The area around Northeast 179th Street is experiencing rapid development. Development will increase traffic in the area. The existing road network was not designed to accommodate the increased traffic volume. A plan is needed to balance increased traffic volumes with safety and mobility. The goals of the plan are:
- Make main roads safe for drivers, cyclists and pedestrians.
- Prevent traffic congestion.
- Accommodate infrastructure and utility needs of the rapidly developing area.
- Protect the area’s wetlands, creeks and wildlife and reduce stormwater pollution.
Page contents (click to jump to a section)
- About the plan
- Community listening sessions
- Council hearing July 18
- Project timeline
- Public input archive
Learn about this planning effort and various capital projects planned for the area by watching this video:
The area around Northeast 179th Street is rapidly developing. Development will increase traffic volumes. This will increase congestion and make travel through the corridor less safe. An access management and circulation plan will help avoid those issues.
Years ago, the area around Northeast 134th Street experienced rapid development. There was no adopted plan for how to change the area's road system to accommodate increased traffic. As a result, the area experienced severe traffic congestion. To east congestion, a major capital project was needed to create an interchange at Northeast 139th Street. The 179th Street Access Managment and Circulation Plan plans ahead to avoid congestion issues.
The plan aims to prevent congestion and safety issues as the area develops. The plan helps guide the connection of new, local roads built by developers (not Public Works) to the rest of the road network.
The plan includes:
- Proposed road changes.
- New roadway connections
- Relocation of roadways
- Recommended road design.
- Number of lanes
- Facilities for bicyclists and pedestrians
- Intersection types and locations.
- Stop-sign-controlled intersections
- Traffic-light-controlled intersections
- Access locations.
- Where vehicles can turn on to/off of main roads
- Driveway access
- Safety features.
- Bike lanes
The plan does not:
- Initiate county acquisition of privately-owned land.
- Review or approve proposed developments.
- Approve or initiate overall development in the area.
- Require that property owners develop their land.
Recommendations in the plan are only implemented as property develops. Property development is the result of private owners deciding to sell their property.
Recommendations in the plan include roadways that would be built by the county, the state (Washington Department of Transportation), developers or through partnerships.
This plan is not a capital (i.e., construction) project. Capital projects sometimes require small portions of private property to be purchased to widen a road, etc. Often only a small portion of a private parcel is needed for a public project. When this happens, the county informs the property owners about their rights. We also offer fair market value for the property and pay for any loss in value to the remaining property. In cases where the size or shape of the remaining property has little or no value or use, we offer to purchase the entire property. For more information, go to clark.wa.gov/public-works/property-acquisition.
The proposed plan was scheduled to be adopted during the 2021 annual update to the Comprehensive Growth Management Plan. On May 25, 2022, council moved the plan from the 2021 update cycle to the 2022 cycle. Council also directed staff to provide additional opportunities for public input. The plan can be adopted and implemented if the Planning Commission recommends it for adoption (which it did in February 2022) and council approves it.
The plan was created by engineering consultants and county transportation planning staff. Transportation planners used industry standard models and best practices to create the plan. The plan’s goal is to create a corridor where vehicles, pedestrians and bicyclists can travel safely and efficiently.
Two stakeholder groups were involved in the creation of the plan:
- The Technical Advisory Committee, which included staff from:
- Washington State Department of Transportation
- Clark County (planners and engineers)
- City of Vancouver
- The Stakeholder Advisory Committee, which included representatives of:
- Neighborhood associations
- Utility providers
Each group met three times during the development of the plan to provide guidance and input as the plan’s recommendation’s were developed.
Public input was gathered at multiple public meetings across several years, and in writing via mail and email. Public comments influenced several aspects of or changes to the plan, including:
- Preserving left turn access between Northeast 15th Avenue and Northeast 29th Avenue. The left turn access would remain until an intersection or access control is needed because of traffic volumes or safety issues.
- Removal of a proposed neighborhood circulator road near Northeast 174th Street.
- Relocation of a planned roundabout from Northeast 45th Avenue to Northeast Mill Creek Avenue.
Some roads proposed in the plan could not be relocated because of the location of wetlands in the area. The plan’s recommendations avoid wetlands and aim to preserve wildlife habitat. Also, existing developments and developments under construction make some changes not possible.
Additional plan information
Community listening sessions
In late June and early July 2023, Clark County Public Works Director/County Engineer Ken Lader, with Deputy County Manager Amber Emery, hosted several community listening sessions about the 179th Street Access Management and Circulation Plan. The goal of the listening sessions was to provide residents a small-group forum in which to voice their comments and concerns. Additional staff were present to help answer questions.
Slides shown during the listening sessions and meeting minutes are below.
- June 26 listening session meeting minutes
- June 27 listening session meeting minutes
- June 29 listening session meeting minutes
- July 6 listening session meeting minutes
- Listening session slides
- Interactive access management and circulation plan map
At the listening sessions, several residents expressed desire to view detailed project plans and maps. Due to the large size of those files, we are unable to post those on the website. Please contact us and we will work to provide you with copies.
Public hearing July, 18 2023
The Clark County council is holding a hearing about the 179th Street Access Management and Circulation Plan on Tuesday, July 18. The goal of the hearing is to provide council with the Planning Commission’s Feb. 17, 2022 recommendation to approve the 179th Street Access Management and Circulation Plan and provide additional recommended plan changes based on public input. Additional hearing information will be posted and available on June 30, 2023.
County Council meetings will be held in a hybrid format and the public is encouraged to participate in the following ways:
- In person attendance in the Council's Hearing Room, 6th Floor, Public Service Center, 1300 Franklin Street, Vancouver, WA 98666
- Virtually via WebEx (join by phone or computer): information for the meetings will be posted on the Meeting Agendas & Archives page one week prior to the meeting: https://clark.wa.gov/councilors/clark-county-council-meetings
- Watch the meeting live on CVTV (Comcast channel 23)
- Livestream from a personal computer at www.cvtv.org
- Submit written comments via the County website at https://clark.wa.gov/councilors/public-comment or via the US Postal Service to the Clark County Council, c/o Rebecca Messinger, PO Box 5000, Vancouver, WA 98666-5000
- Read your comments into the record. Instructions are available on the County website at https://clark.wa.gov/councilors/clark-county-council-meetings. They can be found at the top of the meeting page, as well as in the related document portion of that meeting entry.
- You may submit items like maps, photos, graphics, articles, legal history, etc., to become part of the record of the county’s decision. To do so, you must provide the item. Hand it to staff at the meeting, attach it to your digital testimony, or physically send it via USPS or a delivery service that will get it to the county before the meeting. Referring to an item, sending a link to an item, or showing an item during testimony without giving it to staff, for example, would not enter an item into the record.
July 18 County Council Hearing
Council work session March 29
The Clark County Council work session on Wednesday, March 29 was about the 179th Street Access Managment and Circulation Plan. The goal of the work session was to provide council with information about the plan. Council is requesting this information as they consider adopting the plan. At the work session, staff presented questions submitted by residents and provide answers, as time allowed.
The council will decide whether to move the plan to a public hearing. If the plan moves to a public hearing, the public will have an opportunity to submit additional comments during the hearing.
The work session will not delve into the circumstances that led to the need for the plan, i.e., development and lifting of the area's urban holding designation.
Work Session Outreach
Public input for the work session
Please review these lists of questions submitted by the public, and responses:
Submit questions or comments about the plan that are not reflected in the documents above to firstname.lastname@example.org. Comments received by 5 p.m. Monday, March 20 will be combined with the above documents and, as time allows, be addressed by staff during the work session. Questions submitted after that time will receive responses from staff and be shared with council after the March 29 work session.
- The plan was scheduled to be adopted during the 2021 annual review of the Clark County Comprehensive Growth Management Plan.
- Council agreed to move the plan to the 2022 review.
- Notice of Intent to Adopt Amendment submitted to Department of Commerce
- Meetings, hearings and public outreach
- In February 2022, the Planning Commission voted unanimously to recommend to the County Council that it approve the proposed amendments to the county’s Arterial Atlas and adopt the 179th Street Access Management and Circulation Plan.
- Council asked that the public be provided with additional opportunities to provide input on the plan.
- In August 2022, staff hosted an open house about the project.
- Staff gathered the questions and comments from the open house, and additional comments received via email, and provided them to council with a responses and analysis.
- Meetings, hearings and public outreach
- Jan. 27: Virtual public open house
- Feb. 3: Development and Engineering Advisory Board recommendation
- Feb. 17: Planning Commission hearing
- Planning Commission Recommendation to Clark County Council
- Planning Commission Minutes (excerpt)
- Planning Commission Presentation
- Staff Report and Recommendation
- Exhibit 1 179th Street Access Management and Circulation Plan
- Planning Commission Minutes (excerpt)
- Public Comments
- Proposed Arterial Atlas Amendments
- Supporting Documents
- March: legal notices for hearings published in The Columbian
- May 3: Council hearing
- July: 25,000 mailers sent to property owners and residents in the project area
- Aug. 8: staff presentation at Neighborhood Association Council of Clark County meeting
- July: open house news release, shared by local press
- Aug. 11: Hybrid open house
- Sept. 28: Council work session
- Council hosted a work session on March 29 to:
- Hear from staff about how public comments and questions were considered in creation of the plan.
- Ask questions of project staff and consultants.
- Receive (limited) additional public comment about the plan (as time allows).
- Consider adoption of the plan.
- At the work session, council voted to move the plan to a public hearing.
- Community listening sessions are scheduled for late June and early July. Learn more.
- Council is hosting a public hearing on July 18 to consider adoption of the plan. Learn more.