||May 20, 2013|
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Regional Mobility & Accessibility Study
Alternative Land Use Scenarios - The Challenges of Growth
The TPB Regional Mobility and Accessibility Study includes a package of five different land-use scenarios based on key challenges related to the region’s future growth. In developing these scenarios, the study working group asked, what are the problems we face every day as individuals, as communities, and as a region?
All the land-use scenarios shifted growth into “regional activity centers,” which were designated in 2002 through a joint process at COG and the TPB. Activity centers, which are a key concept in the TPB Vision, are intended to have “a mix of jobs, housing and services in a walkable environment.” The Vision also encourages strong transportation links of different modes among activity centers.
The working group chose to focus on the following key challenges:
1. People are living further away from their jobs. The average commute in the Washington region is more than 30 minutes. This situation is expected to get worse as housing continues to boom in the region’s outer jurisdictions but jobs remain concentrated in the region’s core and inner suburbs.
2. More and more people who work in the region don't actually live here. The region is growing jobs much faster than housing can be built. As a result, the region increasingly will have to “import” workers from places like West Virginia and Pennsylvania.
3. People on the eastern side of the region are forced to commute long distances to jobs in the west. The eastern side of the region has not enjoyed the economic prosperity found in the west. For example, the job growth rate in western areas was 20 percent in the 1990s, compared to 1 percent in the east. This means that workers must increasingly travel long distances to job-rich western jurisdictions.
4. The land around public transit is underutilized. Only 20 percent of the household growth between 2010 and 2030 will be located within a half-mile of public transit. While the region boasts some good examples of transit- oriented development close to Metrorail, the land near many transit stations could be better used.
The land-use scenarios addressed the following "What If?" questions:
1. What if people lived closer to their jobs? What if more jobs were located closer to where people live? The study working group created two scenarios that put households and jobs in closer proximity. The “Household In” scenario would shift 84,000 new households (23% of the forecast growth between 2010 and 2030) to inner jurisdictions, which are forecast to grow jobs faster than houses. The “Jobs Out” scenario would shift 82,000 new jobs (11% of forecast growth) to outer jurisdictions, which will be experiencing a surge in housing.
2. What if more people who worked here lived here? The “More Households” scenario would increase household growth in the region to balance job growth. The scenario would add 216,000 new households, increasing forecast household growth between 2010 and 2030 by 60%.
3. What if there were more development on the eastern side of the region? The “Region Undivided” scenario would shift 57,000 new households (16% of forecast growth) and 114,000 new jobs (15% of forecast growth) from the west to the east.
4. What if people lived and worked closer to transit? The “Transit Oriented Development” land-use scenario would locate 125,000 new households (35% of forecast growth) and 150,000 new jobs (19% of forecast growth) closer to transit station areas – within a half-mile radius.
For more information about the study, click on the links below:
Robert Griffiths - (202) 962-3280
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