Whatcom Transportation Policy Board

In accordance with urban transportation planning requirements imposed by the Code of Federal Regulations, the Whatcom Council of Governments serves as the designated Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) for the Bellingham Urbanized Area. An MPO is required in any urbanized area with a population of 50,000 or more for that region to receive federal transportation funding. The U.S. Department of Transportation has promulgated guidelines to ensure that a “continuing, cooperative and comprehensive” transportation planning process exists to meet established federal, state and local mobility goals. Among the principal products required of an MPO are a Transportation Improvement Program (TIP) and an annual schedule of funded planning activities known as the Unified Planning Work Program.

With the codification of the Washington State Growth Management Act of 1990, Regional Transportation Planning Organizations (RTPOs) were established and WCOG was designated as the RTPO for Whatcom County. The principal responsibility of an RTPO is to prepare and regularly update a regional transportation plan. Since metropolitan and regional transportation plan requirements share common elements, WCOG has combined these plans into one document, known as Whatcom Mobility 2040.

To ensure that metropolitan and regional transportation planning are carried out in a coordinated process that minimizes unnecessary duplication of work and oversight, the MPO and RTPO policy boards have been merged into the Whatcom Transportation Policy Board (WTPB). In addition to governing the metropolitan and regional transportation planning processes, the WTPB is charged with allocating the combination of federal, state and local funds to the numerous projects contained in the TIP. The WTPB may also request WCOG staff to perform analyses or other research to assist them in understanding the often complex issues they are called on to address.

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Voting Members

Scott Korthuis


Mayor of Lynden

Pinky Vargas


Bellingham City Council

Greg Hansen


Mayor of Ferndale

Seth Fleetwood

Mayor of Bellingham

Bonnie Onyon

Mayor of Blaine

John Perry

Mayor of Everson

Kyle Christensen

Mayor of Sumas

Carol Frazey

Whatcom County Council

Secretary (non-voting member)

Robert H. Wilson, AICP

Executive Director

Whatcom Council of Governments

Ex-Officio Members

Rep. Debra Lekanoff

40th District

Rep. Alex Ramel

40th District

Sen. Liz Lovelett

40th District

Rep. Alicia Rule

42nd District

Rep. Sharon Shewmake

42nd District

Sen. Doug Ericksen

42nd District

Kimberly Perry

Bellingham Technical College

Terry Terry

Citizens' Transportation Advisory Group Chairwoman

Atul Deshmane

Public Utility District No. 1

Chris Comeau

Transportation Technical Advisory Group Representative

Chris Roselli

Western Washington University

Kathi Hiyane-Brown

Whatcom Community College