Released in late 2021, Washington State DOT’s $500,000 Active Transportation Plan represents a new compass to guide the state’s active transportation future, providing better and safer infrastructure for those who walk and bike to their destinations around the state.
This plan assesses the needs for accessible pedestrian and bicycle facilities, highlights safety concerns, and provides the first-ever examination of state right of way and its suitability for active transportation. It provides new metrics for tracking and reporting progress that emphasize the importance of complete and accessible walk/bike facilities and connections to transit and other modes, particularly in overburdened communities. It also calculates the environmental, health, and economic benefits to society when people shift trips from driving to walking or bicycling.
For consideration of future investments, the plan lays out a rational approach to prioritizing safety and operational performance needs on state highways as part of the overall networks people use to reach their destinations. It provides objective and quantitative metrics to describe needs and measure the effects of changes. It also incorporates the “Safe System Approach,” which emphasizes using engineering approaches that acknowledge humans make mistakes and that crashes with greater impact force are more deadly, especially for vulnerable road users.