Objective: Maintain and Improve Accessibility

“Maintain and Improve Accessibility” is one of the three objectives identified in the Mobility Performance Framework. These objectives specify how WSDOT seeks to achieve Washington State’s desired mobility outcome: To improve the predictable movement of goods and people throughout Washington State, including congestion relief and improved freight mobility.

Accessibility is defined as the “ability to easily connect to goods and services across modes, abilities, and socioeconomic groups.” Improvements to accessibility work in tandem with other mobility-focused improvements that fall under the Predictability and Efficiency objectives. For example, adding safe crossings and completing sidewalks improves accessibility for people walking. It also improves the transportation system’s reliability, by making it easier for people to take a parallel route if the street they’re using is closed for construction. Similarly, people may choose not to use transit if they don’t have a safe or comfortable way to get to the bus stop. Improving access to transit can convince more people to use transit instead of driving, thereby making the overall transportation system work more efficiently.

Often, the term “accessibility” is used in reference to the equal access requirements defined under the Americans with Disability Act. In this context, “accessibility” is about how people on the move reach their destinations and does not focus on their abilities. However, all WSDOT projects should comply with ADA requirements, including WSDOT’s ADA design guidance.

WSDOT uses two categories of accessibility performance measures:

  • Multimodal Accessibility: The ease of reaching destinations (e.g. jobs, services, schools, ports) from a specific location by different travel modes.
  • Quality of Service: Convenience and ease of accessing destinations, by mode.
Multimodal AccessibilityQuantity of jobs, households, services, schools, ports, freight terminals, etc. available within a reasonable distance or time, by mode.Major Destinations Accessible
Pedestrian Facility Availability & Connectivity
Bicycle Facility Availability & Connectivity
Transit Facility Availability & Connectivity
Quality of ServiceConvenience and ease of accessing destinations, by mode. Motorist Quality of Service
Pedestrian Quality of Service
Bicycle Quality of Service
Transit Rider Quality of Service