U.S. Congressman Jim Moran (D-VA) announced during today’s monthly meeting of the National Capital Region Transportation Planning Board (TPB) that he included $2 million in last week’s approved House transportation bill to lay the foundation for a regional incident management center called CapCom.
Moran’s legislation, included in Congress’ surface transportation reauthorization bill, would be the first funding commitment for CapCom, which stands for National Capital Region Communications and Coordination Center. CapCom will strengthen transportation coordination and reduce traffic congestion during major regional incidents.
“We need to coordinate construction schedules. We need to coordinate the way we address traffic incidents. And we certainly need to communicate better, both with public safety and regionally so that we can immediately figure out the most efficient way to deal with transportation crises as they arise,” Moran told the TPB Board.
The region is seeking $4.9 million to get the center fully operational for a year. The TPB has identified additional funding sources such as homeland security grants, an agreement between the region’s transportation agencies, or contributions from TPB member jurisdictions.
Since September 11, TPB leaders have worked on improving transportation coordination during regional incidents. The TPB approved plans for developing CapCom earlier this year. The region’s transportation agencies have partnered with the University of Maryland’s Center for Advanced Transportation Technology to carry out the project. Before CapCom’s creation, no organization was responsible for coordinating a response to incidents that could snarl traffic throughout the region.
In addition to CapCom, Moran has introduced legislation to empower the TPB to administer a six-year, $10 million per year annual grant program for non-controversial, non-road projects aimed at reducing congestion such as transit centers and telecommuting programs.