2. Whatcom’s Regionally Significant System

2. Whatcom’s Regionally Significant System

The scope and perspective of regional transportation planning is different than that conducted by local governments, the state, tribes, transit providers, and other entities. This section of Way to Go, Whatcom 2045 describes the Regionally Significant (transportation) System (RSS), including existing and future facilities, services, and programs that are of common interest and impact in the Whatcom region.

2.1. Facilities and related services

The RSS includes both publicly and privately-owned and operated components, including roads, portions of roads, and other dedicated facilities for bicycle and pedestrian travel, railroads, marine terminals, transit stations, and airports. Physical assets such as border inspection stations, parking lots, and electric vehicle charging stations are also included in the RSS.

2.1.1. Roads

  • Roads classified as principal or minor arterials per the Federal Highway Administration functional classification system
  • All state roads
  • Roads serving intermodal facilities, including:
    • Amtrak stations
    • airports
    • ferry terminals
    • intercity bus terminals
    • multipurpose passenger facilities
    • port terminals
    • public transit stations
    • truck/pipeline terminals
    • truck/rail facilities
  • Roads serving major activity centers including:
    • regional hospitals
    • schools
    • emergency management centers
    • shopping centers
    • industrial centers
    • employment centers
    • recreation and tourism centers
  • Washington State Freight and Goods Transportation System (FGTS) routes T-1 through T-4
  • Roads that support facilities generating or attracting significant freight-truck shipments and/or deliveries (Note: Most routes between concentrations of freight trip-ends are served by roads included in the RSS by virtue of the criteria listed above. This criterion allows inclusion of some roads that do not meet the other criteria, but because of the type and/or volume of traffic they serve, they advance regional transportation goals.)

2.1.2. Bicycle & pedestrian (Active transportation)

  • Bicycle routes and bike/pedestrian facilities (trails, etc.) serving regional connections or intermodal facilities. Examples of regional bike/pedestrian routes include:
    • The Bay-to-Baker Trail
    • The Coast Millennium Trail
    • The Nooksack Loop
    • Regional sections of the U.S. Bicycle Route System
  • Examples of bike/pedestrian facilities that serve RSS intermodal facilities include:
    • Dedicated trails serving a park & ride/transit hubs
    • bike-sharing stations co-located with a transit facility
  • Bike share services

2.1.3. Parking

  • Publicly owned parking for private vehicles (no-charge and priced), including:
    • On-street parking
    • Publicly owned parking lots and structures
  • Passenger vehicle parking facilities located at:
    • Employment centers
    • Institutional uses (schools, hospitals, etc.)
    • Retail and service providers
    • Intermodal (rail, ferry, transit, park-and-rides, etc.)
  • Park and rides
  • Truck parking facilities (public and private facilities where large freight trucks can park for legally required driver rest)
  • Privately owned public parking garages
  • Facilities for secure parking of bikes and other wheeled mobility devices

2.1.4. Rail

  • Railroads (right-of-way, tracks, and related facilities)
  • Passenger rail stations
  • Freight-rail carrier services (e.g., BNSF, CN)

2.1.5. Marine

  • Alaska Marine Highway System
  • Public ferry boats and auto and passenger ferry terminals
  • Marine cargo and passenger terminals and services
  • U.S. Maritime Administration (MARAD) Marine Highway System route

2.1.6. Transit

  • Public transit routes, built amenities (pullouts, shelters, etc.), services from:
    • Whatcom Transportation Authority (WTA) and its partners for fixed-route, paratransit, on-demand, and inter-county routes
    • Lummi Transit
    • Private scheduled-route operators (Greyhound, Flix, Bellair Airporter, Quik, etc.)
    • Amtrak Cascades inter-city rail service
    • School district buses
  • Bus stations (WTA, Port of Bellingham, and private scheduled-route operators)
  • Bus maintenance facilities

2.1.7. Air

  • Bellingham International Airport
  • Lynden Airport
  • Passenger airlines (Alaska, Allegiant, Horizon, San Juan, Southwest, others)
  • Air freight carriers (Alaska Air Cargo, FedEx)

2.1.8. Other facilities

  • Intermodal
  • U.S. and Canadian federal border inspection stations
  • Electric vehicle charging stations, fuel stations, other vehicle-service centers

2.2. Other services

  • Ride services (taxis, Lyft, Uber, etc.)
  • Car share services (e.g., ZipCar, peer-to-peer, etc.)
  • Vehicle rental
  • Shared mobility (bikes, scooters, etc.)

2.3. Programs

  • Safety
    • Washington State’s Target Zero
    • Whatcom Unified Emergency Management
  • Transportation demand management (TDM)
    • Whatcom Smart Trips Program
    • Washington State’s Commute Trip Reduction Program
  • Transportation system management & operations (TSMO) and operational programs and strategies (including intelligent transportation systems)
  • Transportation system planning
    • MPO/RTPO planning as described in WCOG’s unified planning work program (UPWP)
    • The International Mobility and Trade Corridor Program (IMTC) – cross-border regional planning
    • North Sound Transportation Alliance program (NSTA)