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Published on Friday, September 19, 2014

Protecting What We Have: Transportation Improvement Board

One of the most popular state programs among cities and urban counties is the Transportation Improvement Board (TIB). Grant programs under the TIB have innovated and created efficiencies, for example, to dramatically improve pavement ratings of small cities across the state, provide much needed assistance to mid-sized cities with low tax bases, replace street lights with LED lights to lower costs, and fund projects on urban streets with all users in mind (cars, pedestrians, cyclists, and transit users). Check out the TIB Performance Management Dashboard to see how successful they have been.

A successful and efficient program such as this should be immune to cuts by the Legislature, right? With the Legislature's failure to pass a comprehensive statewide transportation package during the last biennium, the state will begin to face problems in their transportation budget. As they've done with other parts of the state budget, they might decide to sweep funds out of local programs to fund the shortfalls in the state budget. The two programs most immediately in danger of being cut are the Arterial Preservation Program and the Small City Programs. There is a more remote possibility that other programs will be cut as well including, in a worst case scenario, grants that were awarded in the past for projects that are already in a design or construction phase.

This fall, before legislators are back in Olympia making budget decisions, is the time to help them understand how critical TIB grant programs are to your cities and towns. What can you do to prevent cuts to TIB?

Take Action

  • Explain to your legislators how important TIB has been to your community, and how it figures into your long-term financing plans.
  • Take legislators on tours and explain the consequences to your community if a reliable funding program suddenly becomes unreliable.
  • Explain how transportation is funded in your city, and how TIB is an integral part of addressing transportation needs.