wsdotIn earlier posts I mentioned attending the TCC organized Transit Talk. Along with transit champions Marko Liias and Jessyn Farrell, WSDOT Public Transit Division’s Stan Suchan rounded out the panel. As previewed at the talk, the transportation bill that made it out the Senate Transportation Committee, while containing some ST3 authorization is not what forward thinking voters would like.

The ball is now in House Dems court. However going off history and considering where the Senate is starting from it looks like Sen. Liias was correct, this is not the transportation bill that will significantly move the state forward. It looks like the best path for systemic change is to focus on getting WSDOT’s Strategic Plan to reflect our values. That way WSDOT is collecting the right data and studying the right tools to make the next transportation package forward thinking.

More from WSDOT’s Stan Suchan:

WSDOT’s strategic plan, Results WSDOT, guides our work within our legal and budgetary boundaries and in alignment with Governor Inslee’s Results Washington. We are currently developing implementation work plans. Now would be great time to hear from people who want to share their ideas about the strategies listed in the strategic plan brochure, found at http://www.wsdot.wa.gov/Secretary/ResultsWSDOT.htm, and steps we should take to achieve our goals. Your comments can be sent to strategicplan@wsdot.wa.gov.

You heard it folks. You might not be able to change the vote a Senator from Yakima, but you can help influence the direction of our state’s transportation department.

8 Replies to “WSDOT Strategic Plans”

  1. Questions:

    1. If this legislation is the best transit can get out of this legislature, what does everybody think is the program to get the most out of the money we’ll have, the fastest? Because I think that the faster and better we can deliver with this government and economy, the better we’ll look when these things finally swing our way.

    2. More important: Am I alone in my serious dislike for “HOT” lanes? Leaving whatever financial unfairness, the operating problems seem to promise a complete nightmare.

    Are people really expected to change lanes suddenly when lanes suddenly get cheaper or more expensive? Transit or automobile, lane changing traffic seems to be worst and most dangerous blockage. What’s transit driving going to be like?

    As an airline passenger- and a medical patient- I always hate not to know the price of anything in advance. Somebody wrote a book a few years ago called “Gotcha Capitalism- The Death of the Price Tag. How in the world can anybody budget for travel like this- except anyone with so much money they don’t care?

    It seems to me that we transit advocates have absolutely nothing to lose fighting very hard against this whole idea, and concentrate our energy on the reserved bus lanes we really need when “H.O.T.” lanes end up in H.E.L.L. and get taken down.

    Every consideration in the world has been sacrificed to an ideological- and idiotic- belief that people should instantly respond to instant price changes. Hard to imagine John D. Rockefeller, let alone Andrew Carnegie, putting up with this.

    Since I haven’t seen in these pages the hatred I think this whole idea deserves…where am I wrong?

    Mark Dublin

    W

    1. We’re not the ones advocating for HOT lanes. SOV drivers who want to use the HOV lanes are the ones advocating for them. And those who believe it will be a moneymaker for the state, and more free-market than a toll on all lanes.

      Transit driving may be slower. It’s impossible to predict without knowing how many SOVs will use the lane. But we can assume the adversion to tolls will remain a factor. In the case of 405 going from one HOV lane to two HOT lanes with no change to the GP lanes, then it would take more than a laneful of toll-payers to slow down the buses. And if there are less than a half-lane of toll-payers, it may speed up the buses as the HOVs spread out to two lanes.

      1. Thanks, Mike. I suppose if worst happens to HOT idea, the lanes will still be there for transit use. However, now that I think about it:

        Will transit have to cross every one of those lanes to get on or off? If so- we’re back in 1981 when I started driving out of East.

        Legend said we had a lady drive who used to motorists’ permission to enter lane by hanging a teddy bear out the window for drivers to take pity on.

        Right- hand merges? Story never says. Maybe passengers in a hurry would agree to open an emergency window and hold the bear out that side.

        But that was 30 years ago. Now hard to imagine anybody having pity for anyone.

        Mark

    2. Has anyone talked about a 30/10 funding situation here in Seattle? Its allowing LA to build a lot rather quickly.

  2. I think this bill is bad, and not just because it lacks transit funding. I understand and accept that we will spend money on roads. But the focus should be on maintenance and small projects that provide a lot of benefit. After all, buses use roads. 509 and 167 are huge projects that are completely unnecesary and should be scrapped. I would accept everything else.

    1. I think that anyone who thinks 167 should be scrapped probably 1. Doesn’t live in Pierce County or 2. Thinks that Pierce County is not worth investment of any kind. 167 is a major thoroughfare for truck traffic that cannot easily just be put on a bus. Trains can only do so much, you need a final mile solution between the Port of Tacoma and the Valley. Right now a ton of that traffic uses 70th Ave E, which at certain times is nigh impassable.

      Completing 167 should have been done years ago.

  3. Thanks for covering our event Matt. I agree with you, the internal leadership and impetus to shift focus at WSDOT is a huge opportunity to shift the state’s transportation priorities in the short and long term.

    I will be on a panel with Amy Scarton at noon at UWT in Tacoma this Friday for those who want to hear more about these developments. It is hosted by Downtown on the Go.

    Also just a clarification on the Senate revenue proposal. It is still in the Senate committee. It is being heard tomorrow at 3:30 and will be on TVW. We expect it to move out of committee later this week and to the floor next week. TCC will be sending out an action alert on the proposal on wed that we’d love your support to get the word out on.

  4. Still would like to know how bus entry and exit will be managed. Will we have transit ramps?

    I’d have a serious objection, based on past personal experience, to rebuild a major highway and still have buses forced to cross traffic to get on and off.

    Any good source of information?

    Mark

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