The Clark County Freight Mobility Study will articulate why freight and goods movement is important to Clark County’s economy and employment. The Study will also provide understanding of the key elements of freight movement.
Our local, regional, and state economy is highly dependent upon the efficient transport of goods to and from markets. Without investments to maintain and improve freight mobility in key highway and rail corridors and at intermodal freight connections (rail-road-water-air) the region’s economy and its jobs’ sustainability is at risk. The Clark County Freight Mobility Study will describe the key elements of freight movement and will document why the movement of freight and goods is important to Clark County’s economy and jobs.
- The efficient movement of freight and goods plays a part in keeping our region’s economy competitive regionally, nationally and globally. This study seeks to identify the connection between the viability of our freight and goods transportation system and our region’s ability to attract and retain trade, businesses and jobs.
- To plan for an effective system for freight movement we need to better understand the practices of area businesses, shippers and carriers.
- The region needs to plan ahead for growth in freight and goods movement which will greatly impact surface and rail systems in our area.
- The State of Washington will likely include economic impacts as a consideration for future transportation funding.
RTC last conducted a summary freight study in 1993. Since then, WSDOT’s Freight Systems Division has reported on the three components of Washington State’s freight system as part of the 2007-2026 Washington Transportation Plan (November 2006):
- Global Gateways - International and national trade which flows through the region via ports and intermodal transportation systems.
- Made in Washington & Oregon - Regional businesses that manufacture goods within a region then use the local freight and surface transportation system to deliver outside the region.
- Delivering Goods To You - The retail and wholesale distribution system which delivers goods locally.
Regional interest in freight and goods movement is ongoing. Within the Portland-Vancouver region, the Portland/Vancouver International and Domestic Trade Capacity Analysis Study (2006) forecast a doubling of trade volume in the region by 2035. Metro (Portland, Oregon) has just completed its “Regional Freight Plan, 2035”.
The Clark County Freight Study is proposed to update planning for freight transportation systems specific to the Clark County region.
The purpose of the Freight Mobility Study is to identify the multi-modal freight and goods mobility system and its current and future deficiencies. The study will identify corridor investment needs in order to sustain jobs and economic development for existing and future industrial and employment centers. Specific study goals are to:
- Understand freight and goods distribution, freight origins and destinations, relating to both volume and commodity type. An effective freight system must take into account the various demand elements of freight and goods movement (e.g. pickup and delivery, intermodal connections, and regional consolidation).
- Understand various supply chains in our region.
- Identify where freight distribution bottlenecks occur (on the highway, on the rail network, or at intermodal connecting points).
- Plan ahead for growth in freight and goods movement. Identify where freight-dependent development is targeted to occur and identify transportation infrastructure investments and improvements.
Why do local partners need this Study?
- The Regional Transportation Council (RTC):
- RTC will use the study to better integrate freight and goods movement into the regional transportation planning process. Freight policies, strategies, and projects specific to the Clark County region will be incorporated into a future update to the Metropolitan Transportation Plan (MTP) allowing freight projects to be programmed for funding in the Metropolitan Transportation Improvement Program (MTIP).
- Local Jurisdictions and Ports:
- Local jurisdictions and Ports will be able to highlight the importance of freight movement to current business retention and future jobs growth. They will also be better equipped to make the case for funding for freight transportation projects. Freight study information, projects, strategies and safety improvements can be incorporated into future Comprehensive Plan updates.
- Washington Department of Transportation Freight Division:
- WSDOT and local partners will collaborate to ensure this region meets the changing requirements for assessing and funding improvements to the statewide freight system.
- Freight Movers - Distributors - Shippers - Users
- Freight movers, distributors, shippers and system users can help to assure reliability and sustainability of the region’s freight transportation system by letting us know of freight transportation issues, trends and challenges.
Clark County Freight Study Scope
The study is supported with federal transportation funding as well as local support from RTC, Clark County, City of Vancouver, the Ports of Vancouver, Camas/Washougal and Ridgefield. The Clark County Freight Mobility Study was initiated in April 2009 and will take about a year to complete.
The study will focus on the freight system mobility needs in Clark County coordinated with the Northwest region, national and global freight systems and markets. The study is being conducted through a collaborative partnership of stakeholders including local governments, ports, state transportation departments, economic development agencies, RTC and system users. Study elements include freight system definition, freight data collection, analysis of deficiencies and needs, identification of current and future priority industrial/employment centers, and freight mobility policies and improvements. The study’s scope includes:
- Existing Freight Transportation System: Describe Clark County’s existing freight transportation system including freight modes and intermodal connections. Compile available data, maps and information. Address freight access, congestion, bottlenecks, and issues.
- Future Freight Transportation System: Articulate why freight transportation system development is needed to support future land uses to make Clark County competitive in attracting and retaining businesses and jobs. Identify future freight transportation strategies and projects.
- Business and Stakeholder Collaboration: Establish a county-wide freight roundtable. Collaborate with elected officials, business and industry, stakeholders, and public.
Study outcomes will include a regional consensus on freight and goods mobility policies and investment strategies. Included in the Study’s report will be an explanation of the freight mobility system; identification of its deficiencies and needed improvements for consideration by partners and inclusion in a regional freight projects investment program. Mapping of the freight system and data collection to support the Study will be key elements.
The Clark County Freight Mobility Study has been presented at RTC Board meetings in 2009 and 2010.
- RTC Board Resolution 040912, April 2009, 63kb PDF
- Powerpoint Presentation, April 2009, 713kb PDF
- RTC Board Memorandum, October 2009, 75kb PDF
- Powerpoint Presentation, October 2009, 65kb PDF
- RTC Board Memorandum, January 2010, 79kb PDF
- Powerpoint Presentation, January 2010, 267kb PDF
- RTC Board Memorandum on Draft Recommendations, April 2010, 1.43mb PDF
- Powerpoint Presentation on Draft Recommendations, April 2010, 159kb PDF
- RTC Board Memorandum, Study Update, June 2010, 41kb PDF
- Draft, Technical Memorandum, Recommended Regional Actions and Priority Freight Projects, May 25, 2010
Draft Map of Freight Corridors of Regional Significance follows page 4 of the report, 1508kb PDF
Documents presented on this page, and elsewhere on this site, have been prepared with/for Adobe® Acrobat®. You may download Adobe Acrobat Reader, free of charge, if you don't already have it.
A meeting of the Freight Business Stakeholders Group was held on Wednesday, January 13, 2010, beginning at 7:30 a.m. and ending at 9 a.m., at Clark County Elections Building Conference Room located at 1408 Franklin Street, Vancouver Washington. The purpose of the meeting was to gain freight business input on Clark County’s freight transportation system.
If your organization would like a presentation on the Clark County Freight Mobility Study, please contact RTC staff using the Public Comment space below.
The Freight Study schedule calls for the Clark County Freight Mobility Study to be presented to the RTC Board of Directors at the September 7 meeting and then request RTC Board adoption at the October 5 meeting.