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

FY2022 Unified Planning Work Program Draft Available for Review
RTC is looking ahead to Fiscal Year 2022 which begins July 1, 2021, and goes through June 30, 2022. A proposed draft transportation planning work program for FY2022 is now available for public review. The UPWP documents proposed transportation planning work activities. It is a core component of a coordinated transportation planning process required by federal and state governments. The RTC Board reviewed the draft document at its April 6 meeting and a final draft will be brought back to seek Board adoption at the Board’s May 4 meeting.
Interstate Bridge Replacement Project
The need to address the I-5 Corridor, including the interstate Bridge, has been identified through multiple planning efforts over the last several decades. Most recently the Columbia River Crossing Project (2005-2011) resulted in a preferred alternative, but did not secure adequate state funding to advance to construction. Beginning in 2019, the states of Oregon and Washington initiated efforts to restart work to replace the I-5 Interstate Bridge over the Columbia River. The Oregon and Washington State Departments of Transportation are leading this new effort to replace the I-5 Bridge with a modern, seismically resilient, multimodal structure. The commitment is to leverage work from previous efforts where feasible, utilizing current needs and values.
The Interstate Bridge Replacement Project is in the early stages of working with stakeholders and the public to identify needs and values which will become key components for screening alternatives to select a preferred alternative. Identified issues with the existing bridge include congestion, safety, earthquake vulnerability, impaired freight movement, inadequate bicycle and pedestrian facilities, and limited public transportation. The project is committed to a community-driven process with equity as a key component of the process and outcomes.
Regional Emergency Transportation Routes under Review
The Regional Disaster Preparedness Organization (RDPO) recently published a draft update to the Regional Emergency Transportation Routes plan. The RDPO coalition convened a multi-agency and bi-state partnership among transportation agencies and emergency service providers to evaluate and designate regional roadways and priority emergency response routes, which are prioritized for movement of persons and goods during an emergency event. Draft Plan are currently open for public review and comment.
$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.
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.

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.

33 transportation fees and taxes on the menu in Washington Legislature - April 12, 2021
Nowadays, the government needs more than gasoline taxes to fund its vast mission to expand, replace and preserve transportation routes in Washington state. Legislators have drawn up a menu of 33 tax and fee increases under the proposed 16-year Forward Washington plan, updated last week by Senate Transportation Committee Chair Steve Hobbs, D-Lake Stevens. That way, perhaps no single cost will provoke enough public fury to torpedo the plan. “Nobody likes to be taxed, but we also want to make this fair as we spread it across different sectors,” Hobbs said Friday.
Delayed repairs threaten Washington state bridges and highways. Will lawmakers act this year? - April 12, 2021
Day after day, a quarter-million people trust the lofty I-5 Ship Canal Bridge to carry them between North Seattle and downtown. But the 12-lane span is wearing out. It’s the highest-profile example of how Washington state fails to spend enough money maintaining and preserving its 7,000 miles of roads and bridges. The I-5 crossing, one of the most important highway bridges on the West Coast, exhibits “severe deterioration,” says the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT). Rust has formed around the steel beams, concrete layers are separating and potholes proliferate. “While WSDOT has been deferring this work to try and keep the entire state highway system operational, it can no longer be ignored without dire consequences,” says a state report.
Ridgefield plans second connection to I-5 - March 26, 2021
Ridgefield is in the early planning stages of a project that would create a new connection to Interstate 5 to the south of the city, supplementing the city’s only current direct connection at the Pioneer Street interchange. The proposed project would use the existing interchange with Northeast 219th Street at Exit 11, which currently only extends east toward Battle Ground. The proposed extension has been in the city and Clark County’s long-range plans since 2007, driven by Ridgefield’s high growth rate and corresponding traffic.
State seeks input on Highway 500 bike/foot bridge at 54th Ave.-Stapleton Road interchange - March 16, 2021
The Washington State Department of Transportation is seeking public input to help design a new bike and pedestrian overcrossing at the Northeast 54th Avenue and Northeast Stapleton Road interchange with state Highway 500 in Vancouver. The $5 million project is set to break ground late next year. The 54th Avenue and Stapleton Road interchange and the nearby Northeast 42nd Avenue and Northeast Falk Road interchange originally functioned as fully signalized intersections until WSDOT removed the traffic lights, closed the freeway median and converted the crossings to “right-in, right-out” interchanges in late 2018. The two intersections were the only sets of traffic signals in the middle of a six-mile corridor that was otherwise built to freeway standards, and they caused an inordinate number of rear-end collisions because drivers were caught off guard by red lights.
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.