s office actually called me back about a week ago from the multiple e-mails I sent over asking for local transit support. I was ever-so-helpfully directed to At least this time someone responded. Maybe my line stating “short of Seattle dumping raw sewage into Lake Washington, you’re not representing my interests if you intend to just be an anti-Seattle legislator” tripped a keyword alert. It’s infuriating to have an elected official take such a passionate interest in stonewalling whatever some other city is doing, especially when my city needs that larger city’s involvement. That goes double when my two State House reps have been so favorable and personally replied to my e-mails regarding transit with helpful information and expressions of support. Is it 2014 yet?

    1. “…how Olympia decided which projects to fund…”

      Is it not clear that this post is about how the state legislature and governor decide how WSDOT will spend its money?

      If Andrew meant this as a slap at WSDOT executives, that part didn’t come across to me.

      1. Whoa. I guess it was clear, since the comment I responded to has disappeared. Please delete the above response. Thanks.

      2. The satire was clear. The mystery is what happened to all the comments, including the one to which I was trying to respond, that disappeared into the ether.

      3. That is weird. Very sorry about that, I looked for them, but couldn’t find them. :(

  3. We, the little people can do nothing about this. If you want to change this run for office. Amazing to see so many new projects when the existing infrastructure needs so much maintanance…. Also fun to see that the “gateway” project is on here when we don’t currently have enough money to finish SR520 or SR99…

    When does I-5 through Seattle get some real $$ ? Its falling apart…

    1. Good answer, Fil. Any chance you’ll do it? Politically, the way people cease to be “little” is not just to run for office personally, but to organize around an agenda and run as a coordinated group.

      The way the far right took the Republican party is an example as good as the result is God-awful.

      Talk to Ben Schiendelman about strategy and tactics.


  4. That is a pretty damning set of examples on which the flowchart is built, I have to say.

  5. Update on Tehaleh (formerly known as Cascadia): Almost 100 homes sold

    Cascadia was the vision of developer Patrick Kuo when he bought the land from Weyerhaeuser in 1991. He envisioned a 5,000-acre planned community of houses, schools and businesses. Kuo lost most of it to foreclosure in 2009.

    Tehaleh is planned to have about 5,900 homes, a 419-acre employment center, a fire station and up to seven schools. More than 1,000 acres of parks and a trail system are open to the public, as well as a locally owned cafe in Tehaleh’s main visitor’s center.

    Redmond Ridge in the middle of nowhere. Better move quick, almost 2% of the lots are sold!

  6. I’m confused why there are two comment threads attached to this article – one set (17 total) if you click on the article title, and another (7 total) if you click on the graphic. is this intentional? I was confused when it appeared that comments I’d read earlier had disappeared, and jumped to the (wrong) conclusion that some comments had been deleted….

    1. Without knowing a lot about WordPress, I’d guess that it’s because the graphic was uploaded and made the sole content in a post, but that post didn’t forbid comments, and then some folks made comments on the post with just the graphic in it.

      Now, that leads to further questions.

      Why do I sometimes need to click on an image twice to get to the original size image? With the first click, I’ll get to a post with just the graphic, then if I click on it again, I’ll get to a full scale image.

      Why don’t posts link directly to an image for the graphics in a post?

      Why didn’t the stray comments show up on the comments feed?

  7. I was reading a progress report on WSDOT’s work on 520 in Medina. Turns out that the bus stop at Evergreen Point is going to have a fucking elevator. It boggles my mind just how gold plated this project is.

    We could take the one person who actually uses this stop (for a purpose other than transferring buses) and needs the elevator to access it, and simply pay for his/her parking downtown for the next 20 years and still come out ahead.

    1. Hello! I used Evergreen Point once last summer to get off the bus for a bike ride. No need for the free parking downtown, though. ;) And frankly, if we’re putting in elevators, I’d rather have them at Yarrow Point, because it was harder to walk my bike up from there.

      1. I have used Evergreen Point a few times myself, but every one of those times has been either transferring buses without every leaving that stop, or using the bus like you to carry me and my bike across the 520 bridge.

        In a few years, however, we’re going to have a bike trail across the new 520 bridge. If the I-90 corridor is any indication, almost no one is going to put their bike on a bus to get from Evergreen Point to Montlake, once the ride-across-the-bridge option exists, just like almost nobody puts their bike on a bus to get from I-90/Ranier Freeway Station to Mercer Island P&R. Using the 3-year interim period as a justification for an elevator makes no sense.

        That leaves two uses left – transferring buses and P&R users. As there are zero buses that do or ever will stop at Evergreen Point on the surface, transferring buses does not involve traveling between the bus stop and the surface – again, no elevator needed.

        And that leaves P&R users. The number of people that:
        1) Live in Medina AND
        2) Are willing to ride a bus AND
        3) are unable to walk up and down the stairs

        is negligible.

      2. Doesn’t matter. ADA law is the law of the land. Federal Stupidity Subsidizes push for stuff that virtually nobody will actually use. The needs of the few outweigh the needs of the many.


    In April 2013, select trips on Marin Transit Local Routes and Golden Gate Transit Routes will begin being served by a zero-emission fuel cell bus.

    The bus will serve Marin Transit Local Routes:
    Route 22 (serving San Rafael, San Anselmo, Strawberry, Marin City, and Sausalito)
    Route 23 (serving San Rafael, San Anselmo, Fairfax, and Manor)
    Route 29 (serving San Rafael, Larkspur Landing, Marin General, College of Marin, San Anselmo, and Manor)

    It will serve Golden Gate Transit Basic Routes:
    Route 10 (serving Strawberry, Marin City, Sausalito, and San Francisco)
    Route 40 (serving El Cerrito Del Norte BART, Richmond, San Quentin, and San Rafael)
    Route 42 (serving El Cerrito Del Norte BART, Richmond BART, San Quentin, and San Rafael)

    And it will serve Golden Gate Transit Commute Route 92 (serving Marin City, Sausalito, and San Francisco).

    Up to two buses will rotate between select trips on the various routes.

    Fares to ride the zero-emission fuel cell bus are the same as riding other Golden Gate Transit buses.

  9. Tacoma City Council chooses Hilltop for new Link

    Six of the council’s nine members selected as their top or second choice the so-called “E1 North Downtown Central Corridor” – a hook-shaped, 2.3 mile route estimated to cost $133 million. The preferred option would extend the Link from downtown to the Stadium District and around to Sixth Avenue, then south along the Martin Luther King Jr. Way corridor to 19th Street.

    I think they made the right choice; go where the ridership is today. While I believe the real jewel as far as getting the increased number of people required to revitalized DT is Link to the Tacoma Mall the Hilltop extension can do that by extending to S. Tacoma Way or S. 38th Street in it’s next phase. And at that point the line will be well poised to serve all of the greater DT area.

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