WCTS Approach and Timeline


Study Approach and Timeline

We're currently in the process of updating the county's Transportation System Plan (TSP), which has a 20-year planning horizon. Building on that work, the longer-term Washington County Transportation Study will look much further out into the future - allowing us to think even longer-term about our future transportation challenges and opportunities.

Because this is a study and not a plan, the proposed study tasks focus on defining the transportation needs and choices for future decisions—not on selecting a preferred scenario or adopting a plan. The study approach reflects the county's intent to be inclusive and comprehensive throughout the two-year study process. While specific project milestones and public involvement opportunities will be refined as a detailed work plan is finalized, four basic phases are proposed:

Phase 1

Launch the study

Phase 2

Taking stock

Phase 3

Looking ahead

Phase 4

Reporting out


  • Consider comments on this proposed approach to refine the work plan
  • Solicit proposals from consultants to assist in the study  

  • Tasks:

    Review findings from previous land use and transportation studies and plans
  • Summarize existing land use and transportation  plans
  • Document transportation challenges on the multimodal system
  • Identify community values that will guide evaluation of future investment scenarios

  • Define a wide range of investments across different modes and combine them into investment scenarios for evaluation
  • Model future transportation conditions with the investment scenarios and evaluate them against community values and land use assumptions


  • Share draft study report with the public and stakeholders
  • Prepare final report following public comments
  • Share study results and community/stakeholder input with the public and policy makers, including the Washington
    County Coordinating Committee and Board of County Commissioners


  • Establish consultant team, work plan, and technical and advisory committees


  • Frame opportunities and challenges facing the county in the upcoming 20-50 years


  • Evaluation results of alternative investment scenarios


  • Final report that documents assumptions, scenarios and results and frames choices for future consideration

  Public Input  3

Winter 2013-
Spring 2014

Summer-Fall 2014

Fall 2014-
Summer 2015

Fall 2015


Study Roles and Responsibilities

Washington County’s Department of Land Use & Transportation (LUT) will lead this study under the direction of the Board of County Commissioners (Board). The county will hire a consultant team through an open contracting process. The Washington County Coordinating Committee, made up of elected officials from the county and all cities in Washington County plus representatives from the Oregon Department of Transportation, Port of Portland, TriMet and Metro, will review the study at milestones and recommend future steps to the Board. Staff from cities and agencies will provide technical assistance.

A public engagement process will be established to ensure that diverse viewpoints are used to help project staff define opportunities and challenges facing the county based on different land use assumptions, investment scenarios, and community values. Input will be solicited from among interests including small and large employers, agricultural industry and rural areas, freight and goods movement, transit and active transportation, transit-dependant communities including senior citizens and youth, those for whom English is not their first language, educational institutions, development industry and the incorporated and unincorporated communities within the county. An advisory committee compromised of a broad and balanced set of interests will advise staff on these issues. Committee members will be appointed by the Board and selected through a formal process.

Study Elements

Build on solid data, including:

  • Best available economic and demographic information
  • Long term planned development in existing and future urban areas
  • Travel demand projections and travel patterns, including freight and goods movement
  • System operations, including travel time and reliability for all modes

Provide meaningful public and stakeholder engagement:

  • Use public and stakeholder input to inform the study
  • Establish an advisory committee comprised of diverse stakeholders including those representing urban, rural, young, old, businesses, residents, historically under represented communities, and pedestrians and bicyclists.
  • Solicit input about challenges, opportunities, scenarios and community values
  • Engage existing forums, organizations, agencies and jurisdictions
  • Use technology to efficiently and effectively promote public engagement

 Develop a mix of transportation investment scenarios that reflect:

  • Creativity – this is a chance to think "big" for the long term
  • All modes – new road and transit capacity, completing/improving the bicycle and pedestrian systems and more
  • Technology advancements - smart technology to make better use of the existing system, including traffic operations, car sharing, telecommuting, etc.

Evaluate the scenarios against community values, considering:

  • Livability, economy, environment, public health and equity
  • A set of land use assumptions
  • Costs and benefits of the various tradeoffs

Comments or Questions?

A public comment period was held December 18, 2013 through January 28, 2014 to collect input on the draft study approach. We developed a summary report of the public comments. You can also view all comments received through January 28.

To submit a comment to the project team, visit our Submit a Comment page.