Southwest Washington Regional Transportation Council (RTC) is the Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) for the Clark County, Washington, portion of the larger Portland (Oregon)/Vancouver urbanized area. RTC is also the state-designated Regional Transportation Planning Organization (RTPO) for the three-county area of Clark, Skamania and Klickitat. Responsibility for these functions were assumed by RTC on July 1, 1992.
To encourage and promote the development of a balanced, efficient and affordable regional transportation system to meet the mobility needs of people and goods, within and through this region, and minimize transportation-related air pollution.
The region is located in the southwest part of Washington State. The Columbia River forms the southern boundary of the three-county area as well as the western boundary of Clark County. To the south of the Columbia River is the state of Oregon. Clark County is largely urban in character with downtown Vancouver and downtown Portland (Oregon) separated by a distance of less than ten miles. Klickitat and Skamania counties are rural in character. Within the RTC region is Mount St. Helens and the foothills of Mount Adams.
Clark County is the fifth most populous in the state of Washington, and is also home to Vancouver, the state’s fourth largest city. Clark County’s other two most populous cities are Camas and Battle Ground. The county seat and largest city in Klickitat County is Goldendale. The county seat and largest city in Skamania County is Stevenson. In total, the three-county region covers 4,156 square miles with Clark County comprising the smallest land area of just 628 square miles.
Clark County 428,000 628 Vancouver 162,300 46.1 Camas 19,620 12.6 Battle Ground 17,780 3.6 Skamania County 11,150 1,656 Stevenson 1,500 1.6 Klickitat County 20,500 1,872 Goldendale 3,425 2.4
A Metropolitan Planning Organization is an organization of elected officials in urbanized regions with a population of 50,000 or over. The MPO provides a forum for local decision-making on transportation issues of a regional nature.
As a condition for receipt of federal capital or operating assistance, MPOs must have a continuing, cooperative and comprehensive transportation planning process. The MPOs are to cooperate with the state in developing transportation plans and programs for urbanized areas. This transportation planning process is to result in plans and programs consistent with the urbanized area's comprehensive planned development. In addition, the plans are to provide for the development of transportation facilities (including pedestrian walkways and bicycle facilities) and serve as an intermodal system for the state, metropolitan areas and the nation.
The MPOs planning functions are carried out in cooperation with the state and local agencies. An MPO can contract staff from other agencies to perform specific elements in the planning process. This cooperative transportation decision-making process provides a forum for the member jurisdictions to discuss regional transportation issues and plan transportation improvements for the region. Currently, eleven regional councils perform the MPO transportation planning functions in Washington, representing the urbanized areas of the state.
In 1990, the Washington State Legislature passed the Growth Management Act (ESHB 2929) authorizing the Regional Transportation Planning Program. This program allows for the formation of Regional Transportation Planning Organizations (RTPOs).
The primary functions of RTPOs are to develop regional plans and policies for transportation, growth management, environmental quality, and other topics determined by the RTPO; provide data and analysis to support local and regional decision making; build community consensus on regional issues through information and citizen involvement; build intergovernmental consensus on regional plans, policies and issues, and advocate local implementation; and provide planning and technical services on a contractual basis. [Bylaws]
As MPO and RTPO for the region, the Southwest Washington Regional Transportation Council shall:
- Maintain a continuing, cooperative and comprehensive transportation planning process for developing plans and programs that consider all modes of transportation
- Ensure that interstate transportation issues are coordinated between Washington and Oregon
- Certify the transportation elements of comprehensive plans adopted by counties, cities and towns within the region conform with the requirements of §36.70A.070 RCW [Growth Management Act of 1990]
- Develop, adopt and biennially review a long-range Regional Transportation Plan (RTP). The plan should be developed in accordance with the current Federal Transportation Act and other applicable laws and should be consistent with the comprehensive plans of the counties, cities and towns within the region and with the state transportation plan. The Plan will:
- identify transportation facilities that should function as an integrated metropolitan transportation system
- include a financial plan that demonstrates how the long-range plan can be implemented
- assess capital investment and other measures necessary to ensure preservation and efficiency of use of the existing metropolitan transportation system to relieve vehicular congestion and maximize the mobility of people and goods, and to indicate, as appropriate, proposed transportation enhancement activities
- Coordinate the development of a long-range Plan with the process for development of the transportation control measures of the State Implementation Plan required by the federal Clean Air Act
- Provide citizens, affected public agencies, representatives of transportation departments and other interested parties with a reasonable opportunity for comment on the RTP
- Develop a Transportation Improvement Program (TIP) for the area. The Program will include a priority list of projects and project segments to be carried out within the 4-year period after adoption of the TIP and a finance plan that demonstrates how the TIP can be implemented
- Develop a Congestion Management System that provides for effective management of new and existing transportation facilities eligible for funding under the current Federal Transportation Act and the Federal Transit Act through the use of travel demand reduction and operational management strategies
Recent board meeting agendas and minutes are available online.
Jurisdiction Representatives Three Clark County Commissioners Tom Mielke, County Commissioner, District 1
David Madore, County Commissioner, District 2
Steve Stuart, County Commissioner, District 3
Two representatives from the City of Vancouver Vice Chair: Jack Burkman, Vancouver City Council Member
Jeanne E. Stewart, Vancouver City Council Member
One elected official from the City of Camas or the City of Washougal representing those cities Melissa Smith, Camas City Council Member One elected official from the City of Battle Ground, the City of Ridgefield, the City of La Center, or the Town of Yacolt representing these four cities Chair: Bill Ganley, Battle Ground Council Member One elected official from Skamania County, the City of Stevenson, the City of North Bonneville, or the Port of Skamania Doug McKenzie, Skamania County Commissioner One elected official from Klickitat County, the City of White Salmon, the City of Bingen, the City of Goldendale, or the Port of Klickitat David Poucher, White Salmon Mayor Executive Director of C-TRAN Jeff Hamm, Executive Director/CEO Southwest Regional Administrator of the WSDOT Don Wagner, Southwest Regional Administrator One Port Commissioner from the Port of Vancouver, Port of Ridgefield, or the Port of Camas/Washougal representing these three ports Nancy Baker, Port of Vancouver Commissioner Region One Manager of the Oregon DOT Jason Tell, Region One Manager One Councilor from Metro of Portland Councilor Shirley Craddick Three Representatives from the
14th State Legislative District
Senator Curtis King
Representative Norm Johnson
Representative Charles Ross
Three Representatives from the
17th State Legislative District
Senator Don Benton
Representative Monica Stonier
Representative Paul Harris
Three Representatives from the
18th State Legislative District
Senator Ann Rivers
Representative Brandon Vick
Representative Liz Pike
Three Representatives from the
49th State Legislative District
Senator Annette Cleveland
Representative Sharon Wylie
Representative Jim Moeller
Bi-State Coordination Committee
A subcommittee of the Southwest Washington Regional Transportation Council (RTC) and Metro's Joint Regional Policy Advisory Committee on Transportation (JPACT). The role of the Committee is to review all issues of bi-state significance for transportation and present recommended actions to JPACT and RTC. The committee is comprised of six members from Clark County and seven members from the Portland metro area. [Bylaws]
Regional Transportation Advisory Committee
The Regional Transportation Advisory Committee (RTAC) is an advisory committee to the Southwest Washington Regional Transportation Council Board of Directors. RTAC coordinates and guides the regional transportation planning program in accordance with the policy of the RTC Board of Directors. The Committee is responsible for coordination of regional transportation technical issues and for providing technical advice to the Board. [Bylaws]
Public participation is an important part of the regional transportation decision-making process carried out by RTC. RTC's Public Participation Plan outlines a broad range of opportunities for the public and stakeholders to participate in the region's transportation planning process. In the Plan, RTC continues its commitment to publish, or make available for public view, transportation plans and Transportation Improvement Programs (TIPs), and to hold public meetings at convenient and accessible times and locations. RTC also commits to use maps, charts, graphics and website information in order to help explain the metropolitan transportation planning process and to make metropolitan transportation planning information available to the public.
The latest update to RTC's Public Participation Plan was adopted by RTC Board Resolution 08-07-15 on August 7, 2007. The current Plan meets federal requirements for metropolitan transportation planning. The Plan was adopted following release of a draft Plan for public comment on May 8, 2007. The draft Plan was then circulated to interested parties. Notice of its release for public comment was published in local newspapers, including The Columbian, The Reflector (Battle Ground), the Camas-Washougal Post-Record, the El Hispanic News and The Skanner. The draft Plan was made available at branches of the Fort Vancouver library system and at Camas library. The draft Plan was also posted to RTC's website.
Download Public Participation Plan
2013 Public Participation Plan Update Drafted: Public Comment Sought
RTC recently released a draft update to the Public Participation Plan and is currently seeking public comment prior to RTC Board adoption. The public comment period will run through December 30, 2013.
The draft Public Participation Plan update is written to better reflect RTC’s current practices for public involvement, consultation with interested parties, interagency consultation and agency governance and operations.
Download Draft 2013 Public Participation Plan
The Southwest Washington Regional Transportation Council hereby gives public notice that it is the policy of the agency to assure full compliance with Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Civil Rights Restoration Act of 1987, and related statutes and regulations in all programs and activities.
Title VI requires that no person in the United States of America shall, on the grounds of race, color, sex, or national origin be excluded from the participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be otherwise subjected to discrimination under any program or activity for which RTC receives federal financial assistance. Any person who believes they have been aggrieved by an unlawful discriminatory practice under Title VI has a right to file a formal complaint with RTC. Any such complaint must be in writing and filed with the RTC Transportation Director within one hundred eighty (180) days following the date of the alleged discriminatory occurrence.
For more information on RTC's Title VI Plan, policies, procedures, or related issues, contact Mark Harrington by email or phone 360-397-6067.
- Physical address
- Public Service Center
- 1300 Franklin Street, 4th Floor
- Vancouver, Washington 98660
- Postal address
- P.O. Box 1366
- Vancouver, Washington 98666-1366