An analysis of the latest proposed update of the region's Constrained Long-Range Transportation Plan (CLRP) details how well the future transportation system laid out in the plan is expected to meet the needs of area travelers in 2040.
The Performance Analysis of the draft 2014 CLRP predicts some 4 million more trips each day in the region by 2040 -- a 24% increase over today.
A majority of those new trips -- about 2.8 million -- are forecast to be made either by single drivers or by carpools, adding demand on roadways that are already heavily traveled and congested. About 372,000 new trips are expected to be made on the region's rail and bus transit systems, in some cases further straining crowded rail lines and stations, especially in the regional core.
Close to a million of the new trips forecast by 2040 are anticipated to be on foot or by bicycle, almost as many as will be made by single drivers. That represents growth of nearly 50% over the next 26 years, more than for any other travel mode in the region.
The surge in so-called "non-motorized" travel is expected as more than half of the region's forecast population growth and three-quarters of its anticipated job growth is expected to occur in dense, mixed-use Activity Centers where people can meet more of their daily needs without having to use a car.
These trends means that a larger share of trips in 2040 will be made by non-auto modes compared to today, and that total driving per capita in the region will fall by more than 2% over the next 26 years, reversing a decades-long trend of ever-increasing driving on a per-person basis.
All of these changes show progress toward achieving one of the key priorities in the Regional Transportation Priorities Plan: moving more people and goods more efficiently.
The Priorities Plan specifically calls for achieving greater efficiencies by promoting concentrated development in Activity Centers and providing more non-auto travel choices for more people.
In addition to changes in daily travel patterns, the 2014 CLRP Performance Analysis also examined changes in congestion on area roadways and on the Metro system, as well as changes in the number of jobs accessible within a 45-minute commute in different parts of the region.
The analysis also included the findings of the Air Quality Conformity Analysis of the 2014 CLRP, which showed that future vehicle-related emissions of various air pollutants will remain below approved limits. A forecast of future greenhouse gas emissions under the plan, also included in the analysis, showed a 20% decrease in emissions per capita.
The TPB carries out the CLRP Performance Analysis each year in conjunction with the annual CLRP update to provide decision-makers and the public with information about how well the transportation investments that are currently planned and funded will meet the region's future transportation needs.
In November, the TPB will call on area transportation agencies to submit new projects for inclusion in next year's CLRP update, or to submit changes to projects already in the plan. In its call for projects, the TPB will encourage area transportation agencies to submit projects that help further the region's progress in achieving the priorities in the Priorities Plan as well as a number of broader goals spelled out in other TPB policy documents and studies from the past several years.
Public comment on the draft 2014 CLRP closes October 11.
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For more information on the 2014 CLRP update, including TPB Weekly Report coverage of the update's final stages over the last month, please visit www.mwcog.org/CLRP2014 or follow #CLRP2014 on Twitter.
For more TPB Weekly Report, including access to all previous issues, please visit: www.mwcog.org/TPBweeklyreport.