Posts Tagged ‘Report’
Today the 2030 Group released a new study that was conducted jointly by SMTA and the Northern Virginia Transportation Alliance, to explore how the region sets transportation priorities and what leading experts in the field feel those priorities should be. The survey was conducted over the past several months through telephone surveys and focus groups with over 40 top transportation professionals from Maryland, Virginia and the District of Columbia.
1. The nation’s most congested region lacks a well-defined short-list of transportation investments that would have the greatest potential to reduce congestion/improve mobility over the next 20 years.
2. Among transportation professionals, significant consensus exists as to highway and public transit investments that would be the most productive.
3. The top-ten projects are listed in the report, including continued investment in Metro System Maintenance and Operations, New Potomac Bridges, and multi-modal projects to add capacity in several key transportation corridors.
4. The prioritization process should focus heavily on highway and transit investments that do the most to reduce travel times/delays, reduce congestion, and improve transportation network safety and reliability.
5. Meeting the region’s transportation challenges requires not only selecting/advancing the right priorities, but a new process that is more regional and professional and less parochial, political and ideologically driven.
The number-one priority identified by regional experts: Invest in current Metro system operations, core capacity and maintenance. Multi-modal investments to area highways, bridges and new transit lines to better connect regional activity centers and key economic corridors together throughout the region rounded out most of the remaining top-10 priorities, along with better land-use policies to encourage more transit-oriented development.
This independent study was sponsored by the 2030 Group, an association of business and community leaders working towards greater regional cooperation on long-term planning and economic issues.
Task Force Issues Call to ”Restore Trust” in Transportation Trust Fund
This week Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley’s Blue Ribbon Commission on Transportation Funding issued a strongly worded report to the Maryland General Assembly, highlighting the urgent need for additional funds. View the full report here.
Included in the Appendices are several interesting charts and data tables, including one listing the nearly $1 billion that has been diverted from the Transportation Trust Fund and not paid back (mainly from the localities’ Highway User Fund accounts), and a menu of options for legislators to consider in coming up with the $800 million that is needed.
The Task Force is also asking legislators to maintain the current portions of both the sales tax and corporate income tax that are currently dedicated to the Transportation Trust Fund.
A new report issued by The Road Information Project (TRIP), a national transportation think-tank, highlights the cost to Maryland citizens of the Free State’s continued failure to invest in its surface transportation network.
According to the report, “with the state’s population continuing to grow, Maryland must improve its systems of roads, bridges, and public transit to foster economic growth, keep business in the state, and ensure the safe, reliable mobility needed to improve the quality of life for all residents.”
Among its key findings:
- 44% of the major roads in Maryland are classified as in poor or mediocre condition.
- 26% of the state’s bridges are either “structurally deficient” or “functionally obsolete.”
- 55% of Maryland’s urban highways are severely congested during peak travel times – eighth highest rate in the nation.
Most alarmingly, the report finds that the poor condition of Maryland roads is costing Maryland drivers big-time: To the tune of about $7 billion a year in unecessary injuries from traffic accidents, lost time due to congestion-related delays, wasted fuel, and additional vehicle operating costs. In the Washington area, that comes out to about $2,296 per motorist, per year, that is being lost due to a failure to invest in our most basic transportation infrastructure. (FYI – the cost to each of us from a 10-cent-per-gallon increase in the state gas tax is only about $40 to $50 per year, depending on how much you drive!)
Former Montgomery County Executive Douglas Duncan, who chairs the Suburban Maryland Transportation Alliance, said it best: “After decades of under-investment, we are out of time, out of money, and out of excuses. The time to fix this is now, and that means finding new revenues and making sure they are spent on our failing transportation system. “ Amen.
The TRIP report lists some of the key projects that would significantly improve traffic conditions, but are not currently funded for construction: New transit lines like the Purple Line and Corridor Cities Transitway, improvements to the I-95/I-495 interchange, widening sections of I-70 and I-270 to add new lanes, and a host of other road, intersection, bridge and transit projects throughout the region.
Bottom line: None of these projects can be funded today without a significant increase in transportation funding. Read the full report: TRIP Report.
Decades of under-investment, fiscal neglect and local opposition to suburban Maryland’s transportation priorities have finally gotten us somewhere – number one on the list of most congested metropolitan areas in the US – according to a recent study cited by the Washington Post. The news comes as no surprise.
The latest Texas Transportation Institute Urban Mobility Report ranks the Washington, D.C., region number 1 (tied with Chicago) in peak hour delays, with 70 hours lost per commuter, per year, on average, in our region.
What could you do with an extra 70 hours each year? This is not to mention the tons of extra carbon emissions and over $3,000 wasted per household on extra fuel and wear-and-tear on our vehicles caused by severe congestion.
The TTI survey ranks our region-
• #1 in fuel wasted per peak auto commuter
• #2 in commuter stress
• #2 in cost of delay per peak hour auto commuter ($1,555/year)
To read the entire report, click here.
The survey’s authors hit the nail on the head:
“In the end there’s a need for more capacity.”
–Tim Lomax, Author
Texas Transportation Institute
2010 Urban Mobility Report