Transportation Planning Board to Work on Regional Priorities


The National Capital Region Transportation Planning Board (TPB) will meet tomorrow to take up their plan to develop a list of transportation priorities, in what looks to be a two-year process that should produce a final report by July of 2013.  

For those of us in Maryland who are stuck in traffic every day, or wondering when we might ever see major new transit projects like the Corridor Cities Transitway and the Purple Line move forward, or any serious effort to reduce the crippling congestion on the Beltway and I-270, 2013 might seem like an awefully long time to wait.  The first question for the TPB is, why should it take so long to identify what our priorities should be?  Aren’t they pretty clear?

What seems to be lacking is a clearcut set of regional performance metrics (reducing average peak-hour travel times between major activity centers, or reducing congestion at major choke-points, or reducing the region’s Travel Time Index by some target figure, for example).   From the documents released as part of this initial scoping excercise, it is not at all clear that the focus really will be on reducing congestion or improving access for our region’s 5.5 million residents.  Right now the effort seems a bit fuzzier than perhaps it ought to be.  After all, the need for congestion relief and better transit connections in our region is crystal clear. 

Here is a link to the report for tomorrow’s meeting.