Emerging technologies such as electric vehicles (EVs) and connected and autonomous vehicles (CAVs) will impact the regional transportation system and it is important to plan now to meet future needs created by technological changes. A primary reason for an Electric Vehicle Readiness and Connected and Autonomous Vehicle Plan is to create a resource for future discussions and collaboration to help the region begin to address emerging technologies on a regional level. This plan does not propose any new regional policies or strategies, but parts of this work will inform future policy development during the next update to the Regional Transportation Plan (RTP).
CWCOG is required by federal and state regulations to develop a Regional Transportation Plan (RTP) for its Metropolitan and Regional Transportation Planning Organizations that has at least a 20-year planning horizon. The current version is two plans in one; a Metropolitan Transportation Plan (MTP) for the Longview-Kelso-Rainier Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) and a Regional Transportation Plan (RTP) for the five-county Southwest Washington Regional Transportation Planning Organization (SWRTPO). The 2045 RTP provides a 27-year look into the future and is used to guide decisions and prioritize investments to meet current and anticipated demands on the regional level.
CWCOG is required by federal and state regulations to develop a Transportation Improvement Program for its Metropolitan and Regional Transportation Planning Organization that covers a four-year period. The Regional Transportation Improvement Program (RTIP) identifies and priorities federally funded and/or regionally significant transportation projects within both the MPO and RTPO. One of the primary purposes is the RTIP is to identify the transportation projects to be included on the Statewide Transportation Improvement Program (STIP) for Washington or Oregon. Related to the RTIP, an Annual Listing of Obligated Projects is published annually in March to track the progress made towards implementation of projects programmed in the RTIP. The Annual Listing of Obligated Projects is a federal requirement and only includes projects in the MPO and Cowlitz County.
The Unified Planning Work Program (UPWP) is published annually to show how federal and state funds will b used for the MPO and SWRTPO for the next state fiscal year (July 1-June 30). The UPWP is developed by CWCOG staff in cooperation with the MPO/SWRTPO member agencies and the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) Regions (Southwest and Olympic). The document is reviewed by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), WSDOT, and the Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) prior to adoption by the CWCOG Board of Directors. Related to the UPWP, the UPWP Annual Report is published annually in September to show progress made in the previous fiscal year at completing tasks in the UPWP. The UPWP Annual Report shows a comparison of actual performance with established goals, budgeted amounts compared to actual expenses, cost overruns or underruns, and approved work program revisions.
The Coordinated Public Transit-Human Services Transportation Plan (CTP-HSTP) for the SWRTPO discusses mobility in the region and how it can be improved, especially for people with disabilities, low-income, young and elderly individuals, veterans, and rural residents. The plan covers existing mobility services; additional needs for services identified by transportation providers, human service providers, and the public; and future strategies for meeting those needs in Cowlitz, Grays Harbor, Lewis Pacific, and Wahkiakum counties.
CWCOG is working with transportation stakeholders in the Longview-Kelso-Rainier Metropolitan Planning Area on developing an up to date ITS architecture for the next 10 to 15 years. A regional ITS architecture is essential for deploying, integrating, and operating technology-based improvements to the transportation system. ITS technologies help advance transportation safety and mobility and improve the movement of goods and services by integrating communication technologies into the infrastructure and connected passenger and commercial vehicles. Maintaining and implementing an ITS architecture will help prevent potential crashes, keep traffic moving, decrease the negative environmental impacts of the transportation sector on society, and help to prepare the region for connected autonomous vehicles.
A development team consisting of CWCOG staff, City of Longview staff, Federal Highway Administration staff and their consultants, are working to finalize the architecture. The development team held a kick-off workshop in October 2018 to bring together key stakeholders. The workshop provided an introduction to the planned ITS architecture and stakeholders were given an opportunity to provide input on existing and future ITS services.
The development team has aligned the ITS architecture with policies and strategies identified in the recently updated 2045 Regional Transportation Plan. The policies include:
- Multimodal Freight Capacity and Efficiency
- Regional Coordination
- Enhance Existing State Routes
- Modernize and Expand Public Transportation
- Public Transportation Coordination
- Public Transportation New Technology
As part of the process, more than 40 public and private stakeholders have been identified that can benefit from and help to implement a coordinated and integrated ITS architecture. During the October 2018 and following meetings, stakeholders helped create an inventory of existing or planned ITS elements.
Based on the ITS inventory and input from stakeholders on future needs, a list of ITS services has been created. ITS services are the things that can be done to improve the efficiency, safety, and convenience of the regional transportation system though better information and new technologies.