Clark County RTP: 2014 Update Underway
In early 2014, RTC began an update to the Regional Transportation Plan for Clark County. The Regional Transportation Plan, referred to as the RTP, is one of the Southwest Washington Regional Transportation Council’s core planning documents. It is the principal long-range transportation plan for the Clark County region and addresses existing and future transportation needs of people, freight and goods.
What is the RTP?
The RTP is the long-range, 20-year, plan for the region’s transportation system. The Plan is required by both federal and state laws as a condition for receipt of federal transportation funding to this region. The Plan must be regularly updated, must be multi-modal and fiscally constrained with reasonable expectation that revenues will be available to construct or implement the identified transportation projects and strategies in the Plan, and must maintain consistency between federal, state and local plans.
Why update the Plan in 2014?
The driving force behind development of a 2014 RTP update is the need to re-assess transportation investment needs given demographic trends and revised revenue forecasts. The 2014 RTP update will also pave the way toward a future, full implementation of the federal transportation act, MAP-21, which includes a number of new or refined requirements for the regional transportation planning process carried out by MPOs such as RTC. Among the new requirements is the need for a performance-based approach to transportation decision-making. In the future, transportation system performance measures and targets must be established and investments applied toward meeting the performance targets.
Steps Toward RTP Update
Key steps in the Plan’s update include:
- Confirming federal and state requirements of the RTP,
- Agreement on a 20-year growth forecast for population, households and employment,
- Establishing the regional policy framework to guide transportation system development, and
- Identifying transportation needs and either projects or strategy solutions.
The updated RTP will re-affirm the linkage between transportation and air quality and include a required air quality conformity determination.
The starting point of a Plan update should be articulation of key policies and goals that provide the foundation for the Plan, guide the Plan, and shape its priorities. Consistent transportation policy themes found in federal, state, regional and local transportation plans are: Economy, Safety and Security, Accessibility and Mobility, Management and Operations, Efficiencies, Environment, Community Vision and Values, Finance and Preservation. Currently, RTC is engaged in transportation policy discussion with RTAC members and the RTC Board. Preliminary discussions suggest that safety and mobility are core transportation issues but the two policy issues needing most focus in the 2014 RTP update are Economy and Finance. There are increasing concerns about how to meet the growing challenges of transportation system maintenance and preservation as well as funding transportation capital needs into the future. Regarding the policy on Economy, the question is how the transportation system can support economic development and community vitality.
RTP Development Process and Timeline
The Plan’s update will be developed through discussion with transportation stakeholders and the public, recommendations from the RTAC and decision-making by the RTC Board. During the RTP update process, this website will be a go-to resource for learning more about RTP elements. The proposed timeline for completion of the RTP update calls for requesting Plan adoption at the December 2, 2014 RTC Board meeting. More detailed information is available on RTP web pages.
How Do I Get Involved in the RTP Update?
RTC wants to hear from you about existing Clark County transportation challenges and your vision for a 20-year future transportation system. Staff will be reaching out to the community at meetings and providing regular updates on this website. At any time during the updating process, let us know what you think. You can provide comments electronically on this website, can telephone 360-397-6067 to talk with staff, provide written comments by mail to RTC, 1300 Franklin Street, Vancouver WA 98666, or provide more formal oral testimony at any of the RTC Board’s monthly meetings.