Government, Transportation, Washington County

County seeks two applicants for regional transportation commission

A map that shows the general area of the NWACT in Washington County. Photo courtesy Washington County Land Use and Transportation

Want to advise the Oregon Transportation Commission on transportation issues in rural western Washington County? Two positions — each for a two-year term — on a little-known regional commission are open for just that purpose. 

The Northwest Oregon Area Commission on Transportation (NWACT) is a commission chartered to advise the Oregon Transportation Commission, providing input on regional transportation issues in Clatsop, Columbia, and Tillamook counties and the western part of Washington County, including the cities of Banks and Gaston, portions of the North Plains area, and unincorporated communities such as Gales Creek, Timber, Buxton, and Manning. 

The deadline to apply for the seats is April 9, according to Christina Deffebach, a senior policy analyst for Washington County Land Use and Transportation. The Washington County Board of Commissioners is tasked with appointing two members to the NWACT.

Deffebach noted that as of March 29, there had not been much success in netting two applicants to fill the positions. To qualify, applicants must live within the western portion of Washington County that falls in the Oregon Department of Transportation’s Region 2. 

Responsibilities of NWACT members are myriad, within the scope of transportation issues. Duties include setting the board’s mission and purpose, providing a forum for advancing public awareness of regional transportation issues, understanding transportation issues in the communities within the bounds of the commission, and more. 

Members are also tasked with prioritizing project recommendations for ODOT’s State Transportation Improvement Program (STIP), ConnectOregon, and Critical Oregon Airport Relief (COAR) funding, and many other projects. 

NWACT is one of 12 similar advisory groups chartered across the state, each dealing with local and regional transportation issues that involve the state transportation system, which includes any number of projects and infrastructure, including highways, bridges, cycling lanes and paths, and more. 

Regionally, three major highways maintained by ODOT cut through the area. Highway 6, which forms Banks’ southern border and cuts through Gales Creek and the Tillamook Forest, Highway 26, which borders North Plains, goes through Manning and Buxton, and Highway 47, which also doubles as Banks’ Main Street, Gaston’s Front Street and passes through more communities on its way to Vernonia. 

NWACT meets virtually, generally the second Thursday of every other month. 

Submit an application at

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Chas Hundley is the editor of the Banks Post and sister news publications the Gales Creek Journal and the Salmonberry Magazine. He grew up in Gales Creek and has a cat.

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