Bi-State Transportation Committee Resolution 04-00-01
For the Purpose of Approving the I-5 HOV Facility Policy Recommendations
WHEREAS, Metro and the Southwest Washington Regional Transportation Council (RTC) entered into Intergovernmental Agreement to establish the Bi-State Transportation Committee; and
WHEREAS, the Bi-State Transportation Committee shall review all issues of bi-state significance; and
WHEREAS, Metro’s Joint Policy Advisory Committee (JPACT) and RTC shall take no action on an issue of major bi-state significance without first referring the issue to the Bi-Sate Transportation Committee for their consideration and recommendation; and
WHEREAS, the implementation of an HOV facility in the I-5 corridor has bi-state significance; now therefore,
BE IT RESOLVED,
- That a southbound HOV lane should be pursued by adding HOV capacity in Washington from 99th Street to the vicinity of the north end of the Interstate Bridge.
- That because of safety concerns an HOV lane should not be pursued across the Interstate Bridge at this time.
- That because of safety concerns a reversible southbound HOV lane in Oregon south of the Interstate Bridge should not be pursued at this time.
- That a southbound HOV lane in Oregon south of the Interstate Bridge to the vicinity of Lombard should be pursued as a part of the preliminary engineering design for the I-5 Delta Park to Lombard project.
- That a permanent northbound HOV lane in Oregon continue to be pursued by resolving the perceived issues of safety and enforcement.
- That a northbound HOV lane north of the Interstate Bridge in Washington not be pursued at this time because the Interstate Bridge provides an effective metering of traffic. However, this position would be revisited in the future as conditions require.
- That a full corridor bi-directional long-term HOV facility be investigated as part of the I-5 Trade Corridor Study discussion of replacing or expanding the Interstate Bridge.
- That a public information and public involvement plan be developed by RTC and JPACT and carried out in coordination with the implementation of the Bi-State Transportation Committee HOV policy recommendations.
ADOPTED by the Bi-State Transportation Committee this 27th day of April 2000.
Chair Bi-State Transportation Committee,
||Bi-State Transportation Committee
||Dean Lookingbill, RTC Transportation Director
Andy Cotugno, Metro Transportation Director
||April 20, 2000
||Consideration of Resolution 04-00-01, I-5 HOV Facility Policy Recommendations
The attached resolution would: 1) Recognize the technical findings of the I-5 HOV Operational Study, 2) Adopt a policy strategy for the implementation of an HOV facility in the I-5 Corridor between Downtown Portland (vicinity of I-5 and Lombard) and Vancouver (vicinity of I-5 and 134th Street) and 3) send this recommendation on to JPACT/Metro and RTC for their consideration.
I-5 HOV OPERATIONAL TECHNICAL STUDY FINDINGS
The findings of I-5 HOV Operational Study have been presented to the Bi-State Transportation Committee at their February and March meetings. These findings are documented in the final report entitled, I-5 High Occupancy Vehicle Operational Study, April 2000. The purpose of the study was to conduct a traffic operational and design feasibility analysis of constructing an HOV lane in the I-5 corridor without widening the Interstate Bridge or Delta Park.
The study’s technical findings identified the following:
- A continuous HOV lane could be built on the Washington side, southbound from 134th Avenue to the Interstate Bridge.
- The travel time benefits of constructing a reversible HOV lane across the Interstate Bridge did not outweigh the safety and operational risks associated with the lane.
- A southbound reversible HOV lane on the Oregon portion also had safety and operational risks. This reversible lane would involve substantial capital and operating costs. A southbound HOV lane could be considered as part of the Delta Park widening project.
- The construction of a northbound HOV lane north of the Interstate Bridge would have limited travel time savings for HOV because of the bottleneck effect of the bridge.
In summary the findings concluded that a southbound bi-state HOV facility in the 2020 forecast year would save HOV users 8 to 10 minutes, carry more persons per hour (5120 persons) than the adjacent general purpose land (3850 persons) and help to ensure travel time reliability for buses and car pools.
STATUS OF EXISTING NORTHBOUND HOV LANE IN OREGON
Regarding the existing northbound HOV lane in Oregon. This HOV lane was implemented as a temporary mitigation measure during the I-5 Bridge Trunnion Repair Project. It has continued to be a mitigation measure during the I-5 Bridge Painting and for the upcoming preservation project on this section of I-5. The Oregon Department of Transportation has been considering how to make the HOV lane permanent. To date measures of effectiveness demonstrate that the HOV lane is successful in carrying more person trips than in the adjacent general purpose lane. Public approval for the HOV lane has been consistently high, even among corridor users who do not use the lane. There are two primary issues that need to be resolved for ODOT to make the lane permanent:
- Safety. Because the lane was originally envisioned as a temporary mitigation measure, ODOT was able to secure needed approvals to implement the HOV lane with design exceptions. Notably, the safety shoulders on this segment are quite narrow in some places and non-existent in others. To make the HOV lane permanent, ODOT will either need to demonstrate that the lane is safe given the accident history or work towards implementing standard safety shoulders throughout the length of the HOV lane. ODOT is pursuing both of these options at this time by continuing to monitor the safety record for the lane, and by working to get preliminary engineering funds for the I-5 Delta Park to Lombard project.
- Enforcement. A successful HOV lane depends on enforcement. ODOT can only pay for enforcement of the lane while this project is a mitigation measure. A plan to finance the enforcement of the HOV lane needs to be developed in order for a permanent HOV lane to be effective.
I-5 OPERATIONAL STUDY IMPLEMENTATION FINDINGS BY SEGMENT
The following section contains a segment by segment description of the findings for implementing HOV in the I-5 corridor. (See also "Selected HOV Lane Configuration" in Executive Summary.) The short term strategies listed are those that could be implemented within the next five years with available funding. Longer term strategies extend beyond the five year time and would require new funding sources.
I-5 from 99th Street to Main Street Interchange
- Short Term: AM peak southbound HOV lane should be provided by designating the new general purpose lane, now under construction, to an HOV lane. This segment would then consist of an HOV lane, two general purpose lanes and an auxiliary lane. No PM peak northbound HOV lane in this segment is recommended.
- Long Term: If new bridge capacity were provided across the Columbia River, the conversion of the southbound auxiliary lane to a general purpose travel lane should be considered if warranted by congestion. Additional bridge capacity from Oregon into Washington would also warrant the reconsideration of a northbound HOV lane in Washington.
Main Street to the Interstate Bridge
- Short Term: AM peak southbound HOV should be provided by adding HOV capacity. This segment would then consist of an HOV lane, two general purpose lanes and the extension of an auxiliary lane from Mill Plain to SR-14. No PM northbound HOV lane in this segment is recommended.
- Long Term: If new bridge capacity were provided across the Columbia River a northbound HOV lane in Washington should be re-considered.
- Short Term: No HOV lane across the Interstate Bridge is recommended.
- Long Term: The I-5 Trade Corridor Study should determine whether or not HOV lane(s) should be part of a new or expanded bridge.
- Short Term: Maintain the existing interim HOV lane northbound.
- Long Term: Provide new southbound and permanent northbound capacity for an HOV lanes in Oregon through the Delta Park project area. The southbound HOV lane extension through Delta Park is a critical component of a successful bi-state HOV facility.
The recommendations in this resolution give JPACT/Metro and RTC direction from a bi-state perspective. Prior to reaching a decision to build an HOV lane in Oregon, ODOT will need to meet the requirements of the National Environmental Policy ACT (NEPA) for construction of an additional lane through the Delta Park section of I-5. The project development process will need to include an HOV lane as an option. If at the conclusion of that process, the HOV lane is the preferred option, JPACT and Metro would need to amend the
Regional Transportation Plan to incorporate the HOV lane and would need to ensure that the additional project meets air quality conformity for the region.
Prior to reaching a decision to build an HOV lane in Washington, WSDOT will also need to meet the NEPA requirements both in regard to the current I-5 widening project and the HOV project to widen I-5 southbound, south of SR-500. If at the conclusion of this process, the HOV lane were the preferred option, RTC would need to seek Washington Transportation Commission approval for the operation of a peak period only HOV lane. RTC would also need to amend the
Metropolitan Transportation Plan to incorporate the HOV project and ensure that it meets air quality conformity
The I-5 HOV Operational Study held several public meetings in Clark County to solicit public comments on the range of HOV options. Prior to implementation of a recommended HOV project, more public involvement and outreach is needed on the specifics of the proposals in both Oregon and Washington.
Attachment: Bi-State Transportation Resolution
04-00-10, For the Purpose of Approving the I-5 HOV Facility Policy Recommendations