2013 Whatcom Transportation Plan

As both the federally-designated metropolitan planning organization (MPO) and the state-designated regional transportation planning organization (RTPO), WCOG is responsible for developing and maintaining a long-range metropolitan transportation plan (MTP) to satisfy federal requirements, and a regional transportation plan (RTP) to meet the requirements of Washington’s Growth Management Act. Because both plans call for a continuous, cooperative and comprehensive process, WCOG combines the MTP and RTP into a single document to ensure that the transportation strategies developed will serve the entire region. The current plan – called the Whatcom Transportation Plan – was adopted by the Whatcom Transportation Policy Board in 2012.

That plan will expire in June of 2017, so WCOG has begun the process of developing a new one, which will be called Whatcom Mobility 2040 (WM40). As the development of WM40 progresses, WCOG will post information on the WM40 page.

For more information on the process of developing Whatcom Mobility 2040, please contact Hugh Conroy, Director of Planning, at hugh@wcog.org or (360) 676-6974.

2013 Whatcom Transportation Plan

The Whatcom Transportation Plan is a comprehensive document that will guide transportation investment in Whatcom County through 2032, and in fact, proposed transportation projects must be contained in the Plan before they can be added to the regional Transportation Improvement Program, inclusion in which is a requirement for federal funding.

Pursuant to state and federal laws that require transportation plans to be updated at least every five years, the Whatcom Transportation Plan was updated and then adopted by the Whatcom Transportation Policy Board on June 27, 2012. It meets the requirements established in the federal transportation bill that was in effect at that time, the Safe, Accountable, Flexible and Efficient Transportation Equity Act – a Legacy for Users (SAFETEA-LU).

In July 2012, Congress passed and the President signed into law a new transportation act to replace SAFETEA-LU: Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century (MAP-21), which took effect on October 1, 2012.  Although this new act substantially changes many aspects of how transportation improvements are planned, selected and funded, it will take many months, if not a year or more, for the rules to be established.  Once promulgated, those rules will need to be incorporated into an updated version of the Whatcom Transportation Plan prior to MAP-21’s expiration on September 30, 2014.  The current version of the Plan will remain in effect until then.

The Plan also enables WCOG to meet other federal requirements by including as appendices the regional human services transportation (EACH) plan; a Title VI Plan that meets the requirements of the Civil Rights Act of 1964; the Regional Intelligent Transportation System Architecture, which is an inventory of the Region’s technology-based transportation assets that also describes future projects and identifies opportunities to integrate systems for improved cost-effectiveness and benefit; and a Public Participation Plan. Numerous other appendices are also included.

In October 2013 the Whatcom Transportation Policy Board approved an amendment to the 2012 Whatcom Transportation Plan that includes fifteen recommended projects. Projects were recommended for funding from the Surface Transportation Program (STP) (two projects), the Transportation Alternative Program (TAP) (two projects), and as part of the State-issued call for projects to be included in the State Freight Mobility Plan (six projects total).The 2013 WTP Amendment (13 kb PDF)

For more information on the Whatcom Transportation Plan, please contact Hugh Conroy, Director of Planning, at hugh@wcog.org or (360) 685-8384.