Prioritizing Infrastructure Investments
6-Year Transportation Improvement Plans
At the local level, all cities, towns, and counties must create and approve a transportation improvement program (TIP), which is a short-term planning document updated annually. The TIP outlines the funding sources and amounts allocated for transportation improvement projects scheduled for the next six years. The TIP includes street and highway improvements, non-motorized projects, and transit investments.
Regional Priorities List
In order to fund local projects, the Puget Sound Regional Council (PSRC) has an annual project selection process in which each county submits a number of projects. Once submitted, projects are then evaluated based on a number of criteria in their Regional Transportation Plan. These local and regional decisions have direct impacts on populations that disproportionately have lower or no access or ability to use a personal vehicle in Snohomish County — people with disabilities, older adults, youth, and low income households. Because of this, Snotrac provides guidance for prioritizing these infrastructure investments to better mobility needs for all.
Age- and Ability-Friendly Communities
Approximately 25% of Washington State residents cannot drive due to age, ability, vehicle access, or other reasons, and this number will grow as the population ages. In Snohomish County, 8.2% of people under age 65 have a disability. There is another 15% of county residents who are older than 65, and the state Office of Financial Management projects the county’s 65+ population to increase to more than 22% by 2040. This increase in older adults is at a faster rate than the statewide average.
However, all too often roadway capacity projects such as highways are built between growth centers. These infrastructure investments prioritize the usage of cars over any other mode of transportation such as biking, walking, or rolling. And because of this, access to jobs and social services are restricted to those that are able to drive or have access to a vehicle – this leaves out a large portion of the population.
This means that current and near future infrastructure investments need to support Age-Friendly and Ability-Friendly Communities. A big component of this is focusing investments in accordance with VISION 2050’s policy of planning 65% of the region’s residential growth and 75% of the region’s employment growth to regional growth centers and high-capacity transit station areas.