Transportation Issues in the News
The following article was prepared by RTC staff. We felt this topic would be of broad interest to our site’s visitors and offer insight into at least one emphasis area of the agency’s current focus. We plan to update these feature articles on a regular basis, so check back for new content!
On July 1, 1992, twenty-one governmental agencies across Clark, Skamania and Klickitat counties, including Metro and ODOT (Oregon) joined to form the Southwest Washington Regional Transportation Council. Shortly thereafter, three additional governments were added to comprise the current twenty-four member strong RTC.
Upon formation, RTC took upon itself the federal designation of Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) for transportation planning and funding affairs within Clark County and with bi-state partners in Oregon, and Regional Transportation Planning Organization (RTPO) for administering the transportation planning requirements for Clark, Skamania and Klickitat Counties under the regulations of Washington State.
Over the course of the past 25 years, RTC has helped facilitate transportation planning studies and collaboration among the member agencies and has distributed over $230 million in grant funding for investment in multi-modal transportation infrastructure projects.
With many important community growth and transportation investment needs facing the RTC region, partnership and collaboration among member agencies is as important now as it was at formation back in 1992. At this 25-year anniversary milestone, RTC staff have prepared a retrospective report to look back at the agency’s accomplishments with the hope of inspiring current RTC member agencies and stakeholders of the potential for the future.
25 Year Retrospective, 3.6MB
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.
- Washington forms I-5 Bridge committee - September 4, 2017
- Washington has taken a step towards restarting the process to replace the chronically congested Interstate 5 Bridge. But so far, officials in Oregon, who would have an equally important role in replacing the bridge, haven’t indicated that they’re interested in taking that walk with their Washington counterparts. On Thursday, Washington House Speaker Frank Chopp issued a letter appointing a bipartisan group of four state representatives to a legislative action committee tasked with overseeing the replacement of the bridge. The committee was created by Senate Bill 5806, which was signed by Gov. Jay Inslee earlier this year. Its 16 members are to be appointed by Democratic and Republican legislative leaders from Oregon and Washington. Washington Senate legislative leaders haven’t finalized their picks. In Oregon, legislators have yet to indicate they will participate in the committee. Oregon legislative leaders did not respond to calls and emails seeking comment, with the exception of Rick Osborn, spokesman for Senate Majority Leader Ginny Burdick, D-Portland.
- C-Tran to change express service into Portland - August 20, 2017
- C-Tran is making changes to several of its bus services in hopes of bringing some relief to its riders – especially those who commute into Portland. “The goal with this round of service changes is really to improve the commuting experience for our express riders, in a nutshell,” said C-Tran spokeswoman Christine Selk. “Unfortunately our printed schedules have not kept pace with traffic that continues to worsen into the (Portland) downtown area.”
- Vancouver port granted $485,000 for trail - August 3, 2017
- The Port of Vancouver is making strides at its own waterfront project this month. A 1,200-foot path that would span the port’s 10-acre property, known as Terminal 1, was granted $485,000 by the Southwest Regional Transportation Council on Wednesday. The path connects the Waterfront Renaissance Trail, which stretches east to Wintler Park, to new trails crossing the other waterfront development, The Waterfront Vancouver, to the west. Commissioner Jerry Oliver, who serves on the council’s 14-member board, said in a statement that the grant was an important step for the port’s waterfront plans. “The port is building on its vision for the waterfront, and this grant from RTC will help us reach that vision,” he said.
- I-5 overflow snarls downtown Vancouver streets - July 24, 2017
- Like water poured too quickly through a funnel, when traffic backs up on Interstate 5 it overflows and makes a mess of Vancouver’s west side and downtown. While those diverting drivers may save themselves time, transportation officials say they’re making things worse on streets and on the highway. “It is a big problem because the local streets are acting as a regional bypass,” said Patrick Sweeney, Vancouver’s principal transportation planner. “You have a local street network that’s designed for local traffic, however it’s handling this pulse traffic that uses it as bypass.” As congestion on southbound I-5 during the peak travel times between 6 a.m. and 8 a.m. has grown, so too has the traffic in Vancouver’s west-side roads.