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

Regional Traffic Safety & Targets
The RTC Board of Directors is now reviewing an annual assessment of regional traffic safety data in support of state and federal performance planning and safety target setting. Regional trends, measured in 5-year rolling averages, show changes in collision trends across several categories. Primary contributing factors to regional collisions relate primarily to driving behavior; impaired driving, distraction and speeding are shown as major contributing factors to traffic collisions. Regional goal setting strives for reducing collisions, and supporting the State’s traffic safety goal of Target Zero.
Board Updates Public Participation Plan
The RTC Board of Directors completed a periodic update to the agency’s Public Participation Plan (PPP). RTC values engagement and input from regional agencies and stakeholders and strives to make its meetings, processes and documents accessible for public comment. Updates this cycle focused on revising the agency’s strategy for remote meetings and related project work. Agency and Public Comments are welcome on all RTC’s work programs, and may be directed to our Feedback page.
Board Endorses Key State Legislative Statement
The RTC Board of Directors joined with dozens of local agencies and regional stakeholders by endorsing the Clark County Transportation Alliance 2021 Policy Statement. The 2021 Policy Statement provides a consensus recommendation of regional project priorities and policy initiatives which support development of the regional transportation systems. The Policy Statement advocates for new and continued state funding of regional investments and ongoing programs.
2020 Annual Report
RTC published its annual report of key program activities and outcomes for year 2020. Key highlights of 2020 included the Board of Directors awarding of over $12 million in regional grant funding to fifteen priority regional investments, and adopting a 4-year investment program that will yield over $422 million in regional multi-modal investments. The report also highlights strategic planning initiatives completed in 2020, which included a performance audit to advance the region’s “smart” transportation technology investments and planning for upgrades to regional freeway corridors.
Board Awards $12.1 million to Fund Critical Transportation Projects
On October 6th, the RTC Board selected 15 projects to receive approximately $12.1 million in regionally allocated federal transportation funds. Projects will be programmed over the next four years, and include funding of transportation improvements in Cities of Vancouver, Camas, La Center, and unincorporated Clark County. Funding will also be used for transit, signal coordination, planning, and ramp meters. In addition to selecting grants, the RTC Board approved the 2021-2024 Transportation Improvement Program, which indicates a funding commitment for approximately $422 million in transportation investments over the next four years within the Clark County region.
Improving Reliability and Safety on Clark County Freeways
The Urban Freeway Corridor Operations Study analyzed near term operational and system management improvements that could serve to make the transportation system operate more efficiently and predictably. The strategies include approaches to get the most out of the existing system with low cost capital improvements and technology-based traffic management tools to optimize the flow of traffic and maximize available capacity. RTC led the study in partnership with the Washington State Department of Transportation, Clark County, the City of Vancouver and C-TRAN. The Study is now complete and consists of a tiered set of strategy recommendations with detailed information sheets on the relative benefits to operations, safety and cost for each strategy.
2019 Monitoring Report Indicates Continued Congestion
The 2019 Congestion Monitoring Report indicates that the pace of regional growth slowed in 2019, with continued congestion at key corridors and intersections. The region did experience a continuation of the 5-year trend of modest degradation of evening roadway speed performance. The major hot spot continues to be access to the I-5 and I-205 Columbia River bridges during peak hours. The region will move forward in 2020 with I-5 southbound active traffic management and bus on shoulder improvements to address congestion and safety in this critical corridor.
Agency Response to COVID-19 OutbreakStay Home. Limit Travel. Save Lives.
COVID-19 is having a serious impact on our community and around the world. In accordance with Governor Inslee’s Proclamation 20-28, and out of concern for the health and safety of our staff, our colleagues, and the public we serve, RTC will follow the public meeting guidelines established to minimize spread of the novel coronavirus. Until further notice, meetings deemed essential will be held virtually, with a minimum of on-site personnel present. Public access will be provided online. Please contact your meeting organizer to confirm plans for meetings you’d planned to attend.
2019 Annual Report on RTC’s Operations and Technology Program
The program known as Vancouver Area Smart Trek (VAST) is a partnership of transportation agencies in the Clark County region established to improve transportation system operations and performance through the use of smart technology and the system and communications infrastructure needed to support it. The VAST agencies, made up of WSDOT, Clark County, City of Vancouver, C-TRAN, and RTC collaborate on signal systems, freeway and arterial management, traveler information, and transit signal priority projects. Investments on operational and technology projects have been a small, but effective part of the overall transportation funding program. The annual report summarizes key 2019 accomplishments and recurring, recent and upcoming activities of the program.
RTC’s Investment in Main Ave Pathway Taking Shape
In 2015, RTC awarded $148,000 in federal Transportation Alternatives Program (TAP) to Clark County to help fund the Ridgefield Main Avenue Pathway connector project from downtown Ridgefield to the Ridgefield Wildlife Refuge. These funds were combined with other local and federal funds to create a significant access and safety improvement project that is taking shape in the summer of 2019. When complete the improvement project will create a separated multi-use pathway and upgraded fish passages along Main Avenue, fostering much needed safety and access improvement into the Wildlife Refuge.
Board Selects Bike and Pedestrian Projects for Funding
On July 2, the RTC Board of Directors selected three bike and pedestrian projects within Clark and Skamania Counties to receive approximately $2.35 million in federal Transportation Alternatives funding. All were community based projects that expand travel choices, improve the travel experience, and enhance mobility and safety. The projects are along 1st Street in Stevenson, and NE 68th Street and Hazel Dell Avenue in Clark County.
Clark County RTP: 2019 Update Adopted
The RTC Board of Directors adopted a 2019 update to the Regional Transportation Plan for Clark County at its March 5 meeting. The RTP is the long-range, twenty-plus year, transportation plan required by federal and state governments as a pre-condition for receipt of federal and state transportation funding to this region. Adoption of the 2019 Plan concluded an almost two-year process during which Plan elements, such as regional transportation policies, demographic projections, and transportation projects and strategies, were reviewed and updated.
Clark County’s Aging Population has Important Transportation Needs
The Clark County Commission on Aging has published a report highlighting the results of a years long effort to identify the County’s needs and to highlight potential strategies for helping aging residents access mobility options. This effort was running concurrent with RTC’s study of the residents social service needs and access to transportation mobility. RTC’s Human Services Transportation Plan and project recommendations was approved by the RTC Board in November 2018. Clark County’s Commission on Aging is hosting a community summit on February 21 to share their report recommendations and to foster community dialogue regarding taking action. RTC is a co-sponsor to this event and will participate in the summit.

News Feed

Below are an assortment of recent news items related to or impacting local transportation issues. Most of these stories were authored outside the agency, and will take you to a new page on (or PDF document from) an external site.

Public invited to three Interstate Bridge Replacement program advisory group meetings in January - January 7, 2021
Anyone interested in the bi-state Interstate Bridge Replacement program is welcome to attend public meetings held later this month for the Executive Steering Group, Community Advisory Group and Equity Advisory Group. All meetings will be hosted in Zoom to follow the states’ social distancing guidelines for slowing the spread of COVID-19. The meetings will also be livestreamed on YouTube, and those without internet access will have the option to call in to listen to the meetings. The steering group and advisory group meetings are important opportunities for the program to engage with the public, stakeholders, and partnering agencies from both states in an effort to find a bridge replacement solution that best serves the complex needs of all users.
Ridgefield rail overpass on track - December 10, 2020
The Ridgefield overpass project should be completed by the end of next year, roughly two decades after its conception. The Pioneer Street Railroad Overpass Project, west of the intersection of Pioneer Street and Main Avenue, is on track for completion by late 2021, according to the Port of Ridgefield. The $11.3 million project is in its final phase, which began in March and includes installation of a new bridge and aerial span connecting the north and south approach roads constructed in previous phases. The overpass will tower above BNSF Railway tracks that visitors on Mill or Division streets currently have to cross to access the waterfront. Trains that use the railroad can sometimes spend hours passing through.
Online survey to help Vancouver plan for revision of transportation systems - December 6, 2020
Vancouver is launching a big-picture revision of its transportation systems, a project that over the next two decades could ultimately affect everyone from car commuters to pedestrians to freight haulers. Through an online survey, the city is collecting public feedback on the effort – called Vancouver Moves – before forming plans on how to “address the current and future transportation needs of the city’s residents and visitors,” the survey states. “Vancouver Moves will develop a list of needed transportation projects, programs, and policy updates for the city to implement over the next 20 years.” The project takes a bird’s-eye view. It’s not about any one specific bicycle lane or crosswalk, but rather an over-arching look at how to make the city’s transportations systems work better for more people.
Interstate Bridge Replacement Program begins recruitment for two volunteer advisory groups - December 1, 2020
The bi-state Interstate Bridge Replacement Program is accepting applications from community members interested in serving on one of two new advisory groups: the Community Advisory Group and the Equity Advisory Group. Along with the Executive Steering Group, these advisory groups will play a critical role in helping the program define a replacement bridge solution that prioritizes safety, reflects community values, centers on equity, and fosters broad regional support. The advisory groups are part of a comprehensive effort to actively engage with the public, elected officials, stakeholders, and partnering agencies from both states to build consensus through an open and public process. The first meetings for both groups will occur in early 2021.
Interstate 5 Bridge steering replacement group lays out plan for advisory, equity groups - November 30, 2020
The Interstate Bridge Replacement Program Executive Steering Group – composed of representatives from regional governments and agencies – held its second meeting Monday, laying out a six-week timetable to recruit members for a Community Advisory Group and an Equity Advisory Group. The three groups will all advise the program office team throughout the process of developing a new potential replacement for the Interstate 5 Bridge, starting with the development of Vision and Values and Purpose and Need statements for the project. Program administrator Greg Johnson told Washington and Oregon lawmakers last week that he hoped the final versions of those statements could be ready by May. In order to meet that time line, the project office hopes to recruit members for both groups throughout December and hold the first group meetings in mid- to late January.
C-Tran prepares for second Vine route on Mill Plain in Vancouver - November 29, 2020
It’s been nearly four years since the first Vine buses began rolling up and down Fourth Plain Boulevard, marking C-Tran’s first foray into the world of Bus Rapid Transit. The line has been running solo so far, but not for much longer; construction of a second BRT line on Mill Plain Boulevard is tentatively set to begin next year. The new line will run along a 10-mile stretch of Mill Plain Boulevard, from downtown Vancouver to the future Mill Plain Transit Center near the Columbia Tech Center in east Vancouver, forming an express link between Clark County’s two biggest employment areas. “It’s going to have a huge impact in connecting west Vancouver with east Vancouver,” said Chad Eiken, Vancouver’s community and economic development director.
Early estimates of I-5 Bridge replacement top out at $4.81 billion - November 24, 2020
The renewed effort to replace the Interstate 5 Bridge has a long way to go before it gets an official price tag, but the Interstate Bridge Replacement Program office put forward a range of conceptual cost estimates this week based on the mothballed Columbia River Crossing project, topping out at $4.81 billion. Officials from the program office listed the estimates as part of a draft conceptual finance plan presented at a virtual meeting of the program’s bistate legislative committee Tuesday afternoon. Washington and Oregon convened the committee and created the project office last year, aiming to evaluate the costs of a new bridge project. The conceptual finance plan’s purpose is to identify potential funding and financing options and to calculate the range of funding gaps the project could face.