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

Seed Funding Paves the Way for Fisher’s Park-n-Ride Expansion
Transit access increases for east Clark county residents and businesses. RTC provided seed funding in the form of an $800,000 regionally competitive CMAQ grant for the design, planning, and engineering of the recently opened Fisher’s Landing Park-n-Ride expansion. C-TRAN also garnered a $1.7 million state regional mobility grant to fund final construction. The results of this expansion grows the capacity of the Park-n-Ride to 759 spaces serving seven transit routes in east Clark County.
Draft Public Participation Plan, 2016 Update
RTC’s draft Public Participation Plan, 2016 update, is available for public comment. The public comment period is open through October 24, 2016.
Draft 2017-2020 Transportation Improvement Program
The draft 2017-2020 Regional TIP for the Clark County, Washington, region is available for public comment. The public comment period will last through October 4, 2016.
I-205, 18th Street interchange opens
After more than a decade of work, the new Interstate 205 Mill Plain Interchange to Northeast 18th Street was declared officially open Wednesday afternoon. Staff members of Washington’s federal delegation, legislators from the 17th and 49th Legislative Districts, a staffer from the governor’s office, transportation officials and Vancouver officials gathered on the 18th Street offramp for a ceremonial ribbon-cutting. The occasion celebrated the new interchange, and officials congratulated the Washington State Department of Transportation on completing the project. “This has been a long time coming. It’s the end of an era,” said Bart Gernhart, WSDOT assistant regional administrator, referencing the interchange’s status as the final project in Clark County to be completed with the state 2005 Transportation Partnership Program funding packages.
Monitoring Report Indicates Increased Congestion
The 2015 Monitoring Report and its findings were endorsed by the RTC Board at its July meeting. The report indicates congestion has been on the rise for the past five years, and has resulted in an increase in both morning and evening peak hour delay. The major hot spots for regional congestion are at the Columbia River bridges for travel between Clark County and Portland. Morning peak hour delay has significantly increased on the I-5 South corridor, with a backup regularly extending from the I-5 Columbia River Bridge north to Main Street.
Clark County Completes Hazel Dell–Felida Traffic Signal Optimization Project
Clark County recently completed the upgrade of traffic detection and coordination of traffic signals to improve traffic flow in the Hazel Dell-Felida area. The project was implemented using $378,000 in federal CMAQ funds that were awarded by RTC.
Clark County Completes Barberton Traffic Signal Optimization Project
Clark County recently completed the upgrade of traffic detection and coordination of traffic signals to improve traffic flow in the Barberton area. The project was implemented using $707,300 in federal CMAQ funds that were awarded by RTC.
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 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 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 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.

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.

C-Tran makes extra space at Fisher’s Landing - September 13, 2016
Commuters, rejoice. The morning hunt for a parking space at the Fisher’s Landing Transit Center in east Vancouver will soon be a lot less difficult. C-Tran added 198 parking spots — including several for disabled motorists and five electric-vehicle charging stations — to the transit center, boosting parking capacity from 561 spaces to 759. Lighting in the parking lot also was improved as part of the expansion. “C-Tran is so proud and excited to unveil these updates to Fisher’s Landing Transit Center,” the transit agency’s spokeswoman Christine Selk said. “As southeast Clark County continues to grow, we remain committed to helping our riders navigate that growth, getting them where they need to go quickly and efficiently. This expansion helps us do just that.”
C-Tran awarded $6 million federal grant for new buses - September 7, 2016
C-Tran has been awarded a $6.08 million federal grant to replace 10 antiquated buses with 10 new low-floor, electric/diesel hybrids. The announcement came Tuesday in a joint press release from Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., and Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler, R-Camas. C-Tran applied for the grant earlier this year and is to provide a match of just over $1.5 million. The funds are from a Federal Transit Administration Bus and Bus Facilities Competitive Grant program, which both Murray and Herrera Beutler worked to restore and fund in last year’s transportation bill.
Clark County gets grant for Highway 99 work - September 6, 2016
Part of Highway 99 will be friendlier for walkers and cyclists, thanks to more than $1.5 million in state grant funding. The Clark County council voted unanimously Tuesday to accept a $1.525 million Washington State Department of Transportation grant through the state’s Pedestrian and Bicycle Safety Program, which supports local road projects that promote cycling and walking. Clark County will contribute $252,000 from the county’s road fund to support the project. Clark County Councilor David Madore, a Republican, complimented Public Works Programming Supervisor Susan Wilson on the department’s efforts to make the most of local dollars by applying for additional grant funding.