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.
- 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.
- Test drive: Prep begins for bus travel on shoulders of SR 14 in east Vancouver - July 18, 2017
- People who ride C-TRAN buses on State Route 14 between Interstate 205 and Southeast 164th Avenue will enjoy a more reliable trip during certain busy travel times later this year. As part of a cooperative pilot project between C-TRAN and the Washington State Department of Transportation, C-TRAN buses will be allowed to use the shoulder when travel speeds drop below 35 mph on the brief stretch of SR 14 beginning this fall.
- Battle Ground project seeks to relieve clogged roads - July 10, 2017
- The next major transportation project in Battle Ground is set to kick off in the coming weeks, this one looking to alleviate congestion where the city’s two state highways meet. The first phase of the multiyear Congestion Relief Project, which could start as soon as July 17, according to Scott Sawyer, the city’s public works director, will focus on three different sections near the intersection of state Highway 503 and state Highway 502. The phase will change the traffic flow a bit in the area, and add an entrance to Fred Meyer.
- Construction Starts Next Week on Highway 99 Pedestrian and Bicycle Improvements - June 29, 2017
- Work will begin next week to enhance public safety by improving pedestrian and bicycle facilities along the west side of a 15-block stretch of Highway 99. On Wednesday, July 5, Colf Construction, LLC, a Vancouver-based contractor working for Public Works, is scheduled to begin replacing portions of sidewalk on the west side of Highway 99 between Northeast 63rd Street and Northeast 78th Street. Access to all businesses will remain open during construction. The existing substandard sidewalk along this three-quarter-mile section of Highway 99 will be reconstructed to at least 6 feet wide, creating a safer, disabled-accessible walkway.
- Whipple Creek project advances; crews prepare for bridge - June 26, 2017
- Construction crews continued to lay the groundwork for a new stretch of Northeast 10th Avenue and a bridge over Whipple Creek on Monday. When completed, the 450-foot, two-lane, concrete bridge will stand close to 48 feet above the creek. It’s expected to last for 75 to 100 years. The work is part of a larger project to improve Northeast 10th Avenue from Northeast 154th Street north to Northeast 164th Street. “The 10th Avenue project will complete a portion of the planned transportation network of this region,” said Troy Pierce of Clark County Public Works, noting there’s no roadway there at all. “It closes the gap.” It’ll also improve area connectivity before the surrounding land develops in the future.
- C-Tran says changes positive, more work to do - June 20, 2017
- Chris Forhan uses C-Tran nearly every day and has been a constant rider for a little more than 10 years, so he had a keen interest when the agency made a substantial service change last year and added The Vine in January. C-Tran altered 375 bus stops, changed 11 routes, added three more and dropped two others in September in an effort to improve overall functionality of its system. The changes helped lay the foundation for The Vine, the region’s first bus rapid transit system, which went live a few months later. So, how’d the agency do?