The rural category ranges from no development (natural environment) to some light development (structures), with sparse residential and other structures mostly associated with farms. The land is primarily used for outdoor recreation, agriculture, and/or resource extraction. Occasionally non-incorporated communities will include a few residential and commercial structures.
Rural characteristics also include:
- No or very few pedestrians – except those locations used for outdoor recreation and modal connections, school bus stops, and where socioeconomic factors suggest that walking is likely to serve as an essential form of transportation.
- Bicycle use relatively light – except for tourist destinations, designated US Bicycle Routes, modal connection locations and between communities where bicycle travel may be expected or where socioeconomic factors suggest that bicycling is likely to serve as an essential form of transportation.
- Low development density.
Isolated residential or commercial activities.
Commercial uses include general stores, restaurants, and gas stations, normally at crossroads.
- Setbacks for structures are usually large, except in the immediate vicinity of small settlements.
- Transit service availability is often absent or highly limited, but varies widely depending on the jurisdiction. On-demand service is typically found to provide specialized transportation services.
Rural context applies to specific mobility and economic vitality performance measures and metrics (summarized in the tables below). Note that the rural context is relevant for practical solutions beyond those focused on mobility and economic vitality. Additional performance measures and metrics will be developed to evaluate how WSDOT projects advance WSDOT’s goals around the environment, preservation, safety, and stewardship.