Why is Stewardship Important to Everyone?
There never has been enough money to do everything we want and need to do with our transportation system. That is unlikely to change. As stewards of the public’s finite resources, we must make difficult near-term decisions, manage our growth, and invest strategically with the long view in mind to get the most benefit from our transportation system today and in the future. This includes working to ensure fair and equitable mobility choices for all people.
Four Policies that Support the Statewide Stewardship Goal:
Align investments with desired performance outcomes to get the greatest mobility and safety benefit from existing infrastructure and services at the least cost to the traveling public, which may require revisiting existing funding programs to better align with the kinds of projects that offer cost-effective solutions.
Provide the cross-training, skills assessment, and succession planning needed to ensure our workforce has the knowledge needed to manage and maintain a 21st century transportation system, and ensure continuity of operations during this transformative transition period.
Introduce new practices or technologies when proven that they can enhance system efficiency, reduce crash risks for the traveling public or industry, increase the cost-effectiveness of system preservation, or reduce life-cycle costs.
Support inclusive, equitable planning that considers the full range of mobility needs and communities served by transportation, and more fully integrates transportation and land use decision-making at all levels of government.
Recommendations to Support Stewardship Statewide
Catalogue the various transportation performance measures currently monitored by local, regional, and state agencies to determine what gaps, if any, exist in monitoring system performance.
Provide additional resources for RTPOs and MPOs to support local-regional-state collaboration and coordination.
Develop a Transportation Equity Analysis toolkit for use in evaluating the benefits and impacts of transportation policies and investments on historically marginalized populations in Washington.
Establish person-throughput and freight-throughput objectives to evaluate level of service on congested highways and arterials.
Support efforts to improve consistency of statewide forecast inputs used in MPO and RTPO models.
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.
Technological advances afford us the opportunity to better manage demand for limited transportation capacity than we’ve ever had before, reducing or postponing the need for costly general-purpose capacity increases.
Collaboration between state, regional, local, federal, tribal, and military partners to prioritize resiliency investments demonstrates public accountability and responsible use of limited resources.
Demonstrating public accountability in the use of scarce resources to maximize system performance is essential to obtaining public support for future investments and revenue increases.
Equity & Transportation
Transportation is essential for healthy, thriving communities. Safe, reliable, affordable transportation opens doors to economic and social opportunities for many people. However, not all people have access to safe, reliable, affordable transportation. Equity refers to the distribution of impacts cross race and economic status—benefits and costs—and whether that distribution is fair. Transportation equity is focused on transportation system impacts in an effort to understand where costs are, in terms of monetary or other imparts, unfairly distributed. It reflects the input of an inclusive process involving the people who will be affected. This is the starting point for transportation decisions and investments that create a more just system that works for all.
2040 and Beyond introduces transportation equity as a Stewardship concern. Continuous improvement in the quality, effectiveness, and efficiency of the transportation system will only be successful if those benefits are fairly distributed and do not contribute to ever widening economic disparity. This means the environmental and physical impacts of that system must not disproportionately affect some segments of our communities more than others. This plan acknowledges that much work is needed to better define what transportation equity means for a statewide policy plan, just as work is needed to define and apply transportation equity to planning and project development in regions and communities across the state. There is not a single answer, nor is there an easy answer.