The state auditor’s first performance audit of the state Department of Transporation has just been released. Read it here.
A few highlights at first glance:
–Reducing highway congestion should be DOT’s overriding priority.
–Highway planning should be controlled by DOT or a new regional transportation body to better integrate efforts to reduce trafffic congestion.
–Aggressively pursue other HOT lane projects if a pilot congestion-pricing project on SR 167 is successful.
–Reexamine current HOV policy (presumably whether at least three occupants should be required for a vehicle to use an HOV lane.
–Complete HOV lane construction in Puget Sound core, especially in the Tacoma Interstate 5 corridor.
Here’s the first AP lead on the report:
OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) — A new state audit urges the Gregoire administration and the Legislature to aggressively combat traffic congestion in the heavily traveled Puget Sound region.
The performance audit says rush-hour delays are costing motorists time and money. The report suggests steps that could save the economy up to $400 million a year.
The report said the state should explicitly adopt a goal of reducing congestion and set benchmarks for measuring progress. The audit calls for more use of carpools, transit and telecommuting, and suggests coordinating traffic lights on major arterials. The report says existing intrastructure can be improved to help with congestion, but also says new projects will be needed.