Why is Mobility Important to Everyone?
Predictable, reliable travel choices underpin a strong economy and healthy communities. The biggest challenge to this is chronic congestion, compounded by incomplete or inefficient multimodal systems. Transportation system management and operations can improve efficiency throughout the system. But it is also necessary to identify and address infrastructure chokepoints and bottlenecks that obstruct freight mobility and reliable commuter travel, both of which are central to economic competitiveness. Strategic multimodal system expansion coordinated with transportation-efficient land use policies, effective system management and operations, multimodal integration, practical solutions, demand management, and emerging technologies work together to deliver maximum mobility benefit from the statewide transportation system.
Four Policies that Support the Statewide Mobility Goal:
Support efforts to increase reliable multimodal travel for people and goods in communities across the state, recognizing that the diverse nature of places, needs, and opportunities statewide require equally diverse strategies applicable to those communities.
Promote innovative, practical strategies and strategic system expansion that maximizes person throughput and freight throughput on our urban corridors, minimizes travel delay for people and goods everywhere, and increases trip reliability across modes and across jurisdictional borders.
Monitor and respond to 21st century changes in demographics, transportation technologies, and lifestyle preferences when evaluating and prioritizing transportation system needs and investments to make over the next 20 years.
Work to ensure that all people have access to their daily needs with dignity and independence, regardless of their ability or income and without discrimination based on race or other identity.
Recommendations to Support Multimodal Mobility Statewide:
Revise statutory policies linking transportation and land use as they relate to urban congestion, informed by findings of the William D. Ruckelshaus Center’s “Roadmap to Washington’s Future” project and augmented with additional research where necessary.
Ensure management of transportation system operations is a front-line strategy for highway and roadway system improvements, ranging from passive operations strategies in less congested corridors to more active strategies for managing demand and operations in constrained urban corridors.
Adequately plan for and provide first- and last-mile access as a part of regional and statewide mobility strategies to support transit and freight transport.
Establish a Smart Mobility Center to ensure the successful introduction and integration of 21st century technology and innovation in Washington State.
Promote development of a seamless, statewide transit fare system with interoperability between public transit, ferry systems, and mobility services providers across the state.
Cross-cutting topics can advance our understanding, preparedness, and ownership over new horizons. Here we present potential next steps and some options available to deepen understanding.
Automated vehicles will change the way people and goods move around Washington state and between Washington and the rest of the world. A collaborative, cooperative approach will help ensure that automation and shared mobility increase system efficiency and minimize infrastructure costs while supporting societal goals related to equity, growth management, and economic vitality.
Strategic resiliency starts with building a strong multimodal system, which creates important redundancy. Strategic resiliency planning entails prioritizing transportation system elements to be restored in the event of a natural disaster, identifying which parts of the network and which systems will be brought back on line in priority order. Preparation for prolonged self-sufficiency in outlying areas requires proactive coordination with local and regional partners and service providers.
We have to be strategic in how we fund mobility, targeting resources where they generate maximum benefit for system performance. We may need to recalibrate some of our expectations about system performance as we sharpen our focus on ways to improve operational efficiency and make targeted capacity investments. Fresh thinking about user-based fees, innovative public-private partnerships, and growing more transportation-efficient communities must all be part of our strategy for paying for mobility.