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.
- Highway 14 congestion worsens, frustrates commuters - October 9, 2017
- Any other time of day, it takes Diane Hassett about two minutes to drive the two miles between Southeast 164th Avenue and the Interstate 205 interchanges on state Highway 14; but during her morning commute, it’s 20 minutes — and that’s if everything goes right. When it doesn’t, then her 40 minute, one-way commute can take an hour. “What makes it so screwed up is if anything happens on I-5 the entire world is on I-205, and it can’t handle it,” she said. That complicates things for all the people also trying to merge onto I-205 and in turn chokes up traffic on westbound Highway 14.
- C-Tran buses to bypass traffic by driving on shoulder - October 5, 2017
- Starting later this month, buses in Clark County will make an end-run around traffic on a frequently backed-up highway by driving on the shoulder. The transit agency C-Tran and the Washington State Department of Transportation will test the concept along State Route 14 in east Vancouver. It’s expected to shave 4 to 6 minutes off of some morning bus trips and 2 to 4 minutes from evening commutes once it launches Oct. 23. The test is the first of its kind in Clark County, and also the first in recent memory in the metro area.
- C-Tran tests bus bypass where buses drive on shoulder - October 4, 2017
- As a driver crawling through bumper-to-bumper traffic, it’s easy to stare at the empty highway shoulder and imagine driving up it and leaving all the congestion in the rearview mirror. That will remain a fantasy for most of us, but starting Oct. 23, C-Tran buses that travel a particular portion of state Highway 14 will drive the shoulder when freeway traffic slows to below 35 mph. For the next 18 months, C-Tran will operate a pilot project on Highway 14 between Interstate 205 and Southeast 164th Avenue that will allow buses to merge in and out of traffic as needed. “This is all about efficiency of service,” said C-Tran spokeswoman Christine Selk. “The end goal is to get to a point where our service is efficient as possible and we’re shaving time off that route.”
- On the Money: Traffic in U.S. cities costing commuters big bucks - September 28, 2017
- Traffic bottlenecks will cost commuters hundreds of billions of dollars over the next decade if nothing is done to fix them, according to a new study. Los Angeles, New York, Washington, Atlanta and Dallas face the highest costs from such bottlenecks, according to the study released Wednesday by Seattle-based traffic data firm Inrix. The study looked at major cities’ traffic hotspots – defined as areas with repeated traffic jams – and ranked them according to the duration, length and frequency of those traffic jams. The study is the latest attempt to quantify the problem of traffic congestion by Inrix, which collects anonymous data from vehicle navigation systems, GPS systems and smartphones. “We’re saying, ‘Hey, let’s take an honest look and see what’s going on on all these roads,’ ” says Bob Pishue, Inrix’s senior economist. “Only when we have fully measured this problem can people and governments get together and solve it.”