Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Regional transportation plan updated

We received the latest version of the TBP Weekly Report, a publication of the National Capital Region Transportation Planning Board. The board oversees long-range transportation planning the greater metro area. In updating the plan they asked state and local agencies for their proposed additions and changes.

From the list of changes and additions, it's encouraging to see that the District is proposing lane reductions and bike lane pilot projects. It's not so encouraging that Virginia's list contains mostly road widening projects and a new access highway to Dulles airport "to provide better access by car and truck to Dulles International Airport from Loudoun County on the western side of the airport." Where are the bike lane projects?
  1. Lane Reductions and Reconfigurations – C St. NE, East Capitol St., I St. NW, New Jersey Ave. NW, Pennsylvania Ave. SE, South Capitol St., 17th St. NE and SE
  2. Bike Lane Pilot Projects – 9th St. NW, L St. NW, and M St. NW
  1. Widen I-395 Southbound between Duke St. and Edsall Rd.
  2. Change of I-495, Capital Beltway Auxiliary Lanes Project Limits
  3. Widening of Northern Segment of I-495, Capital Beltway HOT Lanes
  4. I-495, Capital Beltway Ramps at Dulles Airport Access Highway and Dulles Toll Rd.
  5. Widen US 1, Jefferson Davis Highway from Lorton Rd. to Annapolis Way
  6. Widen VA 7, Leesburg Pike from I-495 to I-66
  7. Construct Collector-Distributor Roads along Dulles Toll Rd. between
    VA 684, Spring Hill Rd. and VA 828, Wiehle Ave.
  8. Construct Dulles Toll Road Ramps in Tysons
  9. ConstructDullesGreenwayRampinLeesburg
  10. Alt. A: Construct Dulles Air Cargo, Passenger and Metro Access Highway
    Alt. B: Construct New Limited Access US 50 and VA 606, Loudoun County Parkway
  11. Study VA 28, Manassas Bypass from VA 234, Sudley Rd. to I-66 

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To be fair, if their concern is getting people to the airport, not very many people would be doing that trip by bike. But yes, it does expose a different philosophy ...
The bike lane project comment was more of a general comment about the types of projects on the two lists. I agree that not many cyclists will use the airport road since it is a western entrance. It seems odd to me that that project is a critical NoVa project when there are much more pressing issues like the need for better transit, bike, and ped access. That one airport project will cost nearly $1 billion. The entire Portland, OR bike system was built for 1/10 of that cost.

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