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State active transportation plan is rolling
Washingtonians invited to comment on draft by Feb. 15, 2021; webinars Jan. 13, 21, and 22
People who are interested in the future of active transportation in Washington are invited to comment on a draft of the new State Active Transportation Plan, 2020 and Beyond. The plan serves as the needs assessment for pedestrian and bicyclist facilities. Deadline for comments is Monday, Feb. 15, 2021.
WSDOT has established an online open house to provide plan information for review with an accessible PDF of the draft document and a SurveyMonkey form for feedback.
WSDOT will also host virtual events during which staff will provide an orientation to the draft plan document and share information on the safety, mobility, and accessibility issues the plan is intended to address.
Free, temporary internet access is available to those who do not have broadband service in locations throughout the state. To find the nearest Wi-Fi hot spot visit the list maintained by the state Department of Commerce.
During the overview sessions slides will be presented with 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 and a PDF of the slides will be linked in the online open house. The plan's materials can be made available in an alternate format by emailing the Office of Equal Opportunity 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. (More on Title VI and ADA)
Every Washingtonian uses active transportation connections at some point in a trip, whether crossing the street from their parking spot to their destination, walking to a bus stop, or bicycling to school or work. The new plan comes during a time when more people than ever are walking and bicycling, both as alternatives to transit use and to maintain physical and mental health during the pandemic. WSDOT’s multimodal transportation dashboard shows dramatic increases in usage at locations around the state where permanent counters provide a comparison from 2019 to 2020.
At the same time, a preliminary assessment reported in the annual active transportation safety report found more fatal crashes involving those vulnerable road users in the early months of 2020 than the averages for 2010-2019 (complete figures for 2020 have not been finalized and reported). The draft plan’s emphasis on safety and complete, comfortable connections addresses the types of issues these numbers serve to highlight.
The draft plan is Part 1 of a two-part plan, with Part 2 coming out in 2021. Part 1 covers the purpose and need of the statewide active transportation plan; benefits of active transportation; current state of active transportation in Washington; concerns and priorities gathered through public engagement for the plan’s development; methodology, data sources, and results of a statewide needs assessment focused on state right-of-way; and broad cost estimates for changes to state right-of-way and local systems to improve conditions for active transportation.
Part 2 will come out in 2021 and will cover policy topics relevant to the plan’s analysis and implementation, performance measures associated with the plan’s goals, and next steps in developing an implementation and action plan. WSDOT staff will use comments received on Part 1, as well as past community and partner input, to help identify policy topics to address in Part 2.