At its final meeting, a task force established by the National Capital Region Transportation Planning Board (TPB) at the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments (COG) recommended that the TPB endorse five initiatives – with the potential to improve the region’s transportation system – for further study and future incorporation into the region’s long-range transportation plans.
The five recommended initiatives were selected from a set of 10 initiatives, including a variety of projects, programs, and policies identified by the task force for analysis. The five initiatives that the task force recommended to the TPB for endorsement are:
- Regional express toll lanes network with express bus service connecting activity centers;
- Bus rapid transit and transitways throughout the region with improved bicycle and pedestrian connections;
- Metrorail core capacity improvements, such as eight-car trains and a new line between Virginia and D.C. through Georgetown;
- Optimize regional land-use by building more housing and increasing jobs and housing near rail stations and activity centers;
- Employer travel demand management policies, such as teleworking and flexible schedules and transit benefit programs to reduce one-person vehicle trips.
In determining which initiatives have the most potential to improve transportation performance, the task force considered the results of a technical analysis as well as other factors. These factors included public support and implementation feasibility, ability to address the disparities in mobility and accessibility between the eastern and western parts of the region, and implementation costs.
“The task force’s work in reaching broad agreement on a set of recommendations is a significant example of regional collaboration,” said TPB Long-Range Plan Task Force Chairman and Arlington County Board Chair Jay Fisette. “Our work indicates that we must move past our focus on projects alone, and include more strategic and sustained work on policy changes, particularly on land use and travel demand management, to truly reduce congestion and enhance regional mobility. The recommended initiatives rose to the top for having the most potential to improve the performance of the region's transportation system and deserve to be comprehensively examined for implementation.”
The TPB convened the task force to identify a set of projects, programs, and policies, beyond those in official plans that the region could implement to address long-term congestion and mobility challenges. The task force started with nearly 100 ideas, and narrowed them down to 10 initiatives. An analysis of the 10 initiatives indicated that each initiative had some potential to improve the performance of the regional transportation system and to address one or more of the region’s major transportation challenges.
The TPB will review the task force’s recommendations at its December 20 meeting and vote on whether to endorse the initiatives for further study and action. A TPB endorsement of any of the initiatives will help move the ideas forward into further study by TPB member agencies, and eventually into elements of a future long-range transportation plan. However, a TPB endorsement would not be a mandate for member jurisdictions to alter their own local plans, programs, or policies or to design, fund, and implement these initiatives without further study.
MORE: For the agenda, informational documents, and more, view the event page.