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                          HOUSE BILL 1675



State of Washington      57th Legislature     2001 Regular Session


By Representatives Fisher, Mitchell, Poulsen and Kagi; by request of The Blue Ribbon Commission on Transportation


Read first time 01/31/2001.  Referred to Committee on Transportation.

Improving traffic chokepoints.

    AN ACT Relating to priority programming of highway improvements; amending RCW 47.05.051; creating new sections; providing an effective date; and declaring an emergency.




    NEW SECTION.  Sec. 1.  The legislature intends that funding for transportation improvements be allocated to the worst traffic chokepoints in the state.  Furthermore, the legislature intends to fund projects that provide systemic relief throughout a transportation corridor, rather than spot improvements that fail to improve overall mobility within a corridor.


    Sec. 2.  RCW 47.05.051 and 1998 c 175 s 12 are each amended to read as follows:

    (1) The comprehensive six-year investment program shall be based upon the needs identified in the state-owned highway component of the statewide multimodal transportation plan as defined in RCW 47.01.071(3) and priority selection systems that incorporate the following criteria:

    (((1))) (a) Priority programming for the preservation program shall take into account the following, not necessarily in order of importance:

    (((a))) (i) Extending the service life of the existing highway system;

    (((b))) (ii) Ensuring the structural ability to carry loads imposed upon highways and bridges; and

    (((c))) (iii) Minimizing life cycle costs.  The transportation commission in carrying out the provisions of this section may delegate to the department of transportation the authority to select preservation projects to be included in the six-year program.

    (((2))) (b) Priority programming for the improvement program ((shall take into account)) must be based primarily upon the following:

    (((a))) (i) Traffic congestion, delay, and accidents;

    (ii) Location within a heavily traveled transportation corridor;

    (iii) Synchronization with other potential transportation projects, including transit and multimodal projects, within the heavily traveled corridor; and

    (iv) Use of benefit/cost analysis wherever feasible to determine the value of the proposed project.

    (c) Priority programming for the improvement program may also take into account:

    (i) Support for the state's economy, including job creation and job preservation;

    (((b))) (ii) The cost-effective movement of people and goods;

    (((c))) (iii) Accident and accident risk reduction;

    (((d))) (iv) Protection of the state's natural environment;

    (((e))) (v) Continuity and systematic development of the highway transportation network;

    (((f))) (vi) Consistency with local comprehensive plans developed under chapter 36.70A RCW;

    (((g))) (vii) Consistency with regional transportation plans developed under chapter 47.80 RCW;

    (((h))) (viii) Public views concerning proposed improvements;

    (((i))) (ix) The conservation of energy resources;

    (((j))) (x) Feasibility of financing the full proposed improvement;

    (((k))) (xi) Commitments established in previous legislative sessions;

    (((l))) (xii) Relative costs and benefits of candidate programs((;)).

    (((m))) (d) Major projects addressing capacity deficiencies which prioritize allowing for preliminary engineering shall be reprioritized during the succeeding biennium, based upon updated project data.  Reprioritized projects may be delayed or canceled by the transportation commission if higher priority projects are awaiting funding((; and)).

    (((n))) (e) Major project approvals which significantly increase a project's scope or cost from original prioritization estimates shall include a review of the project's estimated revised priority rank and the level of funding provided.  Projects may be delayed or canceled by the transportation commission if higher priority projects are awaiting funding.

    (((3))) (2) The commission may depart from the priority programming established under subsection((s)) (1) ((and (2))) of this section:  (a) To the extent that otherwise funds cannot be utilized feasibly within the program; (b) as may be required by a court judgment, legally binding agreement, or state and federal laws and regulations; (c) as may be required to coordinate with federal, local, or other state agency construction projects; (d) to take advantage of some substantial financial benefit that may be available; (e) for continuity of route development; or (f) because of changed financial or physical conditions of an unforeseen or emergent nature.  The commission or secretary of transportation shall maintain in its files information sufficient to show the extent to which the commission has departed from the established priority.

    (((4))) (3) The commission shall identify those projects that yield freight mobility benefits or that alleviate the impacts of freight mobility upon affected communities.


    NEW SECTION.  Sec. 3.  The transportation commission or its successor entity shall report the results of its priority programming under RCW 47.05.051 to the transportation committees of the senate and house of representatives by October 31, 2001.


    NEW SECTION.  Sec. 4.  This act is necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health, or safety, or support of the state government and its existing public institutions, and takes effect July 1, 2001.


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