Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Drivers are "Biggest Loser" in DC Transportation Plan, Toll Roads Planned

Motorists visiting the nation's capital should expect more road taxes and may experience an active effort to deter driving in the future, if city planners have their way.  From Today's Washington Post:
A draft of the District’s long-range transportation plan calls for toll lanes at major entry points into the city and other efforts aimed at keeping vehicles off downtown’s congested streets.
MoveDC, which looks ahead to 2040, envisions a city with a wide transit network that includes a streetcar system, dedicated bus lanes in major commuter corridors, expanded Metrorail service in the downtown core, an active water taxi system and 200 miles of on-street bicycle facilities.
Widening the transportation choices and deterring personal vehicle use are key to meeting the increasing demand for transit in a city that projects 170,000 new residents and 200,000 additional jobs in the next 25 years, D.C. transportation officials say.
 “If we continue to grow and don’t try to address vehicular traffic and make improvements, it will choke on ourselves,” said Sam Zimbabwe, associate director for policy and planning at DDOT. “If we did nothing, if we sort of left the system just as it is and we add all those people, we will have some real severe problems.”
Encouraging carpooling and transit use can help make the system more manageable, he said. But recommendations to manage traffic into the city — the main employment center in the region — with measures such as tolls and HOV lanes are likely to be controversial in an area where the car is still king. Smart-growth advocates, however, praised DDOT’s plan and its vision to expand and encourage transit, walking and biking.
Read the complete article on the Washington Post