During its monthly meeting, the National Capital Region Transportation Planning Board (TPB) released preliminary findings of a new study illustrating what metropolitan Washington would look like if area officials embraced different land use and transportation plans.
The Regional Mobility and Accessibility Study, which was conducted by COG staff, state and local planners, transportation officials, and citizens, includes several scenarios that would reduce driving, increase transit use, and locate housing closer to job activity centers. The study shows what would happen if alternative plans could be implemented, but did not seek to address funding or the necessary changes in current land use policies.
Based on COG’s latest forecast for 2030, the region will add 1.5 million people and 1.2 million new jobs. To meet this demand, COG predicts that 72% of the housing has already been built and 13% has been planned or is currently being built. The remaining 15% needed to house the region’s population by 2030 is what the scenarios in today’s study seek to influence.
Key findings include:
- Increasing housing growth in regional activity clusters, where jobs are concentrated and transit is accessible, will decrease driving and congestion and increase transit use, walking, and biking.
- Encouraging more development on the eastern side of the region, such as Prince George’s County, would benefit the entire region’s mobility and increase transit trips. For example, transit commute trips to the Largo area would more than double in this scenario.
The TPB is currently investigating a scenario focused on variably-priced lanes, such as High Occupancy/Toll Lanes, which is expected to be completed later this year and compared with results from the transit-focused scenarios.
For a copy of the study, please click here.