The coalition supports “Move Ahead Washington”
Workers, businesses and environmental interests back bold transport package
OLYMPIA (February 9, 2022) — A Move Ahead Washington package unveiled Tuesday by Transportation Committee Chairs Sen. Marko Liias (D-Mukilteo) and Rep. Jake Fey (D-Tacoma) provides an answer to challenges the state needs to address — including a backlog of highway and bridge maintenance, the completion of projects already underway, and new investments in ferries, transit, and other critical projects.
Leaders from Keep Washington Rolling, a broad coalition of workers, businesses, local governments, transit advocates and environmental organizations, called on state lawmakers to continue critical state investments during the 2022 legislative session. State money will be used to help leverage additional federal resources included in the passage of the federal Infrastructure Investment and Employment Act (IIIJA) last year .
“The Move Ahead Washington proposal will make critical investments that will ensure our transportation system is able to equitably support our economy, our workers and our families,” said Larry Brown, President of the Washington State Labor Council, AFL-CIO. “Bold investments in transportation infrastructure support job creation and continued economic recovery. This will put people to work maintaining and preserving current infrastructure, building key projects, moving goods more efficiently and effectively, and ensuring mobility options for workers returning to their workplaces.
As part of its 2022 Worker Recovery Agenda, the WSLC is calling on the Legislature to take proactive action to create job opportunities in industries that offer good wages, benefits and strong labor protections, while meeting the transportation infrastructure needs of Washington families and businesses. (See the WSLC’s one-page document on the issue for more details.)
Washington Roundtable Chairman Steve Mullin said:
“Move Forward Washington represents a significant investment in critical infrastructure that will drive our economy for years to come. Our roads, bridges, highways and public transit systems have significant backlogs of deferred maintenance projects that threaten the reliability and safety of our transportation system. These investments will begin to address immediate needs, reduce backlogs, and build long-term projects in key economic corridors critical to our economy.
Alex Hudson, Executive Director of Transportation Choices Coalition, said:
“The Move Ahead Washington package represents the transportation investments that Washingtonians rely on to equitably access opportunities and each other. This historic investment triples investment in public transit and active transportation and will create thousands of good jobs, steer us toward a sustainable future, and ensure Washingtonians get all the places they need to go.
Keep Washington Rolling urges support for the Move Ahead Washington plan because:
● It meets critical needs — The WSDOT estimates that the cost to keep the state’s transportation system in good repair is $8.1 billion over the next 10 years. Move Ahead Washington provides significant funding for maintenance and preservation projects across the state. This not only improves the system, but also benefits local communities across the state. This package includes essential projects such as replacing the current I-5 bridge over the Columbia River, completing I-405 improvements, fixing ferry system issues, underfunding transportation services in common and infrastructure needs, etc.
● He finishes what the state started — In 2015, the Legislative Assembly passed Connecting Washington – a 16-year, $16 billion transportation investment plan, multimodal investments, and projects in key economic corridors. Many of these projects are already underway or about to start soon and are experiencing rising costs. Move Ahead Washington prioritizes keeping these projects on track, protecting the jobs they support, and being accountable to the public.
● Invests in fair economic opportunities for all – State estimates a $31 billion gap over 10 years for public transit and active transportation, which has only been exacerbated during the pandemic, with disproportionate impacts on low-income communities and communities of color. Move Ahead Washington is investing to ensure the continuity and completion of our statewide multimodal systems for our most vulnerable populations and post-pandemic workforce. State investments in fixed-route transit service to ensure a base level of public transit for Washington communities, cycling and pedestrian infrastructure, and capital requirements will be necessary to facilitate a strong recovery. economic by creating jobs and helping workers return to their sites and directing us towards a sustainable and healthy environment.
● Prioritizes environmental stewardship and sustainability — We have a federal legal obligation to address culvert replacement within the next ten years. By addressing this, we can create jobs while saving our salmon and our environment. Reducing our carbon footprint is essential in the fight against the climate crisis, and the transportation sector is the largest contributor to GHG emissions in Washington. Move Ahead Washington is investing in transportation to provide more multimodal options, protect our salmon, convert our ferry and public fleets to zero emissions, and encourage reduced carbon use.