wsdot blog logoWe're beginning work to create an equitable decision-making process for significant actions planned on our state's transportation system, especially as it relates to communities of Black Americans, tribal members, people of color and low-income individuals. That means when we design a project, we include all voices in making decisions about how and where the project is built and learning what we can do to ensure that the project's benefits and negative effects are equally distributed. We want to hear from you how we can best work together.

But first, please bear with us as we provide some background on this important issue:

Decisions of the past have consequences for today

It's no coincidence that transportation infrastructure can have negative health effects on the people who live next to it. Planners and engineers of past decades often designed highways, bridges, airports and rail lines to run next to, or right through the middle of, communities of color and low-income neighborhoods. Land was less expensive and the people who lived there had limited resources or opportunities to challenge the decisions that were being thrust upon them. Studies have shown that as a result of those decisions, people who live in communities adjacent to major transportation infrastructure are more likely to suffer poor health due to air pollution, water pollution, noise pollution and related stress. In recognition of these conditions, the state Legislature in 2021 passed the “Healthy Environment for All Act,” or more commonly called the HEAL Act (Senate Bill 5141).

The HEAL Act is a first step toward preventing and lessening the long-term negative environmental and health effects of state agency decisions. The act aims to improve the health for all Washington state residents. We're one of seven state agencies covered by the HEAL Act. The others are the departments of: Ecology, Health, Natural Resources, Commerce, Agriculture and the Puget Sound Partnership.

To begin this important work, we want to talk with and listen to the people who are affected by our transportation decisions, especially those living in overburdened communities that bear the adverse effects of infrastructure placement. That's where you can help.

Talk with us and share your experience

Before we can begin addressing the problems created by transportation activities, we need to know how best to engage with and understand the needs of the people who are most affected by our work.

We're holding online listening sessions to start the conversation and help us understand the best ways to communicate with people who live in underserved communities.

Listening sessions information

Online listening sessions are being held over Microsoft Teams. To join us, click on the link for one of the following:

Here's what you can expect during these sessions:

  • We'll share information about the HEAL Act and its requirements for the state agencies covered under the act.
  • We'll talk about environmental justice  and what that means for communities that have experienced more than their fair share of harm from state agency decisions.
  • We'll ask a few questions of participants to get the conversation going.
  • Then we'll listen while you tell us your experiences and concerns; how you want us to reach out and involve you in decisions; and what's working – or not working – for you.

We'll then use your input and suggestions to help create more equitable decision-making that better serves the needs of all (part of our community engagement planning and tools).

No Wi-Fi? No problem!

Free, temporary internet access is available in locations throughout the state for those who do not have broadband service. To find the nearest Wi-Fi Hotspot visit: www.commerce.wa.gov/building-infrastructure/washington-state-drive-in-wifi-hotspots-location-finder/

Language assistance

If you have difficulty understanding English, you may, free of charge, request language assistance services by calling 360-705-7090 or email us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

Servicios de traducción - Aviso a personas con dominio limitado del idioma inglés: Si usted tiene alguna dificultad en entender el idioma inglés, puede, sin costo alguno, solicitar asistencia lingüística con respecto a esta información llamando al 360-705-7090, o envíe un mensaje de correo electrónico a: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

翻译服务 -  如果您难以理解英文,则请致电:(360) 705-7090,或给我们发送电子邮件:This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.,请求获取免费语言援助服务。

خدمات الترجمة - إذا ﻛﻨﺖ ﺗﺠﺪ ﺻﻌﻮﺑﺔ ﻓﻲ ﻓﮭﻢ اﻟﻠﻐﺔ اﻹﻧﺠﻠﯿﺰﯾﺔ، ﻓﯿﻤﻜﻨﻚ ﻣﺠﺎﻧًﺎ طﻠﺐ ﺧﺪﻣﺎت اﻟﻤﺴﺎﻋﺪة اﻟﻠﻐﻮﯾﺔ ﻋﻦ طﺮﯾﻖ اﻻﺗﺼﺎل ﺑﺎﻟﺮﻗﻢ 705-7090 (360) ، أو ﻣﺮاﺳﻠﺘﻨﺎ ﻋﺒﺮ اﻟﺒﺮﯾﺪ اﻹﻟﻜﺘﺮوﻧﻲThis email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.:

các dịch vụ dịch thuật - Nếu quý vị không hiểu tiếng Anh, quý vị có thể yêu cầu dịch vụ trợ giúp ngôn ngữ, miễn phí, bằng cách gọi số 360-705-7090 hoặc email cho chúng tôi tại: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

번역 서비스 - 영어로 소통하는 것이 불편하시다면, 360-705-7090으로 전화하시거나 다음 이메일로 연락하셔서 무료 언어 지원 서비스를 요청하실 수 있습니다: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Adeegyada Turjumaada - Haddii ay kugu adag tahay inaad fahamtid Ingiriisida, waxaad, bilaash, ku codsan kartaa adeegyada caawimada luuqada adoo wacaaya 360-705-7090 ama iimayl noogu soo dir: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Услуги перевода - Если вам трудно понимать английский язык, вы можете запросить бесплатные языковые услуги, позвонив по телефону 360-705-7090 или написав нам на электронную почту: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..