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Live chat on federal Comprehensive Plan, tomorrow at noon

NCPC planners will be joining us tomorrow for our next live chat on the Federal Elements of the Comprehensive Plan.

The Comprehensive Plan defines broad policy directions for Washington, DC. Since Home Rule, it has had two portions. The National Capital Planning Commission (NCPC) defines the Federal Elements, and the DC Council sets the District Elements with input from NCPC.

The transportation section defines some important federal policies, like the parking ratio for federal facilities, which limits parking to one space per five workers in the downtown core, one per four in DC, Arlington, and Old Town Alexandria, one per three near suburban Metro stations, and one per 1.5-2 employees elsewhere.

It also pushes federal agencies to define Transportation Management Plans, use Transportation Demand Management strategies, run shuttles and circulators around larger campuses, plan for bicycle accessibility, and more.

As NCPC updates this section, they will consider how to better comply with President Obama's executive order requiring the government to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. How will new bike sharing systems fit into federal plans? What about streetcars? Can anything be done to improve transportation in new BRAC federal facilities very far from transit?

The chat will lead in to a public forum tomorrow evening at NCPC headquarters.

Also, don't forget to testify at tonight's parking zoning hearing, support the H Street/Benning Road streetcar on Wednesday afternoon, and hear about the future of Fairfax while supporting the Coalition for Smarter Growth at their forum and fundraiser Wednesday night.

David Alpert is the founder of Greater Greater Washington and its board president. He worked as a Product Manager for Google for six years and has lived in the Boston, San Francisco, and New York metro areas in addition to Washington, DC. He now lives with his wife and two children in Dupont Circle. 


In my experience, the parking requirement is badly in need of qualification. I have seen the ratios interpreted as referring to the number of on-site parking spaces, rather than the total number of parking spaces provided. Agencies have been allowed to build parking spaces on their own property up to the ratio in the plan, and then rent more spaces in satellite lots. This defeats the entire purpose of the parking ratio and should be explicitly forbidden.

by Ben Ross on Nov 15, 2010 12:42 pm • linkreport

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