The annual report summarizes key 2020 accomplishments and recurring, recent and upcoming activities of the Vancouver Area Smart Trek (VAST) program which 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.
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.
RTC’s Public Participation Plan documents RTC’s commitment toward providing opportunity for public participation and sets RTC Board policy to allow for public comment and input in the transportation planning process. It includes information on RTC’s organization and the transportation Plans and Programs RTC publishes. The Public Participation Plan relates to the Council’s work on regional transportation planning and programming of regionally significant transportation projects. Policies and guidance for public outreach and participation are outlined in the December 2020 update to the Public Participation Plan.
The Smart Communities Assessment report describes the results of a survey conducted on behalf of area transportation agencies on the region’s capabilities and readiness to adopt strategies and smart technologies for infrastructure in operating the region’s transportation networks. The survey results were analyzed and compared to national peers, establishing a benchmark of regional awareness, readiness, and implementation of smart communities’ strategies.
The TIP is a four-year program of regionally significant transportation projects. The TIP represents an agency’s intent to implement a specific project and the anticipated flow of funds for that project. Regionally selected transportation projects are incorporated into the TIP along with other regionally significant projects selected for funding at the state or federal level.
The UFCO study analyzed near term operational and system management improvements that could serve to make the transportation system operate more efficiently and predictably. The strategies include approaches to get the most out of the existing system with low cost capital improvements and technology-based traffic management tools to optimize the flow of traffic and maximize available capacity. RTC led the study in partnership with the Washington State Department of Transportation, Clark County, the City of Vancouver and C-TRAN. The study is now complete and consists of a tiered set of strategy recommendations with detailed information sheets on the relative benefits to operations, safety and cost for each strategy.
The UPWP describes the transportation planning activities to be completed as part of the regional transportation planning process. This document is prepared annually by RTC to meet federal requirements. It details the funding sources required to carry out the planning program and addresses the major transportation policy issues of the forthcoming year.
The CMP focuses on delivering improved transportation system performance information to decision-makers who must identify the most cost-effective strategies for addressing transportation congestion and improving mobility. This project consists of collecting additional transportation data, analyzing transportation system performance, and annual preparation of a System Performance Report. The performance measures considered for this project include a corridor congestion ratio, speed as percent of speed limit, auto vehicle occupancy, truck percentage, transit seat capacity used, and other transportation measures.
The VEHOPS study was conducted by WSDOT, RTC, and other stakeholders to identify cost-effective projects to improve efficiency and predictability of the I-205 corridor. The study recommends strategies for both southbound and northbound I-205 that will help alleviate bottleneck locations in the AM and PM peak periods. This includes a list of potential viable strategies for further consideration and a list of strategies that were evaluated but are not recommended for further consideration. The VEHOPS study was coordinated with the Urban Freeway Corridor Operations study.
The RTP for Clark County is the region’s principal transportation planning document, representing a twenty-plus year regional transportation plan for Clark County. The Plan is developed through a coordinated process between local jurisdictions and transportation agencies in order to develop regional solutions to transportation needs.
SR-14 through Bingen and White Salmon was selected by WSDOT as a corridor that needed to be studied to identify transportation needs. The objective of this study was to analyze travel patterns and trends to identify existing and future transportation needs and identify possible solutions within the study area. A Transportation Summary and Executive Summary are also available.
The federal transportation act requires development of a Coordinated Human Services Transportation Plan. The HSTP addresses the transportation needs of the elderly, youth, people with disabilities, low income populations, and rural residents unable to provide transportation for themselves. The first HSTP for our region was adopted by the RTC Board of Directors in January 2007 and was updated in December 2010 and December 2014. The current HSTP was adopted in November 2018. The Plan supports grant requests submitted by agencies from this region for state and federal funding for human services transportation needs through the WSDOT’s statewide competitive Consolidated Public Transportation Grant program.
The RTP for Klickitat County establishes the region’s vision, goals, and principles for the enhancement of Klickitat County’s transportation system over the next 20 years. It details the transportation strategy to support the economic growth and prosperity of the region.
The RTP for Skamania County establishes the region’s vision, goals, and principles for the enhancement of Skamania County’s transportation system over the next 20 years. It details the transportation strategy to support the economic growth and prosperity of the region.
The Bus on Shoulder Feasibility Study is one of the strategies that RTC studied to manage congestion. The primary focus of the Study was to develop BOS concepts, evaluate potential geometric and operational constraints, and identify opportunities for implementing BOS. The study report documents the evaluation process and findings of the technical analysis, identifies policy issues, and includes a set of bus on shoulder recommendations for the SR-14 and I-205 corridors.
RTC and the Vancouver Area Smart Trek agencies have released the 2016 update to the Transportation System Management and Operations Plan, first developed and adopted by the RTC Board in June 2011. The TSMO Plan to guides the implementation of operational strategies and supporting Intelligent Transportation Systems technologies for Clark County in Southwest Washington. It presents a structure for accomplishing transportation system management objectives and making future ITS investments and capital improvements necessary to accomplish those objectives.
The TSMO Plan has three main sections: 1) emerging operational issues and trends that will impact the future direction of transportation systems management and operations; 2) a description of operational improvements on the transportation system over the last five years and envisioned for the next five and; 3) an implementation plan, which identifies the ITS communications and equipment needed to build the improvements and support system management and operations.
The RTC Board initially adopted the Ten-Year Transportation Project Priorities Report in November 2012. The Report was updated by the Board on January 6, 2015 to make the list of priority projects consistent with the updated RTP (December 2014). Listed projects are identified in the Report as being shorter-term needs in the Clark County RTP . Projects listed in the Report had been recommended for prioritization analysis by local jurisdictions and transportation agencies. The priority projects were analyzed based on the following transportation performance criteria: safety, mobility, multi-modal and support for economic development.
The RTC Board adopted recommendations, in November 2014, to address long- and short-term roadway improvements and transit operations in the I-205 corridor, as well a set of operational policies for regional freeway corridors in the region. They identified a core set of long term capital projects and a set of near term operational improvements for I-205. The analysis, findings and recommendations are described in the I-205 Access and Operations Study Report.
Demographers looking at national population data have identified three major trends of note – the population is growing; the population is aging; and the population is becoming more diverse. Theses national trends are playing out here in Clark County as well. To provide a foundation for the update to the Regional Transportation Plan, RTC has published a demographic profile for Clark County.
Safety for all modes of travel is an important component of the metropolitan transportation planning process. The Safety Management Assessment for Clark County, Washington is a tool to help identify the safety needs for the region. The current safety assessment is data driven to identify trends in the region’s collision data and includes recommended strategies to reduce fatalities and serious injuries for all modes on the region’s roadways. This assessment is intended to be folded into the next update to the Regional Transportation Plan.
RTC initiated the Clark County Freight Mobility Study in 2009 to provide an understanding of the key elements of freight movement and to explain why freight and goods movement is important to Clark County’s economy and employment. The study inventoried existing freight and goods movement, and identified current deficiencies and future action items to be addressed as part of ongoing regional and local planning processes. The study began to identify corridor investment needs in order to sustain jobs and economic development for existing and future industrial and employment centers. The study was conducted to supplement the Clark County RTP.