State seeks ideas for shaping transportation system


People interested in the future of transportation in Washington state are invited to an open house to learn about and give input on the draft Washington Transportation Plan – 2040 and Beyond. The Washington State Transportation Commission released this 20-year transportation plan on Aug. 1 and it is available for public comment through Thursday, Sept. 20.

The open house will be held from 5:30 to 7 p.m. Monday, Sept. 17, in the Denny Forum at Parrington Hall, University of Washington, 4105 George Washington Lane N.E., Seattle. “Public input on the plan is critical to help enhance how local and regional challenges are addressed, from city streets and sidewalks to air, rail, and water transportation,” the meeting announcement said.

Transportation Commission Chair Jerry Litt said a refresh of the state’s long-term transportation plan is a chance to take stock of what has changed since it was last updated in 2015 and what new needs have emerged. “The pace of change, especially in transportation technologies, is picking up,” he said. “It’s important to regularly look at emerging issues to be sure we’re on the right track.”

Emerging technology is one of three big uncertainties the commission highlights in the draft WTP 2040 and Beyond. The other two are: system resiliency in light of extreme weather events and natural disasters like earthquakes and fires, and how to pay for the transportation system long-term.

Meetings are being held around the state to discuss the WTP 2040 and Beyond draft plan. The Seattle open house is a chance to talk with commissioners and staff about transportation issues highlighted in the plan and recommendations under consideration, particularly those with relevance to residents and businesses in this region. The commission must adopt an updated plan and present it to the State Legislature and Governor Inslee by January 2019.

Those who are unable to attend the open house, can view the draft plan online a  Hardcopies of the draft plan are available by calling the Transportation Commission Office at 360.705.7070. Comments, due by Sept. 20, can be submitted on the website or by email to: [email protected] or mailed to the Transportation Commission at PO Box 47308, Olympia, WA, 98502-7308.

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