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

Public Meeting Notice: March 2 Board of Directors
The March 2 RTC Board of Directors meeting is Closed to Public Attendance in accordance with Governor’s Proclamation 20-28. All members of the Board of Directors may attend the meeting by telephone or webinar format and can fully participate.
Public Access and Participation. This meeting will be broadcast live on CVTV (Comcast channel 23) and available on cvtv.org to stream. The public may participate by joining a teleconference at 253-215-8782 (access code: 928 5202 9486) or writing to meetings@rtc.wa.gov prior to the start of the meeting. Written comments received by 3:00pm PDT on March 2 will be entered into the record of the meeting. Read more...
$53.6 Million in Federal Transportation Funding Advanced in 2020
RTC has published an annual report that summarizes how federal transportation funding was utilized within Clark County during calendar year 2020. Over the past year, agencies within Clark County worked to advance federally funded projects through various stages of development from planning, engineering and to construction. A total of $53.6 million in federal transportation dollars were utilized, with $9.8 million of the funds allocated through RTC Board of Directors.
Call for 2023-2024 Transportation Alternative Projects
The RTC Board authorized the call for 2023-2024 federal Transportation Alternative Projects at their February meeting. All public agencies, transit agencies, natural resource agencies, schools, and tribal governments in the Clark, Skamania, and Klickitat County region are invited to submit project applications. Applications are due on April 30, 2021.
2020 Annual Report on RTC’s Operations and Technology Program Now Available
The program known as Vancouver Area Smart Trek (VAST) is a partnership of transportation agencies in the Clark County region established to improve transportation system operations and performance through the use of smart technology and the system and communications infrastructure needed to support it. The VAST agencies, made up of WSDOT, Clark County, City of Vancouver, C-TRAN, and RTC collaborate on signal systems, freeway and arterial management, traveler information, and transit signal priority projects. Investments on operational and technology projects have been a small, but effective part of the overall transportation funding program. The annual report summarizes key 2020 accomplishments and recurring, recent and upcoming activities of the program.
Assessing Smart Technologies for the Region
RTC, City of Vancouver, Clark County, C-TRAN, and WSDOT partnered to gather information and conduct a self-assessment regarding the region’s capabilities and readiness to adopt strategies and smart technologies for infrastructure in operating the region’s transportation networks. A benchmarking survey was fielded with RTC partners which were analyzed and compared to national peers, establishing a benchmark of regional awareness, readiness, and implementation of smart communities’ strategies. The study found that RTC’s regional partners benchmark in the middle of the pack when compared to national peers. Key study findings and recommendations suggest the region’s smart community investments, staff capacity and agency culture, and buy-in can be improved.
Regional Traffic Safety & Targets
The RTC Board of Directors is now reviewing an annual assessment of regional traffic safety data in support of state and federal performance planning and safety target setting. Regional trends, measured in 5-year rolling averages, show changes in collision trends across several categories. Primary contributing factors to regional collisions relate primarily to driving behavior; impaired driving, distraction and speeding are shown as major contributing factors to traffic collisions. Regional goal setting strives for reducing collisions, and supporting the State’s traffic safety goal of Target Zero.
Board Updates Public Participation Plan
The RTC Board of Directors completed a periodic update to the agency’s Public Participation Plan (PPP). RTC values engagement and input from regional agencies and stakeholders and strives to make its meetings, processes and documents accessible for public comment. Updates this cycle focused on revising the agency’s strategy for remote meetings and related project work. Agency and Public Comments are welcome on all RTC’s work programs, and may be directed to our Feedback page.
Board Endorses Key State Legislative Statement
The RTC Board of Directors joined with dozens of local agencies and regional stakeholders by endorsing the Clark County Transportation Alliance 2021 Policy Statement. The 2021 Policy Statement provides a consensus recommendation of regional project priorities and policy initiatives which support development of the regional transportation systems. The Policy Statement advocates for new and continued state funding of regional investments and ongoing programs.
2020 Annual Report
RTC published its annual report of key program activities and outcomes for year 2020. Key highlights of 2020 included the Board of Directors awarding of over $12 million in regional grant funding to fifteen priority regional investments, and adopting a 4-year investment program that will yield over $422 million in regional multi-modal investments. The report also highlights strategic planning initiatives completed in 2020, which included a performance audit to advance the region’s “smart” transportation technology investments and planning for upgrades to regional freeway corridors.
Board Awards $12.1 million to Fund Critical Transportation Projects
On October 6th, the RTC Board selected 15 projects to receive approximately $12.1 million in regionally allocated federal transportation funds. Projects will be programmed over the next four years, and include funding of transportation improvements in Cities of Vancouver, Camas, La Center, and unincorporated Clark County. Funding will also be used for transit, signal coordination, planning, and ramp meters. In addition to selecting grants, the RTC Board approved the 2021-2024 Transportation Improvement Program, which indicates a funding commitment for approximately $422 million in transportation investments over the next four years within the Clark County region.
Improving Reliability and Safety on Clark County Freeways
The Urban Freeway Corridor Operations Study analyzed near term operational and system management improvements that could serve to make the transportation system operate more efficiently and predictably. The strategies include approaches to get the most out of the existing system with low cost capital improvements and technology-based traffic management tools to optimize the flow of traffic and maximize available capacity. RTC led the study in partnership with the Washington State Department of Transportation, Clark County, the City of Vancouver and C-TRAN. The Study is now complete and consists of a tiered set of strategy recommendations with detailed information sheets on the relative benefits to operations, safety and cost for each strategy.
2019 Monitoring Report Indicates Continued Congestion
The 2019 Congestion Monitoring Report indicates that the pace of regional growth slowed in 2019, with continued congestion at key corridors and intersections. The region did experience a continuation of the 5-year trend of modest degradation of evening roadway speed performance. The major hot spot continues to be access to the I-5 and I-205 Columbia River bridges during peak hours. The region will move forward in 2020 with I-5 southbound active traffic management and bus on shoulder improvements to address congestion and safety in this critical corridor.
Agency Response to COVID-19 OutbreakStay Home. Limit Travel. Save Lives.
COVID-19 is having a serious impact on our community and around the world. In accordance with Governor Inslee’s Proclamation 20-28, and out of concern for the health and safety of our staff, our colleagues, and the public we serve, RTC will follow the public meeting guidelines established to minimize spread of the novel coronavirus. Until further notice, meetings deemed essential will be held virtually, with a minimum of on-site personnel present. Public access will be provided online. Please contact your meeting organizer to confirm plans for meetings you’d planned to attend.
2019 Annual Report on RTC’s Operations and Technology Program
The program known as Vancouver Area Smart Trek (VAST) is a partnership of transportation agencies in the Clark County region established to improve transportation system operations and performance through the use of smart technology and the system and communications infrastructure needed to support it. The VAST agencies, made up of WSDOT, Clark County, City of Vancouver, C-TRAN, and RTC collaborate on signal systems, freeway and arterial management, traveler information, and transit signal priority projects. Investments on operational and technology projects have been a small, but effective part of the overall transportation funding program. The annual report summarizes key 2019 accomplishments and recurring, recent and upcoming activities of the program.
RTC’s Investment in Main Ave Pathway Taking Shape
In 2015, RTC awarded $148,000 in federal Transportation Alternatives Program (TAP) to Clark County to help fund the Ridgefield Main Avenue Pathway connector project from downtown Ridgefield to the Ridgefield Wildlife Refuge. These funds were combined with other local and federal funds to create a significant access and safety improvement project that is taking shape in the summer of 2019. When complete the improvement project will create a separated multi-use pathway and upgraded fish passages along Main Avenue, fostering much needed safety and access improvement into the Wildlife Refuge.
Board Selects Bike and Pedestrian Projects for Funding
On July 2, the RTC Board of Directors selected three bike and pedestrian projects within Clark and Skamania Counties to receive approximately $2.35 million in federal Transportation Alternatives funding. All were community based projects that expand travel choices, improve the travel experience, and enhance mobility and safety. The projects are along 1st Street in Stevenson, and NE 68th Street and Hazel Dell Avenue in Clark County.
Clark County RTP: 2019 Update Adopted
The RTC Board of Directors adopted a 2019 update to the Regional Transportation Plan for Clark County at its March 5 meeting. The RTP is the long-range, twenty-plus year, transportation plan required by federal and state governments as a pre-condition for receipt of federal and state transportation funding to this region. Adoption of the 2019 Plan concluded an almost two-year process during which Plan elements, such as regional transportation policies, demographic projections, and transportation projects and strategies, were reviewed and updated.
Clark County’s Aging Population has Important Transportation Needs
The Clark County Commission on Aging has published a report highlighting the results of a years long effort to identify the County’s needs and to highlight potential strategies for helping aging residents access mobility options. This effort was running concurrent with RTC’s study of the residents social service needs and access to transportation mobility. RTC’s Human Services Transportation Plan and project recommendations was approved by the RTC Board in November 2018. Clark County’s Commission on Aging is hosting a community summit on February 21 to share their report recommendations and to foster community dialogue regarding taking action. RTC is a co-sponsor to this event and will participate in the summit.

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.

As Vancouver’s population grows, C-Tran strives to build mass transit system - February 24, 2021
When nearly a foot of snow buried the Vancouver area this month, C-Tran CEO Shawn Donaghy was surprised to see that the number of people who relied on public transit barely dropped. Ridership dipped to about two-thirds of its normal level on Feb. 13, he said, but then rebounded fully by the next day. Even as swathes of the city shut down during the winter storm, the same people who usually ride public transit went about their business. “People still have places to go. People still have things to do. There are essential workers who must get to their jobs,” Donaghy said. By Tuesday, the snow was mostly gone. But the COVID-19 emergency remains. Across the country, the virus has disrupted public transit agencies and ridership.
Vancouver advances plan for new Vine route on Mill Plain - February 1, 2021
Vancouver is moving forward with its plan to construct a Bus Rapid Transit line along Mill Plain Boulevard, a massive project that will require the city to upgrade its fiber optic capacity and acquire right-of-way for 37 new curbside stations along the route. At its regular meeting Monday evening, the Vancouver city council unanimously approved a series of documents hammering out the details of an agreement with C-Tran. The deal would see C-Tran pay to upgrade the city’s fiber optic network, then retain usage of a portion of the new lines. “Essentially, the city owns an existing fiber optic network along Mill Plain Boulevard, along the entire corridor. And C-Tran relies on those fiber optics in order to be able to communicate with their stations,” Ryan Lopossa, Vancouver’s roads and transportation manager, explained to the city council in a Jan. 25 workshop. The existing system isn’t large enough to support another new BRT line, Lopossa said.
Members confirmed for Interstate 5 Bridge replacement group - January 20, 2021
The Interstate Bridge Replacement Project’s executive steering group held its third meeting Wednesday and voted to confirm a proposed membership lineup for the community advisory group, the second of three advisory groups that the bi-state project office intends to rely on for feedback as it develops a potential replacement for the Interstate 5 Bridge. “We are shifting from first gear into second gear and going into a very public phase of the IBR program,” said Program Administrator Greg Johnson. The community group includes eight at-large members – four from Oregon and four from Washington – and 23 appointed members who will represent various regional organizations and stakeholder groups. The office received almost 500 applications for the at-large positions, according to project team Communications Manager Lisa Keohokalole Schauer.
How far Washington has to go to make roads safe for everyone - January 18, 2021
Every so often, Washington’s State Department of Transportation publishes active transportation plans. These plans look at how streets and walkways are working for cyclists and pedestrians who already use them, informing state-level funding for active transportation projects. In a draft plan published in December that updates a 2008 plan, however, WSDOT took a new approach that meets growing demand for safe, low-carbon transportation: It looked at whether state roads were suitable for active transportation modes like walking and biking – and even growing modes like scootering – based on where people want to walk and bike, but don’t. “I believe that it’s going to be a significant step forward for the state of Washington and for the work that we’re doing,” says Scott Waller, the bicycle and pedestrian program manager of the Washington Traffic Safety Commission, of the draft plan. “It’s a relatively recent conversation [in Washington state] to talk about walkers and rollers as being people you need to plan for.” But the analysis also revealed that a $5.7 billion investment is needed to get there.
Public invited to three Interstate Bridge Replacement program advisory group meetings in January - January 7, 2021
Anyone interested in the bi-state Interstate Bridge Replacement program is welcome to attend public meetings held later this month for the Executive Steering Group, Community Advisory Group and Equity Advisory Group. All meetings will be hosted in Zoom to follow the states’ social distancing guidelines for slowing the spread of COVID-19. The meetings will also be livestreamed on YouTube, and those without internet access will have the option to call in to listen to the meetings. The steering group and advisory group meetings are important opportunities for the program to engage with the public, stakeholders, and partnering agencies from both states in an effort to find a bridge replacement solution that best serves the complex needs of all users.