A Progressive Voice from the Washington Department of Transportation
Angie Schmitt shares news of a progressive leader at a state department of transportation—usually bastions of the status quo for transportation planning and engineering.
The subject of the article, Roger Millar, the head of the Washington Department of Transportation, recently addressed the annual gathering of the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) in Spokane last week, and Schmitt provides some of the perhaps surprising details of that speech.
Like, for instance, Millar saying that despite one of the highest gas taxes in the country, Washington can't afford more highway widening projects. " "About 71 percent of the state’s gas tax revenue is consumed by interest payments to pay off previously completed projects, he told AASHTO’s Joint Policy Committee."
That's not all. "The underlying cause of traffic congestion in the state of Washington is not insufficient road infrastructure, Millar said, but the dearth of “affordable housing and transportation solutions.” While people who can afford to live in city centers may have good transit options, housing in those areas is so scarce that lower-income residents are forced into long car commutes, he said…"
Schmitt is sharing news first broadcast by the AASHTO Journal.