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Published on Friday, March 21, 2014

Supplemental transportation budget passes

While the legislature failed to pass a new statewide transportation revenue and spending plan they did come to agreement on a supplemental transportation budget (one that relies on current revenue streams) ESSB 6001.  It contains a few items of potential interest to cities (Numbers in parentheses refer to section numbers in the bill):

  • $565,000 of additional, one-time funding is provided to address paving and preservation needs at the state's 136 public-use airports. (Sec. 212)
  • $250,000 is included to study the market for electric vehicle charging stations to determine whether there is a role for the state in supporting growth of the market. (Sec. 204 (6))
  • $450,000 is provided to the Transportation Commission to continue assessing a “road usage charge” as a potential new transportation funding option. More information about the Road Usage Charge Assessment available here. (Sec. 205 (6)).
  • WSDOT is directed to implement a “practical design strategy for transportation design standards” and report to the legislature by June 30, 2015. Practical design is essentially a strategy to analyze and address the specific goals of each project (rather than applying more generic design standards) resulting in more functional projects at a lower overall cost.  You can read about the use of this strategy in Oregon here. (Sec. 306 (23))
  • Sets out criteria for WSDOT to use in evaluating the cost-benefit of prospective rail projects including, “Mitigation of impacts of increased rail traffic on communities.” (Sec. 310 (7))
Categories: Transportation