The first public comment period for Visualize 2045 is now underway. Now that the agencies have submitted their projects, programs, and policies for inclusion in the constrained element of the plan, the public may comment on these inputs. The comment period kicked off on December 14 and will close on January 13. People who wish to submit a comment may use the online comment form, mail, or appear in person at the beginning of the January 17 TPB meeting.
What’s in the plan?
Visualize 2045 will be a different kind of long-range plan for the region. One piece, the constrained element, is federally required and will include all the projects, programs and policies that are expected to be funded through 2045. Visualize 2045 will also include unfunded projects and priority aspirational elements including the five initiatives identified by the TPB’s Long-Range Plan Task Force, plus bicycle and pedestrian, freight elements, and more.
The first step is to develop the constrained element. The projects, programs, and policies submitted by the agencies must also be analyzed for their effect on the region’s air quality. To allow time for staff to conduct the analysis, all these inputs must be submitted at this time.
What are the new projects, programs, or policies?
The new submissions build on hundreds of other projects contained in the 2016 amendment to the Constrained Long-Range Transportation Plan (CLRP). The public is welcome to comment on any of the projects submitted for air quality analysis.
In the District of Columbia, six new miles of bicycle lanes throughout the District were submitted. The District is also removing three segments of its streetcar line. Learn more about these and other project changes.
In Maryland there are a range of new proposals from new toll lanes on I-270 and I-495 to a network of Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) in Montgomery County. Also included in MDOT’s submissions are road widening, and reconstruction projects for Prince George’s County and Charles County. Learn more about these and other projects.
In Virginia, submissions include a two-mile extension of the I-495 toll lanes to the American Legion Bridge, an auxiliary lane for southbound I-95 in Prince William County, and a road widening project for US 15 in Loudoun County. Learn more about these and other projects.
Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority has also submitted projects for inclusion in Visualize 2045. WMATA has submitted a proposal to run all eight-car trains throughout the system during peak periods. The proposal also includes upgrades to accommodate the higher capacity trains. Learn more about these and other projects.
What happens next?
The public comment period runs until January 13, 2018. At the TPB’s January 17 meeting, staff will present the comments received and the board will consider what is in the plan and how the air quality analysis will be performed. Staff will conduct the air quality and performance analysis during the spring and summer of 2018. In September, the public will have another chance to comment on the plan before the board considers it for final adoption in October.