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Prospectus Blog State Auditor’s Report Details Congestion-Busting Agenda

A report issued yesterday by Washington State Auditor Brian Sonntag’s office urges the state to more aggressively attack highway congestion, beginning with a formal declaration that congestion is a top transportation policy priority. The Seattle Times reported on the findings today. The transportation performance audit, prepared for Sonntag’s office by Talbot, Korvola & Warwick of Portland, goes on to make more than 20 specific policy recommendations. These include urging that the state legislature should:

  • “empower a single body – either the Department of Transportation or a regional transportation entity for the Puget Sound Region – to allow for a more integrated approach to planning for congestion reduction:”
  • “choose/identify transportation projects based on congestion reduction rather than other agendas;”
  • “implement new legislation to facilitate the expansion of road pricing should the department’s high-occupancy toll lane pilot project (on S.R. 167) be successful;”
  • and “review whether new legislation is required for public private partnerships for transportation infrastructure and implement any changes.”
  • The transportation performance audit, authorized under Initiative 900, also recommends the department add new highway lanes.
    WSDOT observes in the audit report, correctly, with respect to new highway lanes and other capital-intensive proposals, that new state funding has been hard to secure over the years and much responsibility lies with the legislature.
    But as state legislators were recently reminded, state and federal gas tax revenues – a key funding source – aren’t a good bet going forward. All the more reason for state lawmakers to explore and ultimately implement the report’s recommendations, especially expanding opportunities for public private partnerships, building more HOT lanes, and implementing transportation governance reform to boost investment and accountability.
    TECHNORATI TAGS: <a href="http://technorati.com/tag/WASHINGTON STATE, SEATTLE, TOLLING, HOT LANES, TRANSPORTATION FUNDING, PUBLIC PRIVATE PARTNERSHIPS, BRIAN SONNTAG"rel="tag"WASHINGTON STATE, SEATTLE, TOLLING, HOT LANES, TRANSPORTATION FUNDING, PUBLIC PRIVATE PARTNERSHIPS, BRIAN SONNTAG

    Bruce Agnew

    Director, Cascadia Center
    Since 1993, Bruce Agnew has been leading the Northwest Cascadia initiative serving as director of the Cascadia Center in Seattle. The Center is a private, non-profit, public policy center engaged in regional and international transportation and technology. Bruce also co-chairs of the Transportation Group for the Pacific Northwest Economic Region (PNWER) – a public private partnership of ten Northwest states and Western Canadian provinces/territories. Since 2017, he has served as director of the ACES NW Network dedicated to the acceleration of ACES (Autonomous-Connected-Electric-Shared) technology in transportation.