Editorial: Washington State DOT wants lawmakers to remove congestion relief as a transportation policy goal (HB2688/SB6398)

This week, WSDOT leadership testified before the House Committee on Transportation in support of House Bill 2688, which removes the goal of congestion relief from the state’s transportation policy goals and replaces the rest. The agency said the bill supports its strategic plan, pictured in the above diagram.

House Bill 2688  and its companion, Senate Bill 6398, remove and replace existing goals with redefined and expanded policy goals that include: accessibility, safety, environment and climate, health and resilience, equity and environmental justice, preservation, and economic vitality.

These bills also establish vague, qualitative metrics, and attempt to prohibit legislative authority in funding transportation projects, instead requiring all transportation projects be vetted and scored by multiple state agencies in accordance with the new goals and metrics.

This represents bad policy on many levels.