Several planning studies and preliminary engineering projects receiving funding under the Transportation/Land-Use Connections (TLC) Program this year aim to promote non-auto travel options in suburban communities across the region.
One of the planning studies will focus on the design and coordination of a new bicycle and pedestrian trail system to serve Montgomery County’s new Life Sciences Center, planned just between Gaithersburg and Rockville.
The county’s master plan for the area sets goals for achieving certain non-auto mode shares as new medical labs and mixed-use development comes to the area. Local planners expect the planned 3.5-mile trail system to be an important way to promote greater use of bicycling and walking to reach destinations within the Life Sciences Center, as well as to connect to the planned Corridor Cities Transitway.
Another project receiving TLC funding this year is in Charles County, Maryland, where planning is underway for a new campus for the College of Southern Maryland near the town of Hughesville.
With funding under the TLC Program, local planners will study ways to coordinate transit services operated by Charles, Calvert, and St. Mary’s counties that can serve the new campus. The study will also examine the possibility of building a new transit center to further anchor transit as a travel option for reaching the campus.
A third study, in Upper Marlboro, Maryland, will look at ways to improve bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure within the town of 600 or so residents. Each day, more than 5,000 people commute to Upper Marlboro to work at the Prince George’s County government offices located there. The study funded under the TLC Program will help develop a prioritized list of bicycle and pedestrian improvements that will make it easier and safer for people to get around without the use of a car.
In all, the Transportation Planning Board approved nine planning studies or preliminary engineering projects to receive funding under the TLC Program this year, including multimodal studies along Lee Highway and Sycamore Street in Arlington County, and along Old Lee Highway in the City of Fairfax. The TLC Program is also funding planning for Green Streets and Complete Streets improvements in College Park, Maryland, and for a new bicycle and pedestrian trail along Central Avenue in Prince George’s County. In the District, the TLC Program will fund preliminary engineering for a pavement removal and low-impact development project near the Van Ness/UDC Metro station.
The TPB launched the TLC Program in 2007 as a way to help local jurisdictions in the region better coordinate transportation and land-use planning. To date, the program has funded 74 studies or projects, with at least one in nearly each of the TPB’s 22 member jurisdictions.
The projects funded this year are currently kicking off and will be complete by June 2015.