Transportation Planning Board Identifies Bicycle and Pedestrian Improvements to Support Increased Ridership at Underutilized Rail Stations in the Region

May 20, 2015

WASHINGTON, D.C. - A study by The National Capital Region Transportation Planning Board (TPB) identified 25 underutilized Metro, MARC, or VRE rail stations across the region and more than 3,000 potential bicycle and pedestrian improvements to support increased ridership at those stations.

According to the study presented to area officials at the May TPB meeting, these stations currently have untapped capacity and could accommodate additional riders, particularly reverse commuters, and are expected to see increased ridership demand in the next decade. Potential improvements to support increased ridership at the stations include new or improved sidewalks, crosswalks, shared-use paths, bike parking, bike lanes, and signage.

A detailed database of the potential improvements developed as part of the study can be used by local jurisdictions to prioritize local projects and funding, review development applications for areas around transit stations, and to plan improvements that cross jurisdictional lines.

Arlington County Board Member Jay Fisette applauded the work of TPB and new walkability research by WMATA in identifying low-cost options for improving ridership on the region's transit system.

“Let’s not forget the [improvements] that don’t cost very much,” said Fisette. “It strikes me that the work you’re doing is incredibly valuable.”

The TPB has already begun using the database to identify projects to receive funding under the federal Transportation Alternatives program. The TPB study was funded under a research grant from the federal Transportation, Community, and Systems Preservation (TCSP) Program.

“We are committed to making sure that this project doesn’t sit on the shelf, and making our region’s activity centers all that they can be,” said John Swanson, COG Manager of Plan Development and Support.

Read more in the TPB Weekly Report.

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