State Transportation Commission looking at road usage charge

Road usage charging as a potential transportation funding source will be a focus of discussion when the State Transportation Commission meets next week in Olympia.

A road usage charge is a potential long-term sustainable funding source for transportation infrastructure.  The current per gallon gas tax could be replaced with a per mile charge for use of the roads.

The meeting starts 9 a.m. Tuesday, Dec. 8, and 8:30 a.m. Wednesday, Dec. 9, at the Transportation Building, 310 Maple Park Ave. SE, on the Capitol Campus in Olympia.

This meeting is open to the public and people wishing to speak to the commission may do so during the public comment period at 4:45 p.m. Tuesday and at 12:15 p.m. Wednesday.

Tuesday morning the commission will hear feedback from its 25-member steering committee on road usage charging as it considers next steps for the state to pursue in whether, when and how to establish a road usage charge system in the future.

The commission will report its recommendations to the and in January as to how the state should proceed in evaluating a road usage charge system as a potential future transportation funding alternative.

On Tuesday afternoon, the commission will take action to name a section of State Route 14 the “Deputy Michael J. McNabb Memorial Highway” in honor of a Klickitat County Deputy Sheriff who was killed in the line of duty while patrolling SR 14 in 1986.

The commission will also consider traffic and revenue results and projections for the SR 520 floating bridge as a first step in revising 2016 toll rates. Other tolling items on the agenda include a new financial analysis for the Tacoma Narrows Bridge and a briefing on the first two months of express toll lane operations on I-405.

On Wednesday morning, the commission will hear how the Center for Sustainable Infrastructure at The Evergreen State College is rethinking infrastructure investment, and will receive a briefing from the Washington State on the findings and implications of the 2015 Corridor Congestion Report. The commission also will receive an update on implementation of Target Zero, the state highway safety plan, including a renewed effort to reduce distracted driving and results from a recent study looking at the impacts of and impaired driving.

The meeting concludes with consideration of a request for the commission to initiate the process to name the next Olympic Class ferry, authorized and funded by the legislature as part of the Connecting Washington package.

For more information about the commission and a complete meeting agenda, visit: www.wstc.wa.gov/

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