On April 28, 2022, the Puget Sound Regional Council (PSRC) Executive Board unanimously recommended adoption of the Regional Transportation Plan for action by the General Assembly. The General Assembly accepted their recommendation and adopted the plan on May 26, 2022.
PSRC kicked off the process of updating the region’s long-range transportation plan nearly two years ago. The update set out to reconcile the high-level policies of VISION 2050 with local transportation projects throughout the Puget Sound. The update aimed to understand how the region’s plan for transportation would influence health, mobility, the environment, the economy, and more.
PSRC released the draft Regional Transportation Plan for public comment in early 2022, and the Board incorporated many points of feedback from transit advocates into their official amendments. TCC and our partners asked for the plan to make stronger commitments to climate, equity, and safety. Not all Board members were ready to allocate resources to better meet those goals, but some of the proposed amendments that we advocated for were incorporated into the final plan (here are the detailed results of the Board’s voting). Some of the amendments we’re most excited about are:
- Development of an interim 2030 GHG emissions reductions target, with more analysis and reporting on our regional progress;
- Future work on ADA transition planning and implementation;
- A plan to analyze the equity of current transportation funding;
- Further discussion on staff capacity and resources for how to better incorporate environmental justice and climate equity into PSRC’s work;
- An annual safety progress report; and
- Future work program to update the RTP Prioritization Measures, which evaluate large capacity projects, and help determine which can move forward.
We were disappointed by the resistance to more firm commitments on projects to reduce vehicle miles traveled or improve transit access, as well as an explicit plan to incorporate the Equity Advisory Committee’s feedback. We will continue to engage in the project selection process to improve how money is spent.
There’s also work to do to improve transparency and accessibility to the plan update process. Many Board members and individuals who provided public comment or testimony expressed frustration and confusion with the amendment process, which was often unclear and rushed. Nearly a dozen amendments were not discussed or considered at all because the Transportation Policy Board ran out of time.
Now that the Regional Transportation Plan has been adopted, PSRC staff has pulled together a comprehensive list of future work items and next steps for the Transportation Policy Board to review and prioritize. You can learn more about their plans by tuning into the Transportation Policy Board meeting this Thursday or reading the agenda packet.