The legislature finds that automotive traffic in Washington's metropolitan areas is the major source of emissions of air contaminants. This air pollution causes significant harm to public health, causes damage to trees, plants, structures, and materials and degrades the quality of the environment.
Increasing automotive traffic is also aggravating traffic congestion in Washington's metropolitan areas. This traffic congestion imposes significant costs on Washington's businesses, governmental agencies, and individuals in terms of lost working hours and delays in the delivery of goods and services. Traffic congestion worsens automobile-related air pollution, increases the consumption of fuel, and degrades the habitability of many of Washington's cities and suburban areas. The capital and environmental costs of fully accommodating the existing and projected automobile traffic on roads and highways are prohibitive. Decreasing the demand for vehicle trips is significantly less costly and at least as effective in reducing traffic congestion and its impacts as constructing new transportation facilities such as roads and bridges, to accommodate increased traffic volumes.
The legislature also finds that increasing automotive transportation is a major factor in increasing consumption of gasoline and, thereby, increasing reliance on imported sources of petroleum. Moderating the growth in automotive travel is essential to stabilizing and reducing dependence on imported petroleum and improving the nation's energy security.
The legislature further finds that reducing the number of commute trips to work made via single-occupant cars and light trucks is an effective way of reducing automobile-related air pollution, traffic congestion, and energy use. Major employers have significant opportunities to encourage and facilitate reducing single-occupant vehicle commuting by employees. In addition, the legislature also recognizes the importance of increasing individual citizens' awareness of air quality, energy consumption, and traffic congestion, and the contribution individual actions can make towards addressing these issues.
The intent of this chapter is to require local governments in those counties experiencing the greatest automobile-related air pollution and traffic congestion to develop and implement plans to reduce single-occupant vehicle commute trips. Such plans shall require major employers and employers at major worksites to implement programs to reduce single-occupant vehicle commuting by employees at major worksites. Local governments in counties experiencing significant but less severe automobile-related air pollution and traffic congestion may implement such plans. State agencies shall implement programs to reduce single-occupant vehicle commuting at all major worksites throughout the state.
[1997 c 250 § 1; 1991 c 202 § 10.]
Captions not law—Effective date—Severability—1991 c 202:
See notes following RCW 47.50.010