16 Apr 2019

News:

Maryland Highway Widening Could Work

We are happy to welcome great content from Gordon Chaffin, a freelance journalist in DC. Here is his intro. Look for his column on Sundays or Mondays from now on. –Maria Helena Carey

I’m Gordon Chaffin, a journalist in Washington DC. I cover transportation & urban planning in DC, Maryland, & Virginia for Street Justice. I explain what’s happening in the street and why. Below is a summary of the past week’s transportation news. I produce reports delivered every weekday afternoon for paid subscribers and Sunday mornings for free subscribers. The Hill is Home readers can subscribe for a 20% discount

Traffic engineer Matt Snare describes travel impacts of Maryland’s proposed I-495/I-270 widening to a DC resident. (Gordon Chaffin/Street Justice)

Maryland: Spend $10B on Drivers Using Beltway/270?

The main gym at Prince George’s Sports and Learning Complex filled with sprawling poster boards, giant map print-outs, and wayfinding you’d see at a Marathon Expo. The majority of the attendants were staff, standing ready to discuss Governor Hogan’s controversial gambit to ease today’s highway congestion in Maryland’s National Capital Region. Marylanders from Montgomery and Prince George’s County are upset for many of the same reasons, but concerns are polarized by geography. Under all MD’s designs, travel times improve for *all* lanes. It’s not just the “Lexus Lane” users who get traffic relief. [Full Story]

Cheh Opposes Bike/Walk Trail at DDOT’s FY2020 Budget

DC Council’s budget hearing this week on DDOT featured hours of public testimony. Councilmember Mary Cheh (Ward 3) chairs the relevant Committee broke news when she went on record opposing the Palisades Trolley Trail under study now. Cheh speaks often in support of projects like this but opposes one in her neighborhood. [Full Story]

DC Bus Routes May Shrink Soon

At this week’s Action Committee for Transit meeting, a regional transportation planner from Arlington predicted the future of DC-area bus service includes fewer routes, narrowed down to those on higher-ridership corridors. Dan Malouff posited that WMATA’s Bus Transformation Project will point to more-localized control of the “feeder lines” that meander through neighborhood roads. Metro will sell off those lower-ridership routes to the local authorities that already exist, like TheBus in Prince George’s County. [Full Story]

Alexandria Bike/Ped Advocates Preview Regional Summit

Monday night, heads from the DC and Arlington bike advisory groups joined Alexandria’s Bike and Pedestrian Advisory Committee to compare notes on each group’s roles. Volunteers run and participate in each group, but DC and Arlington are instantiated by law in their jurisdictions with a formal role in governance. Rachel, Gillian, and Jim, leaders of the DC, Arlington, and Alexandria Bike Advisory organizations shared three preliminary topics for their groups’ June summit. [Full Story]

DC Needs Protected Bike Lanes

In DC over the past few weeks, several projects near groundbreaking have included only unprotected bike lanes: New Jersey/New York Avenue reconstruction, Maryland Avenue NE improvements, a contra-flow lane on 8th Street NW, & curbside unprotected lanes on Franklin Street NE. They’re old designs in terms of best practices for safety. DDOT, the DC Water and Sewer Authority, the DC Department of Public Works and others succumbed to angry car users lobbying to preserve car travel and heavily subsidized vehicle storage on public space. [Full Story]
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