Source: Washington State News 2
Barb Chamberlain, Active Transportation Division director, 360-704-6386, 509-869-2949 (mobile)
Washingtonians still have time to visit open house, webinar recordings
OLYMPIA – There’s still time for Washingtonians to weigh in and learn more about the state’s plan for walking, bicycling and other forms of active transportation. The Washington State Department of Transportation will continue to take comments on its draft of the new State Active Transportation Plan, 2020 and Beyond, until Monday, Feb. 15.
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 – according to WSDOT’s multimodal transportation dashboard – both as alternatives to transit use and to maintain physical and mental health during the pandemic. At the same time, a preliminary assessment of crash statistics found that 2020 fatal crashes (pdf 3.3 mb) involving those vulnerable road users appear to be occurring at higher rates than the averages for 2010-2019.
“Highways in most places weren’t originally designed for people walking or cycling, so it’s no surprise we found a number of places with gaps,” said Barb Chamberlain, director of WSDOT’s active transportation division. “This analysis helps us understand how the use of state routes has changed as population centers have expanded, and why they may no longer have the most appropriate design or speed for the mix of uses and people there.”
The draft plan assesses the needs for accessible pedestrian and bicyclist facilities, highlights safety concerns, and provides the first-ever examination of state right of way and its suitability for active transportation. An online open house and recorded webinar provide opportunities to learn more about the draft plan and to provide comments.
Active transportation plan online open house information
Friday, Dec. 18, 2020, to Monday, Feb. 15, 2021
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 document is available in an accessible PDF, and a link to a feedback form to collect input from Washington residents is provided. Deadline for comments is Monday, Feb. 15. WSDOT staff held webinars to provide an overview of the plan; a link to an archive version with captioning and slides from that are also available in the online open house.
The plan’s materials can be made available in an alternate format by emailing WSDOT’s 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. The plan’s website has more on Title VI and ADA.
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 visit: www.commerce.wa.gov/building-infrastructure/washington-state-drive-in-wifi-hotspots-location-finder/.
The draft plan is Part 1 of a two-part plan. Part 1 covers:
- The purpose and need of the statewide active transportation plan.
- Benefits of active transportation.
- The current state of active transportation in Washington.
- Concerns and priorities gathered through public engagement.
- Broad cost estimates for changes to state right of way and local systems to improve conditions for active transportation.
Part 2 of the plan will come out in 2021 and cover relevant policy topics, 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 in Part 2.
To receive future updates specifically for the plan subscribe to the ATP E-News. For active transportation news updates including grant opportunities, webinars, and activities of WSDOT and partners subscribe to the WSDOT Walk + Roll E-News.