By next summer, seven local jurisdictions in the Washington region will be one step closer to realizing their aspirations for better pedestrian, bicycle, and transit connectivity between and within Activity Centers in their jurisdiction.
On July 16, the Transportation Planning Board approved $420,000 in technical assistance under its Transportation/Land-Use Connections (TLC) Program. The funding will support nine planning studies or preliminary engineering projects for improvements that would enhance the safety and convenience of travel by bicycle or on foot, especially to nearby bus or rail transit stations.
Such improvements are a cornerstone of the Regional Transportation Priorities Plan, approved by the TPB in January. The Priorities Plan aims to focus the region's transportation planning efforts on high-impact strategies for moving more people and goods more efficiently, especially those that make it possible to travel more places without a car and to do so using infrastructure that's largely already in place.
One of the TLC studies funded this year will examine the feasibility of an east-west bicycle and pedestrian trail connecting four Blue Line Metrorail stations in Prince George's County. The trail would begin just east of the Capitol Heights station and continue along a combination of residential streets and rail right-of-way to Largo Town Center, with intermediate connections to the Addison Road and Morgan Boulevard stations.
The trail would improve bicycle and pedestrian access to existing transit stations, making it possible for more people to access transit, and to do so without a car. The improvements might also help support new residential and commercial development in the corridor.
Another of this year's TLC projects will study potential transportation improvements to help the City of Fairfax enhance connectivity to its nearest Metro station. The city wants to make its portion of Old Lee Highway, the main connection between Old Town Fairfax and the Vienna Metro station, more welcoming to pedestrians, bicyclists, and transit users. The project will help improve connections to the Orange Line and expand options for traveling between other destinations along the corridor.
In the District of Columbia, the TLC Program will fund preliminary engineering work for a project to minimize stormwater runoff and reduce the risk of flooding of the Van Ness/UDC Metro station. The city plans to remove impervious roadway and sidewalk pavement in a several-block area uphill from the Metro station and replace it with new pavement materials that allow water to seep into the ground beneath the paved surface instead of running off into nearby sewers.
The improvements will make the area around the station more attractive and inviting for pedestrians and station users while helping to protect both the environment and existing underground infrastructure.
Other TLC projects funded this year will help identify and prioritize needed bicycle and pedestrian improvements in Upper Marlboro in Prince George's County and along Lee Highway and Sycamore Street in Arlington County. The TLC Program will also fund planning for Green Streets and Complete Streets improvements in College Park, a new trail system at the Life Sciences Center in Montgomery County, and the development of a master plan for coordinating transit services and land use at a new suburban college campus in Charles County.
The TLC Program got its start in 2007 and has since funded 74 planning studies or preliminary engineering projects across the region. This year's projects will kick off in the fall and be complete by next summer.
Related TPB Weekly Reports