TransportationRSS

Photo by marlordo59 licensed under Creative Commons

Greater Greater Washington writes about how people get around the Washington region, whether on Metro, buses, streetcars, driving, walking, biking, or any other method.

One of the region’s strengths is the wide range of options for travel. There are many walkable places in DC, Maryland, and Virginia where people could choose transit, walk or bike, or if they don’t have their own car, grab a shared vehicle or hail a ride. This reduces the need to own cars, saving people money and reducing traffic congestion.

As our region grows, it is imperative to continue to make these options safe, economical, and available to even more people. It is imperative to ensure safe sidewalks and bicycle infrastructure, expand transit options, and add housing near existing transit stations.

  • Parking isn’t a good reason to move the Rockville courthouse

    The Montgomery County courthouse, in the county seat of Rockville, is old and badly needs replacing. Maryland is ready to pay for a new courthouse on a downtown site formerly occupied by the library, but some people want to move it. There are good arguments for moving it and for not moving it. There are also some very bad arguments. In particular, many who advocate changing the location…  Keep reading…

  • Digging the parking hole deeper

    The Washington area is deeply schizophrenic about whether it wants to be a city of driving and parking or of people and transit. While DC is working hard to put mixed-use high-density development next to many of its stations, plans in Foggy Bottom and West Hyattsville call for more parking than should be necessary. Whether a city is car-dependent or transit-accessible is…  Keep reading…

  • New Partners: Frustrating Transit Administrators

    I jumped in to a panel on streetcars fairly late. It featured people from Portland, Tuscon, and other cities that have recently deployed streetcars. When I came in, they were expressing major frustration with the FTA and its decisionmaking.  Keep reading…

  • New Partners: Congestion pricing and transportation finance

    The panel at the New Partners conference on transportation finance featured NYC’s congestion pricing hero Bruce Schaller, and Michael Replogle of Environmental Defense. As David Burwell of Project for Public Spaces said when he introduced the panel: The transportation trust fund is broke—not just broken, but broke. Actually, the highway fund is broke now, and the…  Keep reading…

  • Maryland worried about new transit-hostile FTA

    According to the Post, Maryland officials are nervous that the Federal (not-so-excited-about-)Transit Administration will reject the Purple Line or the Corridor Cities Transitway (along I-270) as it did (or at least delayed) the Silver Line to Dulles, even though the Purple Line will cost significantly less. Maryland already delayed the Purple Line application process one…  Keep reading…

  • New Partners: Earl Blumenauer and Mary Landrieu

    Senator Mary Landrieu of Louisiana and Congressman Earl Blumenauer of Oregon, whose district includes Portland, joined in a roundtable discussion. Blumenauer had strong words for the Bush Administration on its transportation policy, especially the recent commission report, where language in favor of increasing the gas tax was cut out. Blumenauer: the commission was set…  Keep reading…

  • Is The Yards waterfront park bike-friendly?

    At the panel on Southeast Federal Center, I asked Pat Daniels of GSA and Ramsey Meiser of Forest City about the bike design for the park, which appears to cram bikers, rollerbladers, runners and others into a narrow sharply-anged pathway at the edge of the park. Meiser and Daniels were confident that the park was going to be bike-friendly, though they couldn’t respond specifically…  Keep reading…

  • The passion of parking policy

    A roomful of people gave two hours of their evening last night to attend a panel sponsored by the Coalition for Smarter Growth at the Downtown BID about parking policy. Many joked privately beforehand that parking is quite a boring-sounding topic to generate such fascination, including Councilmember Tommy Wells, who spoke at the beginning. He came up with the slogan of “walkable,…  Keep reading…

  • Rockville Pike meeting only gives driving directions

    Rockville’s planning department is soliciting community input on improving Rockville Pike along the corridor from Twinbrook to downtown Rockville. The project’s goals include improving transportation and urban design along the Pike.  Keep reading…

  • Alexandria wants new Metro stations

    Members of the Alexandria City Council want developers to contribute to new Metro stations as part of potential new developments in Potomac Yards (between National Airport and Old Town Alexandria) and Eisenhower Valley (where the Blue Line goes west from Old Town to Van Dorn Street). Via Ryan Avent.  Keep reading…

  • DC sidewalks are for people, not backhoes

    Everyone is blogging  about DC’s decision to require developers to build a covered sidewalk or provide a walkway next to construction projects. This is common practice in New York and elsewhere and seems obvious—a walkable city requires, first and foremost, that you actually be able to walk around it. Good for DC.  Keep reading…

  • “Structure of voids” and chain restaurants in Ballston

    Last weekend, we visited a friend who recently bought a condo in Ballston. Zachary Schrag highlights the Rosslyn-Ballston corridor as the region’s biggest success from Metro’s original construction, creating a new transit-oriented Smart Growth development around the subway, and it’s true: there were people and shops and other signs of life everywhere,…  Keep reading…

  • LA: smart move on parking, dumb move on roads

    Today on Street Heat LA, the LA DOT took a knee-jerk position around moving cars smoothly at the expense of pedestrians when it insisted that the LA County Museum of Art remove a traffic light and crosswalk across Wilshire in front of its entrance and actually fill in the median to prevent people from crossing the street. On the other hand, the LA City Council is pushing for greater compliance…  Keep reading…

  • Three projects to watch

    All over the region, consulting organizations are going through the legal requirements for Environmental Impact Statements, necessary for any major project: convening public scoping meetings, collecting input, evaluating alternatives, and so on. They’re doing this in downtown Columbia, along Rockville Pike, and on both sides of the 14th Street Bridges, used by I-395,…  Keep reading…

  • Another argument against one-way streets

    An Op-Ed in the Louisville Courier-Journal argues against one-way streets downtown, making many points relevant to the 15th Street reconstruction in Logan/Dupont. Some I hadn’t heard before, like the fact that drug dealers and drive-by shooters prefer one-way streets. Via Richard Layman.  Keep reading…

  • The Yards waterfront park squeezes bikes to the edge

    NCPC has preliminary plans online for a new watefront park at The Yards, a new development next to the Navy Yard in Southeast. The park has many very nice features including a large terraced lawn, a landscaped garden, and a cool-looking pedestrian bridge (though one NCPC staff recommends be made to look more open, light and inviting). But the designers seem to have forgotten about bikers,…  Keep reading…

  • Conservative won’t vote for McCain partly because of rail

    Paul Weyrich, the leading conservative proponent of rail transportation, wouldn’t vote for John McCain in the general election in part because of McCain’s opposition to rail investment. McCain “would fight us on everything,” Weyrich said, including shutting down Amtrak and opposing projects like the Dulles extension, where he vehemently disagrees…  Keep reading…

  • Making streetcars work

    Second of a two-part series. Read the first part. If, years from now, DC successfully builds and funds a streetcar line, it needs to make sure the line really does encourage people to ride it, people who wouldn’t have ridden just another bus. If it generates additional traffic to the neighborhood, and induces more people to take transit than to drive, it will prove right those…  Keep reading…

  • Streetcars are coming back to DC

    DC’s attempts to bring back streetcars popped back into the news last week as DDOT broke ground on a streetscape reconstruction on H Street Northeast. While the street is already torn up, they will include build streetcar tracks for future service, though it will be years before a streetcar could run, and there are no cars or operational funding yet. But it’s a big step forward,…  Keep reading…

  • Congestion is other people

    The New York City commission formed to study congestion pricing has made its recommendation, to positive reviews. It’s mostly like Mayor Bloomberg’s original proposal, with a few changes: it moves the boundary from 86th Street to 60th Street, adds the FDR drive and West Side Highway/West Street to the toll zone, removes a parking tax exemption (parking is definitely…  Keep reading…

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