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WSDOT Active Transportation Plan – Why we plan for active transportation

Under state law we’re required to have a plan with a statewide strategy for bicycle and pedestrian facilities (RCW 47.06.100). We need to plan for mobility and safety, coordinate with local governments, and improve connections to other means of transportation for people walking or rolling. This plan also incorporates concepts found in Washington’s federally required strategic highway safety plan, Target Zero.

Improving walk/bike connections improves mobility and safety for everyone. When you or your neighbors can walk or bike, whether it’s to the store or to a bus stop to go farther, that’s one less car ahead at the next stoplight and one more parking spot left open for someone else. This makes the transportation system more sustainable over the long run for people using every mode of transportation.

To get to this future, WSDOT is planning for active transportation the same way we plan for the overall highway system and for the other modes of transportation: transit, ferries, rail, and aviation. With a long-term plan we can make the best use of transportation investments to build and maintain a system that works for everyone.

Creating a complete, comfortable network for people walking or rolling will involve connections on local, county and state roads and trails. This phase of the plan primarily analyzes state routes. Regional transportation plans, corridor plans and studies, WSDOT projects, and other processes will provide more analysis of connections to the local system at specific locations. The Background and Context page provides more information.

What is active transportation?

By “active transportation” we mean using an active means of travel such as walking, biking, or skateboarding to get from one place to another.

It includes using a mobility assistive device such as a wheelchair or walker.

It also includes running when used for transportation—we’ve heard from some run commuters and their trips count as transportation.

The definition includes both traditional and electric-assist bicycles and other devices.

100% of Washingtonians use active transportation at some point in a trip, whether walking to a bus stop, bicycling to work or rolling from the ferry landing to a vehicle in the parking lot. Our plan considers all these trips because you’re using an active transportation space or facility even if it isn’t for the longest portion of your journey.

The plan includes a list of terms with definitions at the end of Chapter 1.

Who is a bicyclist or cyclist?

A person using some version of a bicycle. This includes e-bikes and tricycles under Washington state law.

Who is a pedestrian?

A person walking or rolling. This term as we use it includes people using a mobility assistance device such as a wheelchair, cane, or walker. This matches usage in federal safety statistics. Federal usage also includes people using small wheeled devices such as skateboards and foot scooters in their definition of pedestrians.

Please share this online open house with your friends, family, and neighbors. We want their opinions too.