Washington state Dept. of Transit prioritizes 'anti-racism' over road maintenance

The study was prioritized by Democrat Governor Jay Inslee and Secretary of Transportation Roger Millar in order to emphasize "…diversity, equity, and inclusion."

Ari Hoffman Seattle WA

According to a new report, Washington state ranks 42nd in the nation in highway performance and cost-effectiveness. Yet, Washington state’s Department of Transportation appears to prioritize critical race theory over road maintenance. The department recently concluded an “equity study” in order to become an “anti-racist organization.”

The study was prioritized by Democrat Governor Jay Inslee and Secretary of Transportation Roger Millar in order to emphasize "…diversity, equity, and inclusion."

The WSDOT "Workforce Development Toolkit" includes sections on Systemic Racism, Everyday racism: what should we do?, Microaggressions Are a Big Deal: How to Talk Them Out and When To Walk Away, TedTalk: How to deconstruct racism one headline at a time, Uncomfortable conversations with a Black Man, 5 tips for being a better ally and Becoming Anti-Racist.

One of the videos claims that America has been "…systemically racist."

The crux of the WSDOT study appears to have been spent on "Equitable land acquisitions," "Equitable highway construction investments," "Equitable employee recruitment and hires" and "Equitable distribution of transportation benefits."

According to the study, inconclusive data found that "WSDOT paid less on average (for land) than nearby private buyers, the land purchased by the agency also tended to be of lower assessed value."

The study also revealed that "…transportation improvements are being made mainly near areas with higher concentrations of low-income individuals," likely as a result of "…lower property values near significant infrastructure."

Even with the obvious intersectional slant in the intention of the study, "Findings suggest that these improvements do not disproportionately positively or negatively impact communities of color." Data also showed that "WSDOT attracts fewer women than men; however, the gender distribution of hires is similar to applicants. This suggests that qualified female applicants have the same likelihood of being hired as qualified male applicants." Despite this WSDOT has committed to "…increasing women’s representation in the transportation industry by 10 percent in ten years."

The Reason Foundation's annual report measured highway performance based on 13 categories which, included pavement condition, deficient bridges, traffic fatalities, spending per mile, and administrative costs per mile.

Washington state’s worst rankings are in rural interstate pavement conditions (46), administrative disbursements per mile (47) and maintenance disbursements per mile (49).

The state’s 49th place ranking in maintenance disbursements, costs of routine maintenance stood out. According to the report, Washington spends $56,847 per mile, nearly four times the $15,875 spent by Oregon.

With regard to administrative disbursements, Washington spends $16,219 per mile, almost double the $8,703 Oregon spends. Yet, Washington ranked 42nd while Oregon’s ranked 25 and Idaho ranked 8th.

WSDOT’s approach seems to stem from the same progressive mantra as US Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg, who was recently mocked widely for calling roads and bridges racist.

Buttigieg said during a White House briefing earlier this month, "I’m still surprised that some people were surprised when I pointed to the fact that if a highway was built for the purpose of dividing a white and a black neighborhood, or if an underpass was constructed such that a bus carrying mostly black and Puerto Rican kids to a beach, or that would’ve been, in New York was designed too low for it to pass by, that that obviously reflects racism that went into those design choices."

His comments were later debunked as inaccurate history by multiple historians cited in The Washington Post.


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