The transportation element is one of the main parts of a comprehensive plan and is an effective tool
for shaping your community’s future development patterns. Development patterns have a major influence
on the fiscal health of local governments and on the economic performance of the community. The
nature of public streets will influence the level of traffic congestion and the character of neighborhoods.
Related requirements, such as parking requirements, will influence the cost to develop in a community
and can present both opportunities and barriers to how people can access homes, schools, recreational
opportunities and businesses within the community.
Ownership, control, development and maintenance of public rights-of-way are primary functions of local
governments. A transportation system is one of the most expensive facilities a community will construct,
operate and maintain. Each new facility adds an asset to the community’s portfolio, but it also must be
managed, resulting in an incremental increase in operating costs and a new maintenance and rehabilitation
Decisions about transportation facilities greatly influence the safety of your community. Walking, driving or
bicycling on a public street is, statistically speaking, one of the most dangerous things the average person
does on a regular basis. How your streets, roads and other transportation facilities are designed, built and
maintained will influence safety in multiple ways for all types of users.
Federal, state, county and municipal transportation systems are interrelated, so coordination with other
units of government is essential. Responsibility for transportation systems spans all levels of government.
Your community’s transportation network connects to state highways, federal and interstate highways,
neighboring city streets and adjacent county roads. It also interacts with transportation facilities operated
by other special purpose districts and for-profit businesses. However, the public does not experience the
transportation system as a series of separate systems, but as a single, unified system, and it expects all the
parts to function in an integrated fashion. This starts with coordinated planning as required by the GMA.
Transportation Planning Resources
Your Community’s Transportation System: A guide to reviewing, updating and implementing your transportation element, 2012
Washington State Department of Transportation – Transportation Efficient Communities: A web hub of information and resources to help cities and counties become ore transportation efficient. Content: Transportation efficiency best practices, issue briefs, recorded webinars.https://transportationefficient.org/
- Growth Management
- Governor’s Smart Communities Awards Program
- GMA Laws and Rules
- GMA Periodic Update
- Growth Management Grants
- Growth Management Topics
- Guidebooks and Resources
- Civilian-Military Compatibility
- Regional Planners’ Forums
- Short Course on Local Planning
- Submitting Materials to the State for Review