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Managing and Reducing Congestion in Puget Sound
Performance Audit Issued October 2007

Agency Action Plan

Link to the full audit report.
Link to a summary of the findings and the agency's response.
Link to the briefing to the State Legislature.

Action plan legend
Note:  The "Current Resources" column reflects whether an agency can complete
the action step by the due date within current resources.  This column will be populated
pending upcoming budget decisions. 

 Action Plan

Sort by AttachmentsUse SHIFT+ENTER to open the menu (new window).
Agency action stepFilterExplanatory Notes as of June 2011Filter
C01.1
1Use SHIFT+ENTER to open the menu (new window).
OFM will convene a budget instructions workgroup in the fall of 2007 to evaluate, among other things, how we budget and report on congestion relief.  This effort will be completed by June 2008.
OFM, Amy ArnisCompletedNoNo
This item is complete - OFM convened a budget instructions workshop in the fall of 2007, which resulted in the "Transportation Budget Instructions 2009-11" published in May, 2008.  The audit recommendation to provide congestion relief information, as discussed above, is included in the 2009-11 Transportation Budget Instructions.
C01.2
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The 2007 Legislature mandated OFM to report on the progress being made on five policy goals in a newly required attainment report.  Congestion will be addressed under to mobility policy goal.  OFM will convene an attainment report workgroup in the fall of 2007 to address which congestion measures should be included in this report.  The first report will be submitted to the Legislature in December 2007.
OFM, Dave DyeCompletedNoNo
This item is complete - Performance measures for congestion were addressed in the first Attainment Report, as described further under Action Step C08.5 below.
C02.1
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WSDOT will evaluate the costs and benefits of active traffic management including "speed harmonization" and report to the Governor and the Legislature during the 2008 Legislative session.

Dave DyeCompletedNoNo
This item is complete - WSDOT evaluated active traffic management in 2007, including speed harmonization, and provided multiple presentations to the Legislature on options for the Central Puget Sound.  Further work has continued and can be provided to the Legislature in 2009.
C02.2
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The SR-167 HOT lane pilot will open in the spring of 2008.  WSDOT will report on the effectiveness of the High Occupancy Toll (HOT) lane pilot project on a semi-annual basis beginning in the fall of 2008. 
Dave DyeCompletedNoNo
This item is complete - WSDOT has prepared a report on the SR 167 HOT lane pilot and in July the report was presented to the Joint Transportation Committee.  On-going, WSDOT will report progress on the HOT lanes on a semi-annual basis to the Committee.
C02.3
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WSDOT will continue to convene local and state entities regularly to exchange information and share ideas about tolling policies, practices, and strategic initiatives.  These ideas will be presented to the Governor and the Legislature by June 2008.
Dave DyeCompletedNoNo
This item is complete - Presentations were made January 16 & 17, 2008.
C02.4
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As part of the Urban Partnership project, various tolling options will be evaluated and submitted to the Governor and Legislature for consideration in the 2008 Legislative session.
Dave DyeCompletedNoNo
This item is complete - WSDOT presented various tolling scenarios that had been evaluated to date for the Urban Partnership Project to the Legislature during January 2008.  Through continued work on the Urban Partnership Project and the efforts defined in ESHB 3096, additional information on tolling and active traffic management will be provided in the 2009 Legislative session.
C03.1
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WSDOT will work with House and Senate Transportation Committee members during the 2008 Legislative session to evaluate options that might be available to increase the effective capacity of the freeway network through downtown Seattle and the greater Puget Sound region.
Dave DyeCompletedNoNo
This item is complete - WSDOT discussed opportunities to address longstanding traffic chokepoints with strategic operational improvement projects through Seattle and greater Puget Sound with the Legislature in the 2008 session. This information is available on WSDOT’s website. http://www.wsdot.wa.gov/NR/rdonlyres/A8FFEB01-8557-44F8--9B3D-5AFDC6AAB03B/0/i5ReconstructFolio_01312008.pdf
C04.1
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Accelerating design and construction of new lanes and additional capacity is beyond the control of WSDOT.
Amy ArnisCompletedNoYes
This item is complete - Although this recommendation is not within WSDOT's control and was directed to the Legislature, WSDOT has made proposals in its 2009-11 Budget materials to propose advancing the SR520 and 405 highway projects.
C05.1
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OFM will work with WSDOT to seek emerging and new multi-modal investment trade-off methodologies.  The assessment will be completed for consideration in the next biennial budget.
Dave DyeCompletedNoNo
This item is complete - OFM and WSDOT assessed new multi-modal investment tradeoff methodologies before the preparation of the 2009-11 Budget and evaluated how congestion relief is budgeted and reported. WSDOT also addressed this action step through requests in its 2009-11 Budget materials regarding the 10-year Moving Washington congestion-reduction initiative.  The 10-year Moving Washington congestion-reduction initiative is WSDOT's key focus for congestion relief.
C06.1
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Please see Action Steps C01.1 and C01.2.
Dave DyeCompletedNoNo
This item is complete - See Action Steps under Recommendation 1 for action status of the development of the 2009-11 Transportation Budget instructions.  See Action Steps under 1, 8, and 9 for action status on the Attainment Report published by OFM.  Also, the 2009-11 Budget reflects requests for WSDOT's 10-year Moving Washington congestion-relief initiative. 
C07.1
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The Highway System Plan will be completed by the Spring of 2008. 
Dave DyeCompletedNoNo
This item is complete - This item is publicly available: http://www.wsdot.wa.gov/planning/HSP
C08.1
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The audit provides two examples of aggressive target-setting strategies for congestion reduction in Georgia and Texas.  However, these states have not yet implemented these approaches.  WSDOT will observe how these strategies are implemented and funded.  
Dave DyeCompletedNoNo
This item is complete - WSDOT will use the "Moving Washington" template to guide Transportation Strategic Plan updates, new revenue discussions, tolling policy development, and freeway operations over the next ten years.
C08.2
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To enhance measurement efforts, WSDOT will work to increase the level of analysis done on congestion before and after improvement projects.  This effort will require additional funding.
Dave DyeCompletedYesNo
This item is complete - WSDOT has selected a Performance Monitoring System (PeMS) a comprehensive highway performance measurement tracking system to provide specific and timely congestion performance information, and will submit a decision package in the 2009-11 Biennium to fund the program.
C08.3
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WSDOT will evaluate the implementation of a comprehensive highway performance measurement tracking and reporting system that captures active travel time data, as well as modeled data and other data sources to provide specific and timely congestion performance information.  WSDOT will submit this as a decision package in the 2009-11 biennium.  
Dave DyeCompletedNoNo
This item is complete - PeMS, mentioned above, also meets this need.
C08.4
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WSDOT will evaluate the recently awarded Urban Partnership Agreement project to determine which measurements will be needed to assess project effectiveness.  This review will be completed by the summer of 2009.
Dave DyeSummer 2010 (Original Due Date: Summer 2009)CompletedNoNo
This item is complete - Evaluation measures for the Urban Partnership Agreement project on SR 520 have been developed in coordination with the FHWA.  In addition, WSDOT will begin an extensive data collection effort after tolling commences in the summer of 2011.  The data collected will consist of data on freeway and arterial traffic, incidents, transit, tolls, and information on traveler experience and opinions.  This data will be used for outreach information, comparison to pre-tolling data, and for future agency decision making.  The data will also be reported as part of the Mobility Strategic Goal in the Gray Notebook and in the Annual Congestion Report.
C08.5
8Use SHIFT+ENTER to open the menu (new window).
OFM will convene a workgroup in the fall of 2007 to develop baseline performance measures, including measures for congestion, which will be included in an annual attainment report.  The measures will be used to evaluate progress in achieving the five transportation policy goals adopted by the Legislature in 2007.  The congestion measures will be addressed under the mobility goal. 
Dave DyeCompletedNoNo
This item is complete - A report is available at: http://www.ofm.wa.gov/performance/trans_progress_report_draft12908.pdf.  Measures include: 3.1 Travel times on the most-congested state highways; 3.2 Hours of delay on the most-congested state highways; 3.3 Reliable travel times on the most-congested highways around Puget Sound; 3.4 Percentage of commute trips taken while driving alone; 3.5 Average length to clear major incidents lasting more than 90 minutes on key highway segments; 3.6 Freight (TBD); Measure 3.7 Ferries percent of trips on time and ridership; Measure 3.8 Percent of trips on time and ridership on state-supported Amtrak Cascades. 
C09.1
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This is a high priority for the Department.  WSDOT will continue to collaborate with local jurisdictions throughout the Puget Sound region to integrate and operate traffic signals along interconnecting corridors.  
Dave DyeCompletedNoNo
This item is complete - WSDOT has collaborated with local governments through Puget Sound Regional Council (PSRC) for inclusion of these strategies in the PSRC's MTP update.
C09.2
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WSDOT will brief the Governor and the House and Senate Transportation Committees on the status of the Traffic Operations Committee's progress during the 2008 Legislative session.
Dave DyeCompletedNoNo
This item is complete - WSDOT's April GMAP report addressed signal retiming and discussed ongoing work with PSRC on this important effort.
C10.1
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WSDOT will report on the preliminary results from the HOT lane pilot project in the 2009 Legislative session.
Dave DyeCompletedNoNo
This item is complete - See Recommendation 2.
C10.2
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WSDOT will examine several potential projects that could use system management strategies such as HOT lanes and speed harmonization. This assessment will be completed for consideration in the 2009-11 budget.
Dave DyeCompletedNoNo
This item is complete - WSDOT completed the Active Traffic Management feasibility study, which included strategies such as speed harmonization.  The 2009-11 WSDOT Budget Request includes specific actions for Active Traffic Management on I-5, I-90, and US-2. The 2009-11 WSDOT Budget Request also includes funds for preliminary design of HOT lanes, where HOV lanes exist today, on: I-5, I-405, 520, I-90, SR-16, and the extension of the current SR 167 HOT lane.  The budget request also addressed funds for further speed harmonization studies.     
C11.1
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Expansion of road pricing is beyond the control of WSDOT.
Amy ArnisCompletedNoYes
This item is complete - Even though this recommendation is not within WSDOT's control and was directed to the Legislature, WSDOT has included agency requested Legislation for active traffic management and budget requests for SR167 HOT lanes project in the 2009-11 Budget requests.
C12.1
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A more integrated approach to planning for congestion reduction is beyond the control of WSDOT.
Dave DyeCompletedNoYes
This item is complete - This recommendation is now in the control of the Legislature.  SB 6064 was introduced in the 2009 Legislative session (related to regional transportation accountability boards).
C13.1
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The Commute Trip Reduction Board will report on the effectiveness of the new, recently funded CTR initiatives in a briefing to the Governor and Legislature by January 2009.
Dave DyeCompletedNoNo
This item is complete - The newly developed CTR initiatives will be presented by the Commute Trip Reduction Board by January 2009.  Initiatives include Moving Washington proposals for; $10.5M for 403 commuter vans; GTEC Marketing (growth and transportation efficiency centers around the state); $2.5M to provide new services and incentives for 250,000 employees statewide @ smaller worksites.
C14.1
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Continue to develop the telecommuting strategies identified in the Urban Partnership Agreement and evaluate the referenced CTR telework projects.  WSDOT will brief the Governor and the Legislature by January 2009 on the status of these efforts.
Dave DyeCompletedNoNo
This item is complete - Also, see Action Steps under Recommendation 13 for status of CTR initiative.  Additionally, Washington's mega project investments include pilot projects to enhance telecommuting, transit ridership, vanpool ridership, carpooling, etc. during construction on mega projects in the Central Puget Sound region (405, 520, and the Viaduct).  WSDOT is working to implement Telework Demonstration projects (e.g. Kitsap) to determine whether the projects provide benefits statewide.
C15.1
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WSDOT will evaluate new technologies to collect traffic data throughout the 2007-09 biennium and make recommendations in its 2009-11 budget submittal.
Dave DyeCompletedNoNo
This item is complete - WSDOT developed a ten-year vision and implementation strategy in "Moving Washington" and included a funding request in the 2009-11 budget.  
C16.1
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WSDOT is currently completing an assessment of the potential benefits of additional operational strategies such as active traffic management strategies and intelligent transportation system investments (e.g., the supporting hardware). This evaluation will be completed in time for the 2009-11 budget submittal. 
Dave DyeCompletedNoNo
This item is complete - See Action Steps under Recommendation 10.
C17.1
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WSDOT is converting traffic management software, including exploring potential enhancements to the ramp metering algorithms. Expected to complete by next biennium.
Dave DyeCompletedNoNo
This item is complete - The traffic management software conversion was activated over the weekend of July 26-27, 2008.  WSDOT along with researchers at UW and partners nationally continue to enhance ramp metering algorithms.
C17.2
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OFM will work with WSDOT during the summer of 2008 to identify system needs and complete as assessment for consideration in the '09-'11 budget.
Dave DyeCompletedNoNo
This item is complete - OFM and WSDOT assessed the gaps in the system and proposed funding to expand the ramp metering system as part of the department's comprehensive mobility program - Moving Washington.
C18.1
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WSDOT will complete the operating system conversion by May 2008.  At that point, software enhancements will be easier to implement.  Further system automation of some Traffic Management Center functions will be one deliverable of this conversion.
Dave DyeCompletedNoNo
This item is complete - The new system was activated the weekend of July 26-27, 2008.
C18.2
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OFM will ask the Department to evaluate the integration of freeway management systems through the use of a single point of data entry for dissemination of traffic information.  
Dave DyeCompletedNoNo
This item is complete - WSDOT is working toward the use of a single data entry for dissemination of traffic information.  At this time, systems are not available to integrate all the systems that the Department operates on the scope necessary to incorporate all WSDOT systems across the State.  WSDOT will continue to evaluate new systems as they become available.
C19.1
19Use SHIFT+ENTER to open the menu (new window).
Washington State Patrol (WSP) and WSDOT are jointly working on attaining a specific target to reduce incidents lasting more than 90 minutes by five percent by December 2007.
Dave DyeCompletedNoNo
This item is complete - however,  work will continue to be ongoing.  WSDOT and WSP met the target to reduce 90+ minute incidents by 5% as of 12/31/07. This goal was met and an additional 5% reduction is targeted for the next reporting period.  We are conducting "after action" reviews of closures over 90 minutes.  Next steps: WSDOT and WSP will perform an executive review and develop an action plan by December 2009.
C19.2
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WSDOT will partner with Washington State Patrol (WSP) to further seek opportunities for the WSP to expedite its investigations by using technology that has recently been funded, and encouraging quicker accident investigations.  WSDOT and the WSP will jointly report to the Governor and her leadership team in the Governor's 2008 accountability forums.
Dave DyeCompletedNoNo
This item is complete - WSDOT and the WSP reported throughout 2008 at the Governor's accountability forums.
C20.1
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WSDOT will continue to assess private financing structures for the most cost-effective alternative.
Dave DyeCompletedNoNo
This item is complete - While this recommendation was directed at the Legislature, WSDOT is examining public-private partnership opportunities with the State of Oregon related to the Columbia River Crossing Project.
C21.1
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WSDOT will continue to assess improvements and operational efficiencies.
Dave DyeCompletedNoNo
This item is complete - And work will continue.  WSDOT's 10-year Moving Washington congestion-relief initiative was part of our budget materials and includes proposed short-term investments through technology and express lane automation to improve through-put in the short term using active traffic management, which will reduce congestion by 10%.  The Viaduct project is also examining ramp reconfiguration and lane additions to further improve traffic through-put.  In addition, WSDOT continues to assess improvements and operational efficiencies.
C22.1
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WSDOT's High Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) Action Plan will be completed by December 2007.  
Dave DyeCompletedNoNo
This item is complete - The HOV action plan has been completed for I-5. The action plan was completed for $190K and presents 10 options short of pricing that may improve and maintain HOV efficiency as demand continues to grow.  Based on this draft of the Action Plan, additional funding is being sought to further study this issue and pursue a more refined set of issues.
C22.2
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WSDOT will continue the funded I-5 HOV projects as identified on the 2007 project list adopted by the Legislature.
Dave DyeCompletedNoNo
This item is complete - Work will continue on this item, but for the purpose of this audit response it is closed out.  Missing sections of the HOV core network are identified as needs in "Moving Washington."  Delivery of funded sections is ongoing and new sections to fund are re-evaluated each budget session.