WSDOT Secretary consults with political advocates about how to respond to WPC study, has no real dispute with our data

Sep 14, 2021

Key Points

1. A 2019 WPC study by Wendell Cox found that public transit has little potential to serve employment destinations outside of downtown Seattle.

2. The study emphasized that transportation planning should focus on access to jobs.

3. WPC asked for feedback from the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) on the study, but never heard back.

4. Through public disclosure, WPC found WSDOT had drafted a response but never sent an official response.

5. WSDOT’s complaints are largely around methodology and authorship, without any real dispute with our data.

6. A thoughtful and data-focused reply should have been compiled and sent, which would have contributed to the public’s understanding of transportation policy and spending.


In 2019, Washington Policy Center asked national transportation expert Wendell Cox to evaluate transportation planning in the Puget Sound region. He looked at data showing where people choose to live, where they choose to work, and how they choose to travel. Specifically, he addressed the policy question: does our regional transportation plan reflect reality or wishful thinking?

Read the full Policy Note here.

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