Transportation to 2040: Area Officials Review Long-Range Plan's Future Impact, Funding, and New Project Proposals

Sep 17, 2014

Click here to view the plan and/or submit a public comment.

The plan and analyses have been covered by several media outlets, including NBC4, News Channel 8, and DCist.  

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At its September meeting, the National Capital Region Transportation Planning Board (TPB) focused on the new update of the region’s long-range transportation plan, which includes two new analyses of the overall plan’s funding and its impact on future travel, the environment, and access to jobs.

The TPB also reviewed major projects proposed as additions and revisions to the Constrained Long-Range Transportation Plan update next month. The long-range plan, which is updated by the TPB, includes all regionally significant transportation projects and programs that are planned in metropolitan Washington between 2015 and 2040.

The TPB’s Performance Analysis shows how well the projects and programs in the long-range plan will meet the demands of significant population and job growth between now and 2040. Officials noted a number of positive trends from the analysis that advance regional goals and priorities, including less driving per person, more transit use, carpooling, and walking and biking, and greater growth in the region’s high density, transit accessible Activity Centers. The analysis found:

  • A decrease in driving per person (3 percent) measured as vehicle miles traveled or VMT;
  • A decrease in the share of commuter trips by single drivers (4 percent) combined with an increase in carpooling (2 percent), transit (1 percent) and walking and biking (1 percent);
  • An increase in accessibility to jobs via transit (27 percent);
  • The majority of future population and job growth will occur in the region’s 141 Activity Centers, of which 66 percent will be served by high capacity transit; and
  • All air quality requirements will be met by the long-range plan.

Officials highlighted a major achievement for this year’s plan update—the region had collectively identified revenues to fully maintain Metro and the highway system in a State of Good Repair. Despite the investments in the plan, however, they noted that the region’s growth will outpace future highway and transit capacity, meaning morning rush hour congestion is anticipated to grow on both systems.

The TPB’s Financial Analysis demonstrates that funding has been identified for the projects in the 25-year long-range plan, which is required by federal law. The majority of future regional transportation funding will be devoted to the operations and maintenance of the current transit and highway systems ($200 billion), while the remainder will be available for strategic expansions ($40 billion). The analysis also referenced new sources of revenue by Maryland and Virginia, which are helping ensure that the maintenance needs of the transportation system are met. The analysis showed that:

  • Transit constitutes the greatest share of investment in the region’s long-range plan (59 percent)—Metro will receive 41 percent, local transit agencies will receive 18 percent, and
  • Highways will receive 41 percent of future expenditures.

Board members also received a presentation on major changes proposed for the long-range plan before its final vote in October. Among the projects are new streetcar lines in the District of Columbia, revised plans for service and infrastructure improvements for MARC and VRE commuter rail services, and a handful of road-widening projects in Virginia.

Officials noted the plan update does not currently include funding for all 8-car Metro trains during rush hour or station improvements, which are priorities in Metro’s Momentum Plan and the TPB’s Regional Transportation Priorities Plan. Similarly, the region’s localities have identified roadway improvements that could further reduce congestion that are also not in the plan.

The analyses and new project information were provided to aid area officials, stakeholders, and residents interested in reviewing and commenting on this year's draft plan. Public comment on the plan is open until October 11. Visit www.mwcog.org/clrp

The projects and programs that go into the CLRP are developed cooperatively by governmental bodies and agencies represented on the Transportation Planning Board.

 
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