Tag Archives: Virginia

Transportation

TLC Webinar Highlights Surburban Approaches to Transportation Demand Management

The City of Falls Church wants to capitalize on its proximity to Metro by attracting more residential and commercial development along Washington Street, one of the city’s two main commercial corridors. But much of the thoroughfare lies beyond the quarter-mile radius from transit that planners traditionally consider optimal for encouraging transit-oriented development. In 2012, the […]

Transportation

Spring “Street Smart” Campaign to Kick Off Apr. 17 in Woodbridge, VA

Warmer weather and longer days bring more Washington area residents out on foot and bicycles, whether for their daily commute, to run errands, or for exercise or recreation. When that happens, the risk of deadly collisions between automobiles, pedestrians, and bicyclists goes up. That’s why the Transportation Planning Board times one of its twice-yearly “Street Smart” […]

Land Use, Transportation

Stat of the Week: 80,686,000 sq ft

If you’ve seen the skyline of the new Metro tracks along the Silver Line in Northern Virginia, the cranes over the 14th Street Corridor in the District of Columbia, or heard of the new development going on at Largo Town Center in Prince George’s County Maryland, you know that new office space is coming to […]

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 […]

Health

Stat of the Week: 134 Clinics

At last week’s Board of Director’s meeting, the Council of Governments unveiled its Regional Mental Health and Substance Abuse Resource Directory, a guide to providers of mental health services in the Washington Region. At 134 different resource centers, from Prince William County to Prince George’s County and from Charles to Frederick, our region has options for those […]

Climate & Energy, Energy, Environment

Stat of the Week: 177 Million Square Feet

With 177 million gross square feet of LEED certified buildings spread across three states and over 700 buildings, metropolitan Washington is easily very green.  The District of Columbia, Maryland and Virginia are in the US Green Building Council’s top 10 states for LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification per capita and added over […]

Transportation

Growth in Freight, Passenger, and Commuter Rail Dependent on the Future of the Long Bridge

The region’s ability to accommodate anticipated growth in freight, passenger, and commuter rail traffic in coming decades will depend in large part on the future of the region’s only Potomac River freight rail crossing — a 2,500-foot span between the District of Columbia and Virginia known as the Long Bridge. Built in 1904, the Long […]

Transportation

Maryland and Virginia Using New Transportation Revenues to Accelerate Projects

Earlier this year, the state legislatures in Maryland and Virginia each approved measures that would raise upwards of $800 million a year in new revenue for transportation, the first statutory increases in two decades or more. Now, just weeks after starting to collect the new revenue — at the gas pump, from fuel wholesalers, or […]

Transportation

Surveys Show Transportation Behavior Varies Widely Across Region

The results of a series of in-depth travel surveys released by the Transportation Planning Board in March highlight key differences in how people live and travel in higher-density areas with greater proximity to transit compared to those with lower densities and fewer travel options. Of the seven surveyed areas, the three with the highest population densities were […]

Transportation

Updates to Region’s Long-Range Transportation Plan Reflect Public Input

The annual process of updating the region’s constrained long-range transportation plan, or CLRP, started last October when the Transportation Planning Board called on state, local, and regional transportation agencies to submit their proposed additions and changes. Now, following a period of public comment on the package of 21 proposals that were submitted by the Virginia and District of Columbia […]

Transportation

Regional Officials on Virginia Transportation Deal: Compromise is Better than Inaction

The Virginia General Assembly came to a deal this weekend to reform transportation funding for the state. The bill will give local jurisdictions the chance to raise and allocate new local funds while also increasing the Commonwealth’s total support for roads and transit. Most elected officials and commentators know that the compromise legislation is not […]

Transportation

Region’s Transportation Planning Board Urges State Leaders to Increase Transportation Funding

Note: We discussed the TPB’s action supporting increased transportation investment in metropolitan Washington in December – the post below provides a more in-depth analysis of the letter and the proposed solutions. In a December letter to state leaders, the Transportation Planning Board (TPB) urged immediate action to increase funding for transportation in the Washington region, citing […]

Land Use

Activity Centers: Where Metropolitan Washington is Growing

Regional leaders voted today to approve an updated set of Activity Centers for metropolitan Washington.* These 139 Centers include existing urban centers, traditional towns, transit hubs, as well as areas expecting future growth.

Scroll below the text to see an ABC 7 video clip and additional media coverage of the decision.

For example, Georgetown is a vibrant, walkable place already built-out with a strong mix of housing and businesses. Activity Centers also include locations as diverse as NoMa, Clarendon, downtown Frederick, and Silver Spring where major growth is expected to occur over the next several decades and where investments should be prioritized.

While the Centers vary in scale and type, the basic concept behind them is the same: concentrate development in areas that will have the planning and infrastructure in place to support it. By focusing growth in Activity Centers, the region will improve connections between housing and jobs, reduce environmental impact, and make a better use of limited funds.

The Centers will also promote development around area transit such as Silver Line Metro stations in Northern Virginia and Green Line Metro stations in Prince George’s County, Maryland. About two-thirds of Centers are or will be served by the region’s existing or future rail transit network.

The goal for this latest update was to make the Centers more broadly useful. To do so, more targeted and specific criteria were used to designate than in 2007, the last time the Council of Governments approved a set of Activity Centers. The criteria are primarily based on Region Forward, COG’s vision for a more accessible, sustainable, livable, and prosperous metropolitan Washington.

The Council of Governments views Activity Centers as the next generation of metropolitan Washington’s growth and development. The office park model of development, based on low-density sprawl, is obsolete. That is why leaders in the region are working to focus future growth – which is estimated to bring over a million more people to the region in the next few decades – in mixed-use Activity Centers.

The Activity Centers map update is a necessary step in the development of an upcoming Strategic Investment Plan currently underway by COG’s Region Forward Coalition. By pointing out the specific elements (i.e., sidewalks, ground-level retail, fresh food, parks) that each Center is lacking or could improve upon, the Investment Plan will help local governments determine how best to use limited resources.

The Activity Centers Strategic Investment Plan will be released later this year and is a key component of Economy Forward, COG’s plan to prepare metropolitan Washington for a future with reduced federal spending and employment.

*Post updated to reflect the Council’s vote to approve the Activity Centers and to include additional information.

ABC 7: ‘NOMA,’ Clarendon, Silver Spring to see huge growth, study says

DCist: Regional Group Outlines 139 Activity Centers Where Growth is Expected in Future

WTOP: Planners ID neighborhoods for targeted development

WAMU: Planners: Regional Job Growth Should Focus on Activity Centers

Transportation

Local leaders call for end to region’s transportation funding deficit

At their December meeting, members of the Transportation Planning Board (TPB) called on state leaders to step up to the plate and end the ongoing transportation funding deficit in metropolitan Washington.

“Our local governments have done their share,” said Kerry Donley, TPB Member and Alexandria Vice Mayor. “It’s time for the states to do so as well.”

At the meeting, TPB members approved a letter to the legislatures and chief executives of the District of Columbia, Maryland, and Virginia in support of increased funding for transportation.

The letter outlines several options that have been employed in other parts of the country to raise revenue for transportation. Potential solutions include fuel tax increases, additional toll roads, sales taxes, and local option taxes, among others.

“It’s refreshing to see specific proposals included in this letter,” said Donley. “So often you hear groups offering general calls for more transportation funding, but they don’t do the hard part of pointing out what the options are.”

Donley recently appeared alongside TPB Chair Todd Turner on NewsTalk with Bruce Depuyt to discuss the TPB’s action and the need for increased transportation funding. View clips of their appearance below.

TPB analysis shows that one of the most pressing long-term challenges for transportation in metropolitan Washington is the need for additional revenues, both to ensure the region’s existing highway and transit networks are adequately maintained and to fund increases in capacity to support future population and employment growth.

Metropolitan Washington is projected to add over 1.3 million new residents and 1.1 million new jobs by 2040. The region’s already crowded Metrorail cars, buses, and highways will not stand up to the challenge presented by this growth.

Traffic and transit congestion to worsen without changes in funding, policy

As we noted last week, new TPB analysis shows that metro Washington’s already major traffic and transit congestion will continue to worsen without greater investment in transportation infrastructure and changes in land use policy throughout the region. The following post provides greater detail about the findings.

Travelers in metro Washington will face considerably more roadway and transit congestion in coming decades if current planning and funding trajectories are allowed to continue.

That’s the main finding of a recent Transportation Planning Board analysis of how well the projects and programs in the region’s long-range transportation plan will meet the increased demands brought on by anticipated population and job growth over the next three decades.

The plan, formally called the Constrained Long-Range Transportation Plan, or CLRP, includes all of the regionally-significant transportation projects and programs that the states and local jurisdictions in the region expect to build or implement between now and 2040.

Currently the plan includes almost $223 billion in anticipated spending, 70% of it needed for maintaining and operating the existing system of roads, transit, and bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure. Only $67 billion, or 30%, is slated to be spent on expanding the system, whether by building or widening roads, constructing new transit lines, or purchasing railcars and buses to provide additional capacity.

The TPB’s recent CLRP analysis showed that the expansion that is planned will hardly keep pace with forecast demand.

By 2040, the region’s population is expected to increase 24% — an additional 1.3 million people — while the number of jobs is forecast to swell by 37%. The TPB’s travel models predict that such growth will lead to increases in total driving — measured in vehicle-miles of travel, or VMT — of 25%. Vehicle work trips are expected to increase by 27%, while transit work trips are expected to increase by 28%.

Meanwhile, the CLRP only includes a 7% increase in new lane-miles of roadway and specifically points out that Metrorail lacks the funding needed to run all eight-car trains during peak hours, a key to increasing the capacity of the Metrorail system.

Together these pressures will result in a 78% increase in the number of lane-miles of congested roadway during the morning peak hour, according to the analysis. And four of Metrorail’s five lines to and through the regional core will be “congested” or “severely congested” during the morning peak, compared to just one today.

Predictions like these help illustrate the impacts that current planning and funding decisions will have on the transportation system and its ability to meet the region’s needs. The TPB performs such analyses to help planners and decision-makers evaluate the effectiveness of current plans and to gauge the relative impacts of alternative growth or transportation investment scenarios.

One alternative growth scenario that the TPB studied in 2010 assumed that half of housing and job growth in the region between 2015 and 2030 would be located in mixed-use development near transit stations. The TPB’s travel models showed an 11% increase in transit ridership and a 17% increase in trips made by bicycle or on foot compared to the trajectory outlined in the then-current CLRP.

The analysis of that scenario showed that shifting anticipated growth patterns and land-use can have a significant impact on transportation outcomes. Analyses of this and other strategies will help planners and decision-makers identify those approaches that offer the greatest potential to address the transportation challenges the region faces.

The TPB’s recent analysis of the long-range transportation plan for the region paints a bleak picture of the future. And changing that future will not be easy, especially as transportation revenues continue to decline and the expense of maintaining aging infrastructure continues to rise. The analysis tools the TPB uses can assist decision-makers in their efforts to find the transportation and land-use strategies that have the best chance of improving our transportation future.

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.