City of Camas seeks public’s input on transportation plan

Online survey gauges residents' most important issues on everything from wider roads, safer intersections, bike lanes and pedestrian walkways

Interested in how Camas officials might invest in future transportation projects, including not just road improvements but also bicycle lanes, pedestrian walkways and safer intersections? City leaders want to hear from you.

The city of Camas has posted an online survey on its Engage Camas website to gauge residents’ most important transportation issues and help guide the city’s Transportation System Plan (TSP).

“This plan will guide how we develop and invest in streets, pedestrian and bike facilities, and transit to meet the current and future needs of Camas and the surrounding areas,” the city’s introduction to the online survey notes. “It will help determine which projects, policies and programs are important to enhancing the quality of life in the city.”

Camas Engineering Manager James Carothers discussed the 20-year transportation plan with Camas City Council members during the Council’s Oct. 18 meeting.

The city’s work on the plan, which will update Camas’ Transportation Impact Fee (TIF) and come up with a list of — and possible funding sources for — 20 years’ worth of city transportation projects, has been stymied over the past two years, Carothers noted.

City staff, along with consultants from DKS Associates, were working on the TSP when the COVID-19 pandemic began and many of the city’s general-fund projects were put on hold. More recently, Carothers noted, “staff has slowed the progress on remaining tasks in order to gather public comments on this plan.”

The city’s online survey went live on the Engage Camas site in mid-October.

City staff will coordinate a committee meeting with stakeholders, including public officials from city and regional agencies, after gathering more public input, Carothers said.

“Staff wants to be sure to include public engagement prior to presenting a TIF draft to Council,” Carothers said on Oct. 18, adding that city staff are aiming for adoption of the TSP and updated transportation impact fees in mid-2022, “but want to be sure all interested parties are heard before wrapping up the process.”

The online survey, available at EngageCamas.com, asks Camas residents to weigh in on how easily they can walk, bicycle or ride public transit to Camas destinations and if traffic and congestion are issues when driving through Camas. The survey also asks participants to prioritize travel modes — including biking, walking, driving, public transit — from most to least important, and to help city leaders understand how participants feel about issues like safety, congestion, livability, travel options other than driving and a well-connected transportation system.

Camas’ interim mayor, Ellen Burton, said she hoped Camas residents who have had concerns about the city’s roads and transportation projects would lend their voices to the city’s public input process.

“I do want to encourage everyone who is interested in traffic improvements and in advocating for their specific streets to go to Engage Camas (and participate in the city’s online transportation survey),” Burton said.

For more information, visit engagecamas.com/transportation-system-plan or watch Carothers’ presentation during the city council’s Oct. 18 meeting at cityofcamas.us/cityc ouncil/page/city-council-r egular-meeting-3.