A press release from Washington State Department of Transportation.
People in Washington are invited to comment on the next phase of the state active transportation plan. The Washington State Department of Transportation published Part 1 (PDF 12MB) in May 2021 and has released a draft of additional chapters in Part 2 for public review and comment. These chapters provide a brief recap of the work completed and highlight the performance metrics and strategies needed to move forward. The deadline for comments is Friday, Oct. 29.
The new phase of the plan comes during a time when motor vehicle crashes resulting in the deaths of people walking or bicycling are occurring at a higher rate than the averages for 2010-2019. These fatal crashes made up 22% of all traffic deaths in the state in 2020. Early in the pandemic walking and bicycling soared, and WSDOT’s multimodal transportation dashboard continues to show higher use of active transportation than in 2019.
“We analyzed state highway routes in our needs assessment because they now serve as local streets as population centers have expanded. In the past we haven’t had the data to describe the critical characteristics of these highway segments,” said Barb Chamberlain, director of WSDOT’s Active Transportation Division. “We’re now laying out the strategies needed to address the effects of having that mix of uses interacting. We’re especially focused on safety, because decreasing the chance of a serious or fatal crash benefits everyone using the system, not just those who are walking or rolling and are more exposed to the consequences.”
An online open house and a series of webinars will provide opportunities to learn more about the draft of Part 2 and to provide comments.
Active Transportation Plan online open house information
Monday, Sept. 13, to midnight Friday, Oct. 29
Due to COVID-19 safety precautions, plan information is available to view in an online open house.
A copy of the draft active transportation plan is available at the online open house in an accessible pdf, and a link to a feedback form is provided. Deadline for comments is midnight Friday, Oct. 29.
WSDOT will also host virtual events providing an orientation to the draft plan document. Slides will be presented with real-time closed captioning and descriptions of visual content. Participants will be able to submit questions and comments using the chat function in the presentation software. These webinars will be recorded and available online after they’re completed. Accommodation requests for people with disabilities can be made by contacting the WSDOT Diversity/ADA Affairs team at email@example.com or by calling toll-free, 855-362-4ADA (4232). Persons who are deaf or hard of hearing may make a request by calling the Washington State Relay at 711.
Active transportation plan overview webinars
Participants must register to view one of the three webinars or to access the link to a recording once the webinar is done:
- Webinar 1: 5:30 to 6:30 p.m., Wednesday, Sept. 22
- Webinar 2: Noon to 1 p.m., Thursday, Sept. 23
- Webinar 3: 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., Tuesday, Oct. 12
Free, temporary internet access is available to those who do not have broadband service in locations throughout the state. To find the nearest WiFi Hotspot (including parking lot hotspots as well as some indoor locations) visit: www.commerce.wa.gov/building-infrastructure/washington-state-drive-in-wifi-hotspots-location-finder/
Additional information about the Active Transportation Plan
Part 1 provided an assessment of the needs for accessible pedestrian and bicyclist facilities, highlighted safety concerns, and provided the first-ever examination of state right of way and its suitability for active transportation. The performance metrics strategy discussion in the Part 2 draft support implementation of the recommendations identified in Part 1.
To move this plan forward WSDOT will review and consider comments received during the public review, combine Part 1 and Part 2, and publish them as one plan called the Active Transportation Plan, 2020 and Beyond. The agency will then develop an internal implementation plan and work with partners to coordinate on actions that involve multiple agencies.