Transportation Land-Use Connections projects will help create more livable communities

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At its May 16 meeting, the TPB approved nine projects to receive technical assistance through the Transportation/Land Use Connection (TLC) Program.

Launched over a decade ago, the TLC program provides local jurisdictions with professional consultants to help work on creative and sustainable small-scale plans and projects. One by one, these projects help further TPB goals to create more livable, walkable, bikeable, and transit accessible communities throughout the region. The TPB has completed over 100 projects to date.

In addition to its usual focus areas, this year’s selection committee also considered how the projects would help advance the regional initiatives laid out by the TPB, which are: bringing jobs and housing closer together, adding bus-rapid transit routes throughout the region, moving more people on Metrorail, making it easier for employees to avoid driving alone to and from work, creating a network of toll lanes around the region, completing the National Capital bike trail, and improving walking and biking access to transit.

In total, $500,000 in technical assistance are being spread across the nine projects in the District of Columbia, Maryland, and Virginia. Here are details about each project:

District of Columbia – Barry Farm-Metro Access Feasibility Analysis

This project will examine past planning studies and evaluate the feasibility of a new transportation connection across Suitland Parkway between the Barry Farm public housing complex redevelopment and the Anacostia Metro Station. It will identify suitable short- and long-term investment options with planning-level cost estimates, collaboration models for inter-agency partners, equity analysis metrics, entitlements processes, and possible funding sources.

Montgomery County – Montgomery County Site-level Person Trip Generation Data Collection Survey

Montgomery County is hoping to improve its methods of finding out how many trips people take around the county. Currently, the county uses data generally based on surveys in suburban areas for estimating how many trips will be drawn to and from each kind of development. However, these surveys are not representative of the mixed-use development in the county today. This project will help more accurately understand the traffic and congestion ramifications of new urbanizing areas within the county.

Montgomery County – Short-Range Transit Plan for the Great Seneca Science Corridor Master Plan

The corridor from Shady Grove Metrorail station to Metropolitan Grove MARC station is not currently served by bus routes. The Corridor Cities Transitway (CCT) is a proposed Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) line which will operate along this corridor. The CCT, therefore, is an integral element of the Great Seneca Science Master Plan, because it will provide high-quality service where currently no service is provided, but funding to move the CCT forward has not been identified. This TLC project will establish a preferred transit routing and service plan that can be considered for implementation when the Watkins Mill interchange is complete in 2020, which can serve as an interim service until the CCT is complete.

Prince George’s County – Cheverly Metro Non-Motorized Access Study

Prince George’s County – Eastover and Forest Heights Trail Improvements

This project will provide planning assistance for several trails and sidewalks in the Eastover and Forest Heights area. These communities have fragmented sidewalk networks and few on-road bicycle facilities. This project will help to implement the vision outlined in that master plan as well as in the Eastover/Forest Heights/Glassmanor Sector Plan. It will also assist with trail improvements to Oxon Cove, and provide regional connectivity per the National Park Service Paved Trails Plan.

Prince George’s County – Purple Line Parking Study

To maximize the potential for safety, development, and activity in communities along the Purple Line, Prince George’s County must assess existing parking and management policies that often make it difficult to transfer from one form of transportation to another, which in turn makes it difficult to build transit-oriented development. This study will inventory the existing supply and peak demands for parking near the Purple Line, as well as recommend improvements to the County’s policies for managing and establishing parking districts. The project will include three study areas: Takoma-Langley, Riverdale Park, and New Carrollton.

Arlington County – Zone-based Demand-Response Circulator/Feeder Service (Flex) Parameters

In Arlington County there are several low-density neighborhoods which are served by low-frequency, low-ridership, costly-to-operate bus routes. In these areas, it may be easier and cheaper to provide on-demand private-vehicle service for people needing to get to Arlington’s business and shopping districts than continuing to provide bus service. For that reason, the county wants to study the possibility of using services like taxis, Uber, and Lyft to serve these passengers in select areas. The county also sees this project as a potential model for other places which are facing similar issues with their bus systems.

Fairfax County – Laurel Hill-Lorton VRE Connector Trail Feasibility Study

The Laurel Hill-Lorton VRE Connector Trail would provide a link to the Gerry Connolly Cross County Trail and adjacent communities on the west side of I-95 with the Lorton VRE Station and neighboring communities on the east side of I-95. This feasibility study will examine the engineering challenges related to this trail project, such as crossing Pohick Creek, and crossing the current/future CSX Railroad bridges and VDOT I-95 bridges.

Prince William County – Development of Mixed-Use Zoning Regulations to Support Multi-Modal Travel and Connectivity in Small Area Plans

Current zoning regulations within Prince William County, including mixed-use districts, focus on lists of uses and development standards with an emphasis on separating buildings with yards and buffers, and accommodating the needs of automobiles. This TLC project will result in the development of draft regulations for new mixed-use zoning districts, which would allow for new districts where people can live, work, and play all in the same neighborhood.

For more information on the TLC program, visit https://www.mwcog.org/TLC.

Jack Narron is an intern working on the Transportation Land-use Connections and Transportation Alternatives programs. He is studying community planning at the University of Maryland in College Park. 

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