Transportation Alternatives: Clark, Skamania, and Klickitat Counties

Introduction

The President signed the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation Act (FAST Act) into law on December 4, 2015. The FAST Act replaced the Transportation Alternatives Program with a set-aside of funds under the Surface Transportation Block Grant Program. For administrative purposes, the FHWA refers to these funds as the TA Set-Aside.

The Transportation Alternatives (TA) program was authorized to provide for a variety of alternative transportation projects. The program goals address expanding travel choices, strengthening the local economy, improving the quality of life, and protecting the environment. Transportation Alternatives projects include pedestrian and bicycle facilities, viewing areas, community improvement activities, environmental remediation, recreational trails, and safe routes to school.

This program allows each region and/or state to develop their implementation program within the federal guidelines. However, projects must be chosen through a competitive project selection process.

Funding Levels

2010 Federal Urban Area Boundary Map The TA funding is suballocated to the RTC three-county RTPO region based on population, with varying amounts being allocated to US Census defined urban and rural areas. In addition, a portion of the funds are flexible and can be programmed within either the urban or rural areas. The attached map illustrates these areas.

The annual three-county RTC regional sub-allocation is approximately $500,000. The funding estimate for years 2021-2022 is based on the assumption that funding allocation will remain constant with the current allocation. In addition, RTC will allocate $300,000 per year of federal CMAQ funds to the TA process. The CMAQ funds must be spent on CMAQ eligible projects within the Air Quality Maintenance Area boundary, which includes Vancouver, Camas, and Washougal urban areas. The following table demonstrates estimated funding availability:

Estimated Transportation Alternatives Funding Sub-Allocation

  Urban Rural Flexible Total
2021-2022 TA $845,000 $195,000 $715,000 $1,755,000
2021-2022 CMAQ $600,000     $600,000
Total $1,445,000 $195,000 $715,000 $2,355,000