City renews agreement with King County to reduce commuter congestion

For about a decade, the state of Washington has told cities with certain sized businesses they must work with those businesses and with their own employees to reduce traffic congestion caused by commuting.

Late last year, the Auburn City Council authorized Mayor Nancy Backus to execute an inter-local agreement with the King County Department of Transportation to allow the county to continue to administer the city’s Commute Trip Reduction Plan (CTRP).

The agreement covers the period from July 1, 2017 to June 30, 2019.

Former Council member Rich Wagner offered the program faint praise.

“I’d say it’s been slightly successful, but we might as well keep doing it because it helps,” Wagner said.

What it’s all about is reducing congestion by lowering vehicle miles traveled per employee and by reducing drive-alone commute trips in areas affected by air pollution caused by automobiles. Because of this, the CTRP law requires major employers in Auburn to develop, implement and promote programs to encourage their employees to eliminate or reduce their drive-alone commute trips.

State law defines major employer to mean a private or public employer that employs 100 or more full-time employees at a single work site who are scheduled to begin their regular workday between 6 a.m. and 9 a.m. on weekdays for at least twelve continuous months during the year,

The City has entered into similar agreements with King County in the past, and King County has assisted local employers in Auburn with the creation and maintenance of CTRP programs that help them comply with the regulations.

State law authorizes King County to receive state funding on behalf of jurisdictions to help local employers implement the CTRP and to keep those state funds for work it performs on behalf of the City.

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