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

2021 Annual Report on RTC’s Operations and Technology Program Now Available
The Vancouver Area Smart Trek (VAST) program 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 2021 accomplishments and recurring, recent and upcoming activities of the program.
Regional Intelligent Transportation System Architecture Report Released
The ITS Architecture is the framework for planning, defining, and integrating advanced transportation technology within the Vancouver area. The ITS architecture is a regionally focused summary of all the ITS strategies, required systems, and connections operated and/or planned by the VAST region’s agency partners to apply the technology and management techniques to manage congestion and improve reliability. The report documents existing conditions, assesses future needs, and ensures the Region is compliant with USDOT's ITS Architecture requirements.
Board Awards $229,000 for Bike/Pedestrian Improvements
On May 3rd the RTC Board awarded an additional $229,000 for two bicycle and pedestrian projects in Clark County. The grant funds will be used beginning in 2022 to fully fund the design of the Renaissance Trail Segment 5 (Port of Vancouver) and S 27th Street Path (City of Washougal).
Board Awards $4.3 million for Transportation Improvements
On April 5th the RTC Board selected eight projects within Clark County to receive approximately $4.3 million in regionally allocated federal transportation funds. Grants were awarded through a competitive grant process, for projects that are ready to proceed in year 2022. Funds will be used to improve road, transit, and active transportation facilities. Funding will be provided to improve SE First Street, SR-502/SR-503 Intersection, NE 99th Street, NW 38th Avenue, Highway 99 Bus Rapid Transit, I-205/Northbound Mill Plain ramp, Renaissance Trail, and S 27th Street Path.
Board Authorizes Local Call For Projects
On April 5th the RTC Board authorized RTC staff to proceed with the regional grant program for Clark County. The call for projects will be for $13.75 million between years 2023 to 2026. The call for projects will follow the guidelines and policies as outlined in the adopted Transportation Programming Guidebook. Local agencies are invited to submit grant application for eligible projects by the July 15, 2022 deadline.
Cities Look to Improve Road Safety
Local Road Safety Plans are used to identify safety needs and guide investment to achieve reductions in traffic collisions. RTC partnered with the cities of Battle Ground, Camas, La Center, Ridgefield, and Washougal to fund the development of City Safety Plans. The development of a City Safety Plan is a requirement to seek safety grants through the Washington State Department of Transportation. Each of the Cities are seeking grant funding through the state’s safety grant program to address the most critical traffic safety needs.
Over $65 Million Federal Transportation Funding Advanced in 2021
RTC has published an annual report that summarizes how federal transportation funding were utilized within Clark County during calendar year 2021. Over the past year, agencies within Clark County worked to advance federally funded transportation projects through various stages of development from planning, engineering and to construction. A total of $65.1 million in federal transportation dollars were utilized, with $12 million of the funds allocated through the RTC Board of Directors.
Board Receives Report on Active Transportation Planning
RTC delivered an update to the Board of Directors on the status of Active Transportation Planning initiatives within the RTC region. RTC and WSDOT recently published Active Transportation Plan report, in fall 2021. RTC’s Phase I Plan reports documents review of regional policies, system inventories and sets the stage the for Plan’s Phase II recommendations which are expected concurrent with RTC’s forthcoming update to the Regional Transportation Plan for Clark County due in late 2023. Our Regional Active Transportation Plan phase I reports and WSDOT’s statewide Active Transportation Plan are available for review.
Regional Partners Awarded Walkability/Movability Action Institute Grant
An RTC led coalition of regional partners was awarded a unique opportunity to participate in a multi-day action planning course hosted by the NACDD Walkability Action Institute to advance active transportation and positive public health outcomes within Clark County. To be convened in May, the Walkability Action Institute will help regional partners advance planning, policy and project initiatives. The region's team will be expected to create an action plan for equitable transportaion access, and activity-friendly environment and walkability. Supporting the Institute are WSDOH, WSDOT and the Washington Transportation Improvement Board.
Board Endorses YR 2022 State Legislative Statement
The RTC Board of Directors joined with dozens of government agencies and regional stakeholders by endorsing the Clark County Transportation Alliance 2022 Policy Statement. The 2022 Policy Statement identifies regional investments priorities and policy initiatives which support development of Clark County’s transportation systems. The 2022 Policy Statement advocates for new state funding for projects and ongoing programs, and a commitment to support legislative leaders in pursuing those outcomes.
2021 Annual Report
RTC published its annual report of key program activities and outcomes for year 2021. Key highlights of 2021 included the Board of Directors awarding of over $13.5 million in regional grant funding to sixteen priority regional investments, and adopting a four-year investment program that will yield over $424 million in regional multi-modal investments. The report also highlights strategic planning initiatives completed in 2021, which included: a comprehensive set of activities to improve traffic safety across the region’s transportation networks; and, multi-agency initiatives led by the VAST program to improve data collection and management of partner agency traffic signal and fiber-optic cable networks.
Board Approves $424 million Transportation Improvement Program
On October 5th, the RTC Board approved the 2022-2025 Transportation Improvement Program, which indicates a funding commitment for approximately $424 million in multimodal transportation investments over the next four years within the Clark County region. The TIP is developed cooperatively with all local agencies and list priority regionally significant transportation projects that will be funded over the next four years. The TIP describes each project and demonstrates funding commitment and schedule for delivery.
Board Awards $460,000 to Fund Active Transportation Improvements
On October 5th the RTC Board selected two projects within the Clark County region to receive $460,000 in regionally allocated federal transportation funds. Grants are awarded based on a competitive grant process. The Funds will be used to advance the following projects:
  • Port of Vancouver’s Renaissance Trail Segment 4 in year 2022 for design ($60,000). Construct a multi-modal path along the south side of Lower River Road (SR-501), between NW Gateway Avenue and NW Old Lower River Road.
  • Clark County’s Highway 99 Sidewalk project in year 2024 for construction ($400,000). This project will construct new raised concrete curb and sidewalk along the east side of Highway 99 and south side of NE 104th Street filling in a gap of missing sidewalk.
C-TRAN Building Region’s High Capacity Transit System
C-TRAN commences construction of The Vine bus rapid transit corridor on Mill Plain Blvd. In December 2008, the RTC Board of Directors endorsed the region’s first High Capacity Transit System plan, setting in motion the region’s investment strategy in high capacity transit. Since that time, the C-TRAN Board of Directors has completed construction of The Vine on Fourth Plain Blvd, authorized construction of the Mill Plain Blvd corridor, and RTC’s recent grant award will assist in planning for the final corridor planned for Hwy 99.
RTC’s Investment in Ridgefield’s Pioneer Street Rail Overpass
In 2013, RTC awarded $2 million in federal Transportation dollars to the Port of Ridgefield to help fund the Ridgefield Pioneer Street Rail Overpass project. These funds were combined with other local and federal funds to create a rail overpass that will provide safe access between downtown Ridgefield and the waterfront, which is separated by railroad tracks. Two at-grade rail crossings with safety concerns at Mill and Division Streets will be closed as part of the project. The project will also allow for the future development of the Port’s 41-acre waterfront developable parcel. The project is expected to be open to traffic before the end of September of 2021.
Board Awards $11.6 million to Fund Critical Transportation Projects
On September 7th the RTC Board selected 10 projects within the Clark County region to receive approximately $11.6 million in regionally allocated federal transportation funds. Grants are awarded through a competitive grant process, based on grant program eligibility. Transportation investment will be made over the next four years to improve state highways and county and city streets and for transit facilities. Construction funding will be provided on Highway 99 Bus Rapid Transit, NE 152nd Avenue, NE 18th Street, SW Eaton Boulevard, and NE 179th Street.
Board Selects Bike and Pedestrian Projects for Funding
On July 6, 2021, the RTC Board of Directors selected five bike and pedestrian projects within Clark County to receive approximately $1.6 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 Hazel Dell Avenue, Highway 99, Evergreen Highway (Vancouver), Pacific Highway (La Center), and Renaissance Trail (SR-501).
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.
$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.
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.
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.