Tag Archives: regionalism

Economy, Environment, Transportation

Q&A: Phil Mendelson, Chairman, Council of the District of Columbia

Phil Mendelson was first elected to the Council of the District of Columbia in November of 1998 as an At-Large Councilmember. He served the District in that role until June 2012 when, following the departure of the previous Council Chairman, he was selected by his colleagues to take over that role. In November 2012, District […]

Public Safety

Q&A: Richard Bowers, Fairfax County Fire Chief

In 2013, the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors appointed Richard R. Bowers Jr. as the county’s fire chief. A 35-year veteran of the Montgomery County, Md. Fire and Rescue Service, Bowers served as MCFRS fire chief from 2008 to 2013. A Pentagon and Hurricane Katrina New Orleans Citation Award recipient, he was Montgomery County’s Firefighter […]

Economy, Housing, Land Use, Transportation

Regional Groups Discuss Growth Needs, Changing Economy

After a period of flat job growth, the National Capital Region’s economy is expected to rebound, and area leaders are looking at ways to work together to support and sustain this expected growth. Officials gathered on February 11 at George Mason University’s Arlington campus to hear a presentation by Dr. Stephen Fuller on the region’s […]

Economy, Housing, Land Use

Activity Centers: Economic Engines and Livable Places

“For many people, this is a neighborhood where you can live, you can work, you can shop, you can have lots of cultural and recreational choices, all in the same place,” explains Harriet Tregoning, Director of the District of Columbia Office of Planning,  in describing NoMA in a new video from COG and Mobility Lab. […]

Coalition Work, Public Safety, Transportation

Q&A: Melissa Peacor, Prince William County Executive

Melissa S. Peacor is the County Executive of Prince William County, Virginia. She has worked for Prince William County since 1985 following jobs with the Seattle, Wash., Economic Development Office and the City of Glendale, Ariz., Strategic Planning Office. Peacor is also currently Chair of COG’s Chief Administrative Officers (CAO) Committee of city and county […]

Land Use, Transportation

Congresswoman Edwards Stresses Development around Metro Stations

Calling attention to the Council of Governments’ work to address regional transportation coordination Congresswoman Donna Edward (D-MD 4th District) addressed the COG Board today, highlighting the critical need to, “have a lot of cooperation across jurisdictional lines.”  Representative Edwards, who lives in Prince George’s County captured the complex issues affecting the densely populated Washington Metro […]


Workshop Helps Residents Learn About Transportation Decision-Making in Metro Washington

Seven years ago, the Transportation Planning Board hosted its first Community Leadership Institute, or CLI, a workshop-style event designed to help current or emerging citizen leaders from around the Washington region learn about how transportation decisions are made and how to become more involved in the decision-making process. On Saturday, May 4, a group of 22 […]


“Street Smart” Pedestrian and Bicycle Safety Program Launches Spring 2013 Campaign

Between now and mid-May, motorists, pedestrians, and bicyclists throughout the region will hear and see reminders about how to stay safe and avoid traffic accidents as warmer spring weather and longer daylight hours bring more people out on foot and on bicycles. The Transportation Planning Board’s semi-annual “Street Smart” campaign, held every spring and fall, […]


Under MAP-21, a Portion of “Transportation Alternatives” Funding To Be Awarded Regionally

Starting this year, under a provision in the latest version of the federal law authorizing the flow of transportation dollars to states and localities in the region, the Transportation Planning Board will decide what projects receive a portion of funding intended for “alternatives to traditional highway construction.” The law makes the funding available directly to […]

Coalition Work

The Region Forward Coalition: Looking Back and Moving Forward

2012 was busy for the Region Forward Coalition, with several key projects being completed, such as the first Region Forward Progress Report and an updated Activity Centers map outlining priority growth areas for the region. Completing the Region Forward “Baseline” Progress Report One of the first projects the Coalition undertook was the Baseline Progress Report. […]

Climate & Energy

Regional Investment in Energy Efficiency: Good for the Economy and the Environment

Nicole Steele, Alliance Commission on National Energy Efficiency Policy & Julia Allman, Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments It’s long been said that the cleanest, cheapest energy is the energy you don’t use. And consuming less energy doesn’t mean sacrificing comfort or holding back economic growth. On the contrary, when we improve our energy productivity we […]


Group Celebrates 20 Years of Citizen Involvement in Transportation Planning in Metro Washington

On a December evening in 1992, a group of Washington area residents gathered for the first meeting of the Transportation Planning Board’s Citizens Advisory Committee. Some members of the group had been attending meetings of the TPB for a while to voice their concerns about a proposal to replace the Capital Beltway’s aging Woodrow Wilson […]


Progress Versus Tiny Pollutants Shows Big Improvement in Region’s Air Quality

In 2005, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency said our region was not meeting its fine particle (PM 2.5) pollution standards. This meant pollution levels were too high and that area leaders, through COG’s Metropolitan Washington Air Quality Committee, needed to devise a plan to clean the air. Fast forward to 2013 and after a lot […]

Alice Rivlin discusses “fiscal cliff” & metro Washington’s long-term economic outlook

Alice Rivlin, a senior economist at the Brookings Institution and an expert on the federal budget, said she believes the President and Congress will reach an agreement to avoid the mandatory tax and spending cuts known as the Fiscal Cliff. Speaking recently at COG’s Annual Meeting, Rivlin called the budgetary predicament a major but also “artificial, elementary” problem about which we should all be outraged.

Rivlin outlined her solution for averting the cliff and improving the country’s long-term fiscal situation, which includes raising taxes and broadening the tax base by eliminating many deductions. As for spending cuts, which Rivlin noted are “even harder” to deal with than the tax issues, she suggested focusing on reducing the exponential growth in health care spending by changing incentives and reducing benefits for higher-income individuals.

Rivlin closed on positive note, applauding the work of COG and other organizations in helping prepare for change. “This region is a great place to be and we’re not going to be derailed!” said Rivlin. “Whatever happens on the fiscal cliff, we should all be very glad that we live here” given that metro Washington’s economy has shown itself quick to adapt and, as the nation’s most-educated region, is poised for success in the knowledge economy.

Rivlin also noted that the region’s recent long-term planning efforts have put metropolitan Washington in a great position to continue to thrive. “COG’s major planning efforts, including Region Forward and Economy Forward, represent serious forward thinking and will pay off,” said Rivlin. “They’re helping make metropolitan Washington a model region for the nation.”

To further help the region prepare, COG recently launched the Metropolitan Washington Fiscal Cliff web site which includes news, resources, and analysis on the regional impact of major changes in federal spending. At the site you can also read more about Rivlin’s speech and recommendations.

Program offers citizens a chance to get involved in transportation planning

A group of current or emerging citizen leaders and other interested individuals from around the Washington region gathered recently to learn about how transportation decisions are made in the region and how to become more involved in the decision-making process.

The 19 individuals, each of whom has been recognized as a force of change in his or her respective community, met on Thursday, November 29, and Saturday, December 1, for the Transportation Planning Board’s Community Leadership Institute, or CLI, normally held in the spring and fall each year.

The first CLI took place in 2006 after TPB staff conceived it as a way to help citizen leaders connect the interests of the local communities and organizations they serve with the broader challenges facing the entire metropolitan area.

Since then, the TPB has hosted ten CLIs. At the most recent one, Todd Turner, who attended a 2008 CLI and now serves as the Chair of the TPB, welcomed participants and encouraged them to get more involved in regional decision-making.

A diverse agenda of educational presentations, experiential group learning, and interactive discussions has always been central to the CLI curriculum.

Key presentations provide participants with information about the TPB and its partners, including state and local departments of transportation and elected officials, and help explain the many different processes — at the regional, state, and local levels — for developing and advancing individual transportation projects.

Presentations also describe some of the key transportation challenges facing the region, especially worsening roadway congestion, inefficient land-use and development patterns, and severe funding shortfalls.

One of the main interactive group activities at the most recent session emphasized the crucial link between transportation and land-use and highlighted the challenge of accommodating future growth in the region.

In the first part of the exercise, groups each proposed on a map where to concentrate the growth of nearly 700,000 new households and more than 1.3 million new jobs that is forecast to occur through 2040 and what transportation improvements need to be made to accommodate the new growth.

Groups also had to confront the region’s funding challenges in the second part of the activity by adding up the costs of their proposed improvements and identifying sources of new funding to pay for them.

One of the other main activities in the curriculum called on participants to assume the roles of different neighborhood-level interest groups in tackling a fictitious local transportation issue. The activity underscored the obstacles and opportunities that exist in trying to build consensus among people who have differing opinions and perspectives.

Peter Shapiro, who served on the Prince George’s County Council from 1998 to 2004 and as Chair of the TPB in 2003, facilitated the workshop.

On Wednesday, Dec. 19, during its next regularly-scheduled meeting, the TPB will hold a brief ceremony to honor the 19 “graduates” of this fall’s CLI session.

The date of the next Community Leadership Institute has yet to be set, but once it is, the TPB and its staff will begin to recruit individuals who are interested in attending and invite them to submit a formal application.

The TPB Weekly Report is a regular feature on The Yardstick and is designed to provide brief, timely summaries of recent research, analysis, outreach, and planning by the National Capital Region Transportation Planning Board (TPB). Follow the TPB on Facebook and Twitter.