At its monthly meeting, the National Capital Region Transportation Planning Board (TPB) at the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments (COG) approved a set of initiatives for further analysis to assess their potential impact on the long-term performance of the region’s transportation system and determine if they make significantly better progress towards achieving regional transportation goals.
The package of 10 projects, programs, and policies include a wide variety of initiatives to address long-term congestion and accessibility challenges. Later this year, the TPB will use the results of the analysis to help determine whether any of the initiatives should receive future action by the TPB.
Among the 10 initiatives that the TPB will analyze are express lanes on the remaining portion of the Capital Beltway, I-270, Dulles Toll Road, and U.S. 50; a new northern bridge crossing of the Potomac River; bus rapid transit in Montgomery County, Prince George’s County, Northern Virginia, and D.C.; free transit for low-income residents; increased jobs and housing around underutilized rail stations; and Metrorail extensions to Centreville/Gainesville/Potomac Mills.
“The TPB believes that the region needs to develop a plan that goes beyond the projects currently reflected in its long-range transportation plan,” said TPB Chair and City of Rockville Mayor Bridget Newton. “These initiatives are all regional in nature and we want to see if they will be game-changers.”
The 10 initiatives were put forth as recommendations by the TPB’s Long-Range Plan Task Force, which started its work in April to identify a set of projects, programs, and policies that were not currently included in the long-range plan, but have the potential to address the region’s long-term goals.
A TPB member from Montgomery County proposed an amendment to remove the additional northern bridge crossing initiative from the set of proposed initiatives to be studied by the TPB. The bridge initiative generated the most discussion among officials and the public. After a lengthy discussion, the TPB voted to leave the initiative in, before approving the full set of initiatives for study.
Although not all of the initiatives are supported by everyone, with further study the TPB will be able to more definitely address any concerns and make more informed decisions about the viability of these initiatives and their regional impact, said TPB Vice Chairman, TPB Long-range Plan Task Force Chairman, and Arlington County Board Chair Jay Fisette.
For the agenda, informational documents, and more, view the event page.