Regional Transportation Planning, Research, Investment Strategies, and Funding.

Vancouver Regional Transportation Issues the Focus of June 15 Meeting
The Washington State Transportation Commission was in Vancouver to meet with local officials and business leaders to learn about the region’s transportation issues, challenges and successes. Read about it here.
WSDOT Completes SR-14 Traveler Information
WSDOT recently add a communications link, traffic detection, and roadway cameras to provide additional traveler information along SR-14, from SE 164th Avenue to NW 6th Avenue. The project was constructed using $679,375 in federal Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality (CMAQ) Program funds that were awarded by RTC.
WSDOT Completes SR-503 Traveler Information
WSDOT recently add a communications link, traffic detection, and roadway cameras to provide additional traveler information along SR-503, from NE 119th Street to SR-502. The project was constructed using $760,000 in federal Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality (CMAQ) Program funds that were awarded by RTC.
Fiscal Year 2017 Unified Planning Work Program Adopted
RTC annually prepares a UPWP to document the proposed transportation planning activities RTC and regional partners will carry out in the forthcoming year. After reviewing a draft at its April 5 meeting and after making the document available for public review, the Board adopted the FY 2017 UPWP at its May 3 meeting. Fiscal Year 2017 begins July 1, 2016, and goes through June 30, 2017. The UPWP is a requirement of a coordinated transportation planning process required by federal and state governments.
RTC to Study Bus Use of Freeway Shoulders
RTC is embarking on a study to evaluate the feasibility of transit vehicles using freeway shoulders on parts of SR-14 and I-205. Allowing buses to travel on the shoulder during times of heavy traffic congestion is an approach that has been used successfully for about 50 years in different areas of the United States. Experience has shown that this strategy can improve transit without impairing mainline traffic and provides the opportunity for a low cost option to boost ridership and make transit more efficient.
Clark County Completes Salmon Creek Avenue Pathway
Clark County recently completed the first phase of a multi-use pathway along Salmon Creek Avenue, from WSU entrance to Pleasant Valley Park. The project was constructed using $567,800 in federal Transportation Alternatives Program funds that were awarded by RTC.
City of Camas Completes NW 38th Avenue
The City of Camas recently completed the second phase of the NW 38th Avenue road improvement. This project extends road improvements eastward from SE Armstrong Road to NW Parker Street to include two travel lanes with a center left turn lane, with bicycle lanes and sidewalks. The project was constructed using $2.2 million in federal Surface Transportation Program funds that were awarded by RTC.
Clark County Population Climbs Rapidly
Clark County’s estimated population has risen to 459,495 residents, as growth resumes in the area. Between 2014 and 2015, the county grew by 2 percent, netting 9,054 new people, according to data released from the Census Bureau.~ The Columbian
RTC will be reporting annual traffic conditions later this spring as part of its Congestion Management Process. Stay tuned to see how this rapid rise in population has affected regional transportation conditions.
GMA Certification Process Guide and Checklist Adopted
As the state-designated RTPO for the region that includes Clark County, RTC has certain responsibilities under the state’s Growth Management Act. These responsibilities include certification of the transportation element of local Comprehensive Plans. On March 1, the RTC Board adopted a Guide to RTC’s Certification Process that clarifies RTC’s role in certifying local plans as part of Washington State’s growth management planning process. The Guide includes a checklist for local jurisdictions to complete to help them and RTC fulfill certification requirements.
Comprehensive Federal Transportation Bill Funds State and Regional Programs
Congress passed and President Obama signed a new federal transportation funding bill which stabilizes federal funding to state and metropolitan regions for planning and project improvements. The Fixing America’s Surface Transportation Act, or “FAST Act,” sets new policy direction and funding levels for the federal aid transportation program, and among other key initiatives adds new competitive grants which promote investments in the nation’s strategic freight corridors. In addition, the FAST Act retains the multi-modal emphasis of the federal program by ensuring funding of transit programs as well as the Transportation Alternatives Program. The RTC region’s Congressional delegation, Senators Murray and Cantwell and Representative Herrera Beutler, each provided meaningful leadership in many strategic areas and each supported passage in Congress. More preliminary information about the FAST Act as summarized by the Association of Metropolitan Planning Organizations can be found here.
2015 Annual Report
In 2015, RTC deployed over $8.9 million in seed capital funds, for 17 regional TIP/TAP projects in the three-county region. These important projects are designed to upgrade the region’s signal, roadway, transit, and trail networks. The RTC continues to collaborate with members on planning for future oriented traffic signal and communications systems across the region as part of the VAST program. Partners to VAST hosted a regional forum to explore the future of the “connected” transportation system, and work will continue to position the regional partners in accommodating the connected vehicle and information systems. Regional collaboration with our bi-state partners as part of the Bi-State Coordination Committee continued to show progress and emerging studies of interstate corridors for transit and operations upgrades will be a focus for partners in the upcoming year.
Bi-state Travel Times now Available on Vancouver Area Freeways
RTC programmed funds in 2012, through the Vancouver Area Smart Trek Program, for the Washington portion of the Bi-State Travel Time project, a joint collaboration between the Washington and Oregon Departments of Transportation. RTC assisted in the project by planning and facilitating meetings between the transportation departments to define and develop the project, resolve technical issues on data sharing and integration, and on route and destination information.  (See also.)
RTC Selects Transportation Projects for Funding
On October 6, the RTC Board selected 12 projects to receive approximately $7.4 million in regionally allocated federal transportation funds. Projects will be implemented between 2016 and 2019, and include funding for arterial improvements along NE 119th Street and NE 10th Avenue, pedestrian and bicycle improvements along Highway 99 and Fort Vancouver Way, and operational improvements throughout urban Clark County.
In addition, the RTC Board approved the 2016-2019 Transportation Improvement Program, which indicates a funding commitment for approximately $195 million in transportation improvements over the next four years in the Clark County region.
Governor Signs Into Law a Major State Transportation Funding Package
On July 15, Governor Jay Inslee signed into law major new statewide transportation revenue, project funding, and reform bills which will shape RTC’s regional transportation system performance and project funding for years to come. Major elements of the new laws (referred to as Connecting Washington) included: creating a 16-year funding plan for building major freeway and roadway projects, distributing a slice of the gas tax to local agencies, funding multiple discretionary grant programs, and enhancing multi-modal grants and direct funds to transit agencies across the state. Here in Clark County, the transportation funding package funds many of RTC’s high priority projects for freeways, arterial roadways, transit and ports. Detailed summaries of the transportation projects funded by Connecting Washington and associated summaries of discretionary grant programs and local agency funding are found here: