Posts about Roads
If a shrinking number of people want to fly in and out of an airport, is the solution to spend a billion dollars to build a road there? Or is the better approach to build infrastructure where people do want to go?
The former doesn't seem to make a lot of sense, but that's exactly what we're hearing from the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority (MWAA) and Virginia officials about the proposed Bi-County Parkway from Prince William County to the airport.
The Post explored the question in the July 14 Metro article "Could a Pr. William-Loudoun road revive Dulles?" The basic issue is that people seem more eager to fly in and out of Reagan National Airport than Dulles. Congress recently added exemptions to Reagan's perimeter rule that has allowed airlines to add more long-distance flights, helping to spur a 5 percent increase of passenger traffic last year. Meanwhile, Dulles saw 2 percent growth in international traffic, but domestic traffic dropped 8 percent.
Virginia road lobbyist Bob Chase claims that the only "balanced" funding for transportation is to give almost all of it to roads, primarily because most people drive. But he overlooks a simple fact: most people drive because we have under-invested in other modes for a long time. That's no reason to keep it up.
Washington Post columnist Robert McCartney called last week for "a balanced approach" to traffic congestion, including transit investments and smart growth as well as new road construction (though he mostly seemed to want more highways).
Chase, who heads the Outer Beltway advocacy group the Northern Virginia Transportation Alliance, followed up with an action alert entitled "A balance of modes?" attacking regional transportation proprities for being about half roads and half transit, or not road-heavy enough for him.
According to the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments most recent household survey, 81% of daily trips are made by auto, 9% by walking or bicycle, and 6% by public transit. (In Northern Virginia auto trip percentages are slightly higher; transit slightly less.)This is a nonsensical and nonserious argument for two reasons. First, the road network is mainly fine outside rush periods, and most of the car trips happen on less congested local roads. For commuting, which is when the traffic is worst, the transit percentage is far, far higher.
The Northern Virginia Transportation Authority's proposed $206.8 million pay-as-you-go and bond list for FY 2014 regional funds features 12 highway projects totaling $108.8 million and 22 transit projects totaling $98 million. Proportionally, that's 52.6% for highways and 47.3% for transit.
Distribution of Regional Transportation Funds Should Reflect a Closer Relationship to The Distribution of Users and Beneficiaries That Are Footing the Bill. [Annoying Capitalization In Original]
But what we spend on transportation, except for repairs (which are important) really should have nothing to do with the current mode share percentages.
Let's imagine we are in an alternate reality where we never built Metro. Very few people ride transit because there is very little of it. Does that mean in this alternate world the case for building transit is weaker? Why? Maybe it's stronger because we would be even further behind than we are today.
Or when we first built Metro, fewer people rode transit, so by Chase's logic, that makes it a bad idea to have done it then?
Any investment in new transportation is not that much about current people. Current people will keep using the current lanes, trains, etc. We can make them a little better, but any investment in a place that's got high demand will attract new users to fill up slack capacity.
New transportation infrastructure is primarily about new people. Build a road somewhere and people will move to places where that road accommodates their commute. Build a transit line and people will move to the areas around the stations if the line goes where they need to go.
A region's preexisting mode share matters little. If you want more driving and traffic and car dependent housing build more roads. If you want more transit riding and TOD build transit.
Chase wants to see Virginia develop another tier of detached house suburbs beyond the existing ones. That's his right to believe that but he should be honest about it. He's also misguided.
While our existing suburban neighborhoods are an important part of the housing mix, since new market demand is mostly for walkable urban places, what we need to do is build transportation infrastructure that feeds that kind of growth for the future, like a street grid in Tysons, new transit lines, and better sidewalks and bike facilities everywhere.
We underinvested in transit compared to other developed nations (though more than many other US cities) for a long time. That's a reason to work harder to catch up, not throw up our hands and assume that the future has to look like the past.
DC, Maryland, and Virginia have proposed their latest series of changes to a regional transportation plan. It's amusing to look at the list: DC's new projects are all about reconfiguring roadways to be less like highways, while Virginia's are all about adding or widening highways.
This is part of an annual process where the states and DC update lists of what projects they want to do in coming years. The regional Transportation Planning Board has to ensure that the lists, which form the Constrained Long-Range Plan, fit with expected local and federal revenue, and juggles assumptions until staff can at least claim that all the new roads won't make our air quality too bad.
DC is adding 6 new projects, to construct bus lanes on I Street, make New Jersey Avenue 2-way, add a bike trail, and reduce the number of general travel lanes on 4 streets. Those projects will cost about $20.5 million altogether.
The DC changes also include the median on Pennsylvania Avenue east of the river and 2 cycle tracks which have already happened but weren't in the TPB's plan yet.
Meanwhile, Virginia wants to widen 5 highways, build new ones through Manassas Battlefield and around Dulles Airport, and add highway ramps around Tysons Corner, for a total cost of $750 million to $1.4 billion depending on what they choose for Dulles. All of that money is for car capacity; there are no transit, pedestrian, or bicycle projects being added to Virginia's list this year.
Maryland isn't changing much this round; it's just moving some money from the Corridor Cities Transitway to the Purple Line.
Here is the list of new projects for the District of Columbia (not counting ones DC is adding which are already complete):
- I St. NW from 13th St. NW to Pennsylvania Ave. NW: Add peak period bus-only lanes
- New Jersey Ave. NW from H St. NW to N St. NW: Reconstruct from 4 lanes one-way to 2 lanes in each direction
- 17th St. NE/SE from Benning Rd. NE to Potomac Ave. NE: Reduce from 2 lanes to 1 lane southbound
- C St. NE from 16th St. NE to Oklahoma Ave. NE: Remove 1 of 2 travel lanes in each direction to calm traffic
- East Capitol St. from 40th St. to Southern Ave.: Implement pedestrian safety and traffic operations improvements and remove 1 of 3 travel lanes in each direction
- South Capitol St. from Firth Sterling Ave. SE to Southern Ave. SE: Design and construct a paved bicycle and pedestrian trail and reduce the number of lanes from 5 to 4
- Widen I-395, Shirley Memorial Highway, Southbound from Duke St. to Edsall Rd.
- Capital Beltway HOT Lanes: The segment of HOT Lanes between south of the George Washington Pkwy and
south of Old Dominion Dr. was planned to be 2 lanes wide. VDOT proposes to make this segment 4 lanes wide.
- Capital Beltway Ramps at Dulles Airport Access Highway and Dulles Toll Road: Construct a new ramp connecting the northbound general purpose lanes on I-495 to the inner lanes of westbound Dulles Airport Access Highway. Widen the ramp connecting eastbound Dulles Toll Road to the northbound general purpose lanes on I-495 from 1 to 2 lanes.
- Widen US 1, Jefferson Davis Highway from Lorton Rd. to Annapolis Way from 4 to 6 lanes.
- Widen VA 7, Leesburg Pike from I-495 to I-66 from 4 to 6 lanes.
- Construct 2-lane collector-distributor roads parallel to Dulles Toll Road between VA 684, Spring Hill Rd. and VA 828, Wiehle Ave.
- Dulles Toll Road Ramps in Tysons: Construct a ramp to and from the Dulles Toll Rd. to the new Boone Blvd. extension at Ashgrove Lane. Construct a ramp to and from the Dulles Toll Rd. to the new Greensboro Dr. extension at Tyco Rd.
- Dulles Greenway Ramp: Construct a new egress ramp from the Dulles Greenway to the planned Hawling Farm Blvd.
- "Improved access" to Dulles Airport: [4 alternatives, a no-build and 3 that involve new 4-lane limited access highways or widening US-50 and VA-606.]
- VA 28 Manassas Bypass: Study a proposed 4 to 6 lane bypass through Prince William and Fairfax Counties.
- Change in project cost of the Corridor Cities Transitway from $1.2 billion to $828 million
- Change in project cost of the Purple Line from $1.79 billion to $2.245 billion
Still, this gives something of a glimpse into what's on the minds of transportation planners in each jurisdiction right now. DC is spending some small dollars to reconstruct roads to better accommodate pedestrians, cyclists, and buses; Viginia is spending big dollars on new road capacity.
Each spring, the District Department of Transportation (DDOT) tries to fill thousands of potholes around the city. This year, I put them to the test by biking around DC and reporting and tracking as many potholes as I could find. Most got filled, though some better than others.
DDOT announced last month that the agency had filled nearly 4,000 potholes during its fifth annual Potholepalooza initiative, a marked increase from previous years. Officials say they dispatched multiple crews, including 3 "pothole killer" trucks each day to make repairs.
Using 311 Online, I submitted 80 pothole service requests for 236 potholes during Potholepalooza. That's nearly 10% of the 849 requests DDOT received. DDOT filled 177 of the potholes, or 75%. I was impressed with how quickly DDOT responded to me. In most cases, inspectors noted and sometimes filled the potholes I reported within 24 hours.
Of the 59 potholes that weren't filled, most were on streets where I reported numerous potholes. It seemed DDOT picked and chose which ones to fill. In 2 places, on Ontario Street NW between Florida Avenue and Kalorama Road, and on Quebec Street NW next to Sidwell Friends, there were large groups of potholes that never got filled.
DDOT didn't fill small or out of the way potholes
I also noticed and reported several potholes directly around manhole covers, but none of those got repaired. DDOT also avoided making repairs to potholes near ongoing road construction (where a lot of other, non-pothole gashes and ruts were present) and generally neglected to fill the smaller holes I reported. I would often report 5-10 potholes on the same rutty block and find that only the larger ones had been filled.
I also reported a number of potholes on Maine Avenue, Benning Road, East Capitol Street and Rock Creek and Potomac Parkway, but DDOT representatives told me that they weren't under their jurisdiction, at least for repairing potholes.
The pothole fillers didn't repair all potholes in the same way. For most potholes, they used a hot, black asphalt mix, but about half of the potholes I saw also had an additional layer of gray gravel that seemed to form a stronger bond. Meanwhile, a good portion of those filled with just asphalt have already become potholes again.
Unfortunately, when DDOT uses gravel to strengthen a pothole repair, they routinely leave excess gravel on the road. The bike lanes on Calvert Street NW between Adams Morgan and Woodley Park have been littered with excess gravel for several months as a result of numerous pothole repairs, many of which I reported. This creates an entirely new hazard to bikers that may be worse than the original potholes.
These inconveniences suggest that the Potholepalooza program is designed more for motorists than for cyclists. Small ruts and loose gravel are scarcely concerns for a 4,000 pound car, but present dangerous obstacles to a cyclist.
I noticed that DDOT were more likely to fill potholes in the middle of the street than those on the side. I reported over 20 potholes on 17th Street NW, just south of Pennsylvania Avenue. 14 of these were in car lanes and 6 were near curbs, where only bikes would ride. DDOT filled 13 of the 14 car lane holes and just 2 of 6 roadside holes, despite all of them being very near one another.
This is a small sample, but I saw the trend repeated across the city. If a pothole was small or in a location where cars don't go, it was much more likely to stay a pothole.
Potholes got filled everywhere, but roads in affluent neighborhoods were worse
I wondered whether certain areas and neighborhoods would receive preferential treatment from service crews. Fortunately, this was not the case. After reporting at least a few potholes in every ward, but mostly in wards 1, 2, 3 and 5, I found no significant geographic differences in fill rates. DDOT filled roughly 3 out of every 4 potholes regardless of where they were.
However, I was surprised to find that some of the most affluent neighborhoods in Northwest DC seem to have the worst roads. Biking through areas like Petworth or Brookland, I seldom saw clusters of potholes and often went 15 minutes without seeing anything worth recording.
But I also found streets, like 34th Street in Cleveland Park or R Street in Georgetown, that looked like they'd been subjected to mortar practice. Downtown, 17th Street near Pennsylvania Avenue and N Street NW between 17th and 18th streets need serious help as well. These streets don't just need their potholes filled, they need to be repaved completely.
When I first announced my project, several commenters said that filling individual potholes was frivolous in the face of larger bicycle and road quality concerns. And they're right. Even if DC filled every pothole, there would still be many dangers for cyclists, like construction ditches, metal plates, or sewer grates. Filling potholes is inherently temporary, a series of Band-Aids on a chronically ill patient.
All that said, I did not bike around Washington for a month in search of potholes with any hope of seriously improving road conditions. I was more interested in the notion that an individual could make a small difference in the roads they used by reporting problems to the city. I wanted to see whether DDOT would really respond if I submitted hundreds of potholes. For the most part, they did.
It's easy to complain about bad roads, but as it turns out, it's almost as easy to report them. So the next time you're on your bike and you see a big hole, you should tell the city. If you're sick of a bumpy ride on a decaying street, you should report it. Odds are, DDOT might do something about it.
The American Legion Memorial Bridge helped usher in an era of suburban growth for Montgomery and Fairfax counties, which combined have over 2 million residents and 1.1 million jobs. As both counties have grown, the bridge remains the only link between them, and one almost exclusively dependent on single-occupancy vehicles.
The George Mason University Center for Regional Analysis (CRA) recently completed a study, Beyond the Legion Bridge, with recommendations on how to improve connections and offer more transportation options between Montgomery and Fairfax counties.
Today, there aren't any HOV or express lanes across the bridge, nor is there any direct transit service. Meanwhile, traffic on the bridge continues to grow as almost all travel demand between the counties flows across the bridge as motor vehicle traffic.
Why is traffic getting worse? CRA found that while the number of daily commuters between Montgomery and Fairfax has fallen over the past 20 years, the number of long-distance commuters going to or from outer suburban counties like Frederick, Loudoun or Prince William has increased, creating more traffic on the bridge. Meanwhile, 37% of trips over the Legion Bridge come from through-travelers or heavy trucks, adding to the burden placed on the bridge by commuters.
In 2009, Maryland and Virginia's departments of transportation studied a 14-mile segment of I-495 and I-270 between Tysons Corner and Gaithersburg. They looked at a variety of potential changes, including restriping the highway to create more lanes, creating reversible lanes, or widening the bridge altogether.
The study found that minor improvements would not have much impact and even massive projects with price tags as high as $2.65 billion would only have modest impacts on congestion. Clearly, no amount of money or engineering expertise applied to moving more vehicles over the bridge will solve the congestion problem.
Small fixes could create some breathing room
Given these challenges, what can leaders in Maryland and Virginia do? In the short term, I suggest three relatively simple strategies to mitigate the negative effects that traffic congestion has on the economy and quality of life.
- Reduce demand for trips during peak period: For starters, we need to reduce the number of vehicle trips during rush hour. In the short term, we can do this by encouraging carpooling, vanpooling, transit use, alternative work hours, and telecommuting. These strategies will help the growing number of commuters who essentially have no existing option but to use the Legion Bridge and its congested feeder routes. This requires a coordinated effort from both states.
- Provide alternatives for heavy trucks: Though heavy trucks make up just a small share of trips over the Legion Bridge, they have substantial impacts on its effectiveness. Since neither county has much of a manufacturing or warehousing base, most goods traveling on the bridge are either passing through or are going to retailers in each county. We should find potential alternate routes or bypasses for through trucks, while taking a look at how goods headed to each county get there.
- Limit unnecessary bridge traffic: Some commuters who live in Montgomery County use the bridge only to reach the George Washington Parkway on their way to the District or Arlington. Low-cost solutions such as transit incentives, commuter buses or vanpools could give them an alternative. Meanwhile, more could be done to discourage through-traffic from outside the region from using the Legion Bridge, especially during the afternoon rush hour.
While these interventions would relieve some pressure on the Legion Bridge, their benefits pale in comparison to those of a direct, high-capacity transit connection between Montgomery and Fairfax counties, specifically between Bethesda and Tysons Corner. They are already two of the largest employment and commerce hubs in the region, and plans for both areas direct future growth around their Metrorail stations.
Though they're only seven miles apart, it's hard to travel between them on transit. A Metrobus route ran from Bethesda to Tysons Corner from 1998 to 2003, but failed because there wasn't a dedicated lane to make it more reliable.
Even after the Silver Line opens, a Metro trip between Bethesda and Tysons will take about an hour via Metro Center. A direct transit link, whether heavy rail, light rail, or express bus, would provide a faster and more efficient connection.
Political and business leaders on both sides of the Potomac have shown a willingness to think big and make necessary investments in road and transit infrastructure. Both Montgomery and Fairfax counties are also working to reduce car trips by building transit lines, like the Purple Line, Corridor Cities Transitway, and the Silver Line.
Where would a new line go? One option would be to extend the Purple Line from its planned terminus in downtown Bethesda to either the future McLean or Tysons Corner Silver Line stations or the existing Dunn Loring Metro station. This 8-mile route could have additional stops at commercial nodes along the way, like Kenwood and Sumner in Maryland, and Langley and McLean Village in Virginia.
The public already owns much of the necessary right-of-way for this route. In Maryland, the line could run along Little Falls Parkway and the Capital Crescent Trail, while in Virginia, it could use Route 123. However, there would have to be a new bridge over or tunnel under the Potomac River somewhere south of Little Falls Dam, which could be very expensive.
Another option could be to add a transitway along the Capital Beltway between Grosvenor and Tysons Corner. This could be an express bus route, which could predictably make the 12-mile trip in about 15 minutes, compared to over an hour under current rush hour conditions. Or it could be a heavy rail line, which would boost capacity, allow for additional stops, or even offer a one-seat ride between Shady Grove and Dulles Airport.
Other than the cost, this option's biggest shortcoming is that it doesn't make a direct connection between Bethesda and Tysons Corner. A third option would be to build both routes, though this would obviously be even more expensive.
What about the Techway?
Soon after the Legion Bridge opened, Maryland and Virginia began discussing another highway connection over the Potomac River. Called the Techway by supporters or the Zombie Outer Beltway by opponents, the project has had many fits and starts over the years.
At the moment, neither state has any serious plans to build it, though some officials and advocacy groups have kept the plan alive.
Even if a new crossing were built, history and academic research suggest that new highway infrastructure does not remove congestion from existing roads. Instead, new highways tend to stimulate additional residential and commercial development which, in turn, increases the overall volume of traffic in a given area. The highway still might get built one day, but if so, its presence would still not likely address the demand along the Legion Bridge corridor.
Looking ahead, Montgomery and Fairfax counties need better connectivity to protect the economy, public services, and quality of life that both counties have spent decades building. Achieving this goal will require both a unified vision from political and business leaders in both Maryland and Virginia, and a long-term commitment to investing in the necessary improvements.
When business leaders of the Federal City Council say traffic congestion might affect their decisions to move companies out of DC, how much are they thinking about the needs of employees, and how much is it mostly about the congestion on their own personal drives to work?
There's a long history of research showing that a very large element of business location decisions is what's most convenient for the CEO. Joel Garreau talks about this in the seminal urban planning book Edge City, and cites some earlier research from William Whyte:
Whyte, in his book City, has a great map showing that of thirty-eight companies that moved out of New York City in one period "to better meet the quality-of-life needs of their employees," thirty-one moved to the Edge City around Greenwich and Stamford, Connecticut. ...
The average distance from the CEO's home: eight miles.
Compare that to the Federal City Council's release:
When weighing a business relocation, over one-third (36 percent) of business, professional and civic leaders say they would consider moving out of the District with 12 percent who say they would strongly consider.That's why businesses locate on the west side of our region
Relocation decisions are based on many factors including employee commuting experience. Nearly all (98 percent) say workforce commuters who travel by car are important to their business-location decisions, with 71 percent saying they are "very" important.
Certainly traffic impacts people beyond just the head of a business, but one can't help but wonder how much the concern over congestion really stems from a personal reaction: if the business owner faces a lot of traffic, it's frustrating, and he might want to move the company somewhere closer to his house.
This is important when what business leaders want and what their workforces need or want aren't quite the same. CEOs are much more likely to live in McLean, Great Falls, and Potomac than their lower-level workers. It's little surprise that Tysons, the Dulles corridor, Bethesda, and the I-270 corridor have won more businesses than eastern Montgomery, Richmond Highway, or Prince George's County.
When Montgomery County was planning the Great Seneca Science Corridor (also known as "Science City") near Gaithersburg, one major factor tipping the scales (besides the fact that Johns Hopkins owned a farm there) was the convenient drive biotech company owners might have. That gives the site an advantage over the White Oak Science Gateway on the east side of the county. Prince George's faces the same challenges in getting businesses to its Metro stations.
CEO convenience leads some businesses to choose suburban office parks
This split also applies to locating in walkable urban versus suburban office park locations. When organizations like the Greater Washington Board of Trade talk about what DC needs to compete, you hear a lot about what's attractive about Tysons, or Route 50 and the Beltway (where Northrop Grumman put its headquarters). There's a lot of driving infrastructure there, low taxes, and so on.
The view that the center city needs to out-suburb the suburbs drove transportation decisions for much of the 20th century. It's what led many cities to decimate their downtowns with freeways that ultimately sapped the vitality of the places themselves while drawing people and their money away except from 9 to 5.
The other view is that some businesses will be in suburban office parks no matter what, while other businesses want to be in creative places like DC, Arlington, and Bethesda. Those businesses want to attract workers who want to live in dynamic walkable urban places, who prioritize being able to take Metro (if they can't walk or bike) to the office. They also might want to be accessible for workers who can't afford cars as well.
One obstacle, though, is when the CEOs and presidents who decide where to locate their businesses have different preferences. For tech startups like LivingSocial, the leaders want the creative, urban atmosphere too, but not necessarily for a defense contractor.
Without pricing, faster driving won't really help CEOs for long
It's important to note that DC does not go around making it hard to drive into the District. Most of the road spending of recent years has gone to bridges in and out of downtown. There are large freeways in from Virginia, and major arterials whose design prioritizes car flow at rush hours.
Nevertheless, as the region has grown, so has traffic. The big question we're considering in the MoveDC citywide planning process is, should another huge chunk of future capital now go toward doing even more to bring even more cars even faster into the District?
Induced demand tells us that any effort to do this might alleviate congestion in the short term, but any new lane, or any road timed to move more cars, will soon fill up and become congested once more. The limiting factor in how much people drive is how much traffic they're willing to tolerate, not the actual roadway itself.
So the Federal City Council's recommendations won't really help the business leaders for long. As we discussed yesterday, congestion pricing would, if it could go through. That's an especially efficient solution, because the CEOs could pay for the fast commute they want while funding transit for many other workers.
The Federal City Council's survey of their members tells us something, but it's not that businesses need more driving capacity. It's that the experience driving into DC definitely matters to Federal City Council CEOs and presidents. That's nothing to ignore, of course, but important to put in its proper context.
Today, Maryland Governor Martin O'Malley signed the transportation funding bill that passed the legislature this year. The governor also announced a list of projects that would get some of the money, including MARC expansion and studies for the Purple Line and Baltimore Red Line.
The tax will start this summer, and will help fund transportation projects across the state. The increased tax was a key part of O'Malley's 2013 legislative agenda, and is expected to generate $800 million more for transportation each year.
After the governor signed the bill, his office released a list of "first round" projects that will get some of the increased revenues. This list totals $1.2 billion, but over the first 6 years, the tax should generate $4.4 billion.
Of the $1.2 billion, $650 million (54%) will go to transit. However, a large portion of that funds studies rather than actual construction. Money will go to MARC to add weekend service on the Penn Line and 2 new weekday roundtrips on the Camden Line, and to purchase new locomotives.
Here is the full list.
- $100 million for MARC enhancements, including Penn Line weekend service, 2 new Camden Line weekday roundtrips, and new locomotives.
- $280 million for final design for the Purple Line.
- $170 million for final design for the Red Line in Baltimore.
- $100 million for final design for the Corridor Cities Transitway in Montgomery County.
- $125 million for construction of an interchange between I-270 and Watkins Mill Road in Montgomery County.
- $100 million for construction of an interchange at Kerby Hill Road and Indian Head Highway in Prince George's.
- $49 million for widening US 29 to three lanes from Seneca Drive to MD 175 in Howard County.
- $82 million for construction of an interchange on US 15 at Monocacy Boulevard in Frederick.
- $20 million for design of a new Thomas Johnson Bridge between Calvert and St. Mary's counties.
- $60 million for reconstruction of in interchange at I-695 and Leeds Avenue in Baltimore County.
- $44 million for BRAC-related construction near Aberdeen Proving Ground.
- $54 million for construction of a new interchage on US 301 at MD 304 on the Eastern Shore.
Maryland may eliminate 3 of the 5 bus routes on the Intercounty Connector. The move is a classic bait and switch from highway builders: Get political buy-in with the promise of a multimodal road, then cut the multimodal aspects at the first opportunity.
The Maryland Transit Administration operates 5 bus routes on the ICC. It's proposing to eliminate routes 202, 203, and 205. Only the 201 and 204 would remain, running from Gaithersburg to BWI Airport and Frederick to College Park.
When planning the ICC, Maryland promised it would include good transit service and a high-quality bike trail. Officials cut much of the trail in 2004. The bus service was never very good either, so it never got many riders. Now the state is citing that as a reason to cut it significantly.
Of course, cars aren't held to the same standard.
There also aren't many drivers on the ICC. Around 21,000 cars per day use the road. The state says that meets projections, but the projections seem to change. At one point they were as high as 71,000.
But is anyone proposing the state shut the road? Nope. Instead, the strategy is to try and boost car use.
When it comes to bikes and transit, it's cut and run at the first hint of a problem. For cars, it's roll out the red carpet and hope for more traffic.
This isn't the first time this has happened. When Virginia's I-95 HOT lanes were first proposed, the firm hoping to expand the highway called its proposal "BRT/HOT lanes," but of course nothing resembling actual BRT was ever built.
Transportation advocates should remember this the next time someone proposes a "multimodal" highway. Odds are they won't deliver.
Cross-posted at BeyondDC.
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