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Author Topic: Residents say transportation is D.C. regionís biggest challenge  (Read 4281 times)

cpzilliacus

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WTOP Radio: Residents say transportation is D.C. regionís biggest challenge

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Residents in the D.C. metro area believe transportation is the greatest challenge facing the region, according to a comprehensive poll released Monday.

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In the Greater Washington Transportation Survey, commissioned by the Suburban Maryland Transportation Alliance and the Northern Virginia Transportation Alliance, 33 percent of residents named transportation as the regionís greatest challenge.

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The next highest-scoring answer was jobs and the economy, at just 10 percent, followed by crime and terrorism, which each received 5 percent.
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froggie

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Re: Residents say transportation is D.C. regionís biggest challenge
« Reply #1 on: April 18, 2016, 01:42:41 PM »

In other news, it was recently discovered that the sky really is blue...
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WashuOtaku

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Re: Residents say transportation is D.C. regionís biggest challenge
« Reply #2 on: April 18, 2016, 02:17:17 PM »

I watched a program on the Washington Metro and one of the biggest problems is the inconsistent funding because they deal with three entities:  District of Columbia, Virginia and Maryland, and they all under fund it because they don't feel ultimately responsible for it.  Granted, public transportation in general gets a back seat in the United States, but with no direct group responsible for them, they treat Washington Metro especially crappy.
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The Ghostbuster

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Re: Residents say transportation is D.C. regionís biggest challenge
« Reply #3 on: April 18, 2016, 02:42:37 PM »

Maybe they should have built more of the formerly proposed Washington D.C. Freeway System, with the roads being underground to avoid tearing apart existing neighborhoods and businesses.
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froggie

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Re: Residents say transportation is D.C. regionís biggest challenge
« Reply #4 on: April 18, 2016, 06:12:10 PM »

That:

A) would have been far more expensive.

B) would have worsened the parking problem downtown.  Addressing that would have taken away prime real estate.
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cpzilliacus

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Re: Residents say transportation is D.C. regionís biggest challenge
« Reply #5 on: April 19, 2016, 07:18:05 AM »

That:

A) would have been far more expensive.

B) would have worsened the parking problem downtown.  Addressing that would have taken away prime real estate.

More expensive than Metrorail?  And its unfunded $1 billion annual capital funding demand? With no end in sight?

I don't think so, for one simple reason - users of those hated freeways supply their own vehicles - on a rail system, the operator of same has to purchase, operate and maintain the railcars, in addition to the rails, switches, control system, signals, escalators, elevators and station HVAC.
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froggie

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Re: Residents say transportation is D.C. regionís biggest challenge
« Reply #6 on: April 19, 2016, 07:30:49 AM »

You missed the context, CP.  He suggested tunneling all the proposed/cancelled DC freeways.  That would have been far more expensive than the original freeway plans.

And yes, given the widths involved and the right-of-way needed, I'd also argue construction would've been more expensive than Metrorail.  Think...we just spent 2+ billion on the Wilson Bridge, almost a billion on the Springfield Interchange, and a third of a billion on the 11th St Bridge.  Imagine what the improvement costs and needs for the system would be like had we built it out.  Heck, just putting a cap on 2 blocks of the 3rd St Tunnel is running 8-digits...
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cpzilliacus

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Re: Residents say transportation is D.C. regionís biggest challenge
« Reply #7 on: April 19, 2016, 07:41:01 AM »

You missed the context, CP.  He suggested tunneling all the proposed/cancelled DC freeways.  That would have been far more expensive than the original freeway plans.

Would it have been?  Most of the property condemnations associated with surface freeways would have been avoided.  Underground urban freeway construction is now being done as a matter of routine in places like Madrid, Paris and Stockholm, which tells me that someone has learned how to do it right.

And yes, given the widths involved and the right-of-way needed, I'd also argue construction would've been more expensive than Metrorail.  Think...we just spent 2+ billion on the Wilson Bridge, almost a billion on the Springfield Interchange, and a third of a billion on the 11th St Bridge.  Imagine what the improvement costs and needs for the system would be like had we built it out.  Heck, just putting a cap on 2 blocks of the 3rd St Tunnel is running 8-digits...

Would those projects in Springfield and at the Wilson been needed that scale had the Center Leg been completed?  A large part of Springfield should properly be charged back to D.C. and Maryland politicians that did not want the road in their backyards.

As for decking over the Center Leg, that's a cost that is being born by  private developers that apparently feel the project is worthwhile. I am not aware that D.C. or federal taxpayers are funding any of that.
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AlexandriaVA

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Re: Residents say transportation is D.C. regionís biggest challenge
« Reply #8 on: April 19, 2016, 09:33:58 AM »

Pipe dream #1: "We can just tunnel our freeways and avoid problems that way".

After Big Dig and the Alaskan Way project, I doubt anyone in the States will touch underground freeways for quite some time.

Pipe dream #2: "Retroactively allocate costs to DC and Maryland for the Springfield project"

I feel like you're stuck in the 1960s buddy. Center Leg Freeway is dead, buried and decomposed. The challenges in this area don't amount to getting people into the middle of DC anymore...we have more than enough freeways, and multiple rail systems. Suburban mobility is now the challenge.

Anyone resurrecting half-century old battles about freeways that nobody wants is missing the point.
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Henry

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Re: Residents say transportation is D.C. regionís biggest challenge
« Reply #9 on: April 19, 2016, 10:57:25 AM »

In a perfect world, I-66 and I-95 would go through DC as planned, but that will never happen because of the vehement opposition from the communities that they were planned to penetrate. And even if by some lucky chance they did (if only with those crazy underground proposals mentioned earlier), the Springfield Interchange and Wilson Bridge would still have to be rebuilt eventually, though not nearly to the same extent that they are now. That said, the Metro was a nice compromise, because it does a far better job of getting commuters to where they need to go than the freeway system would have if it were completed as planned.
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AlexandriaVA

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Re: Residents say transportation is D.C. regionís biggest challenge
« Reply #10 on: April 19, 2016, 11:41:06 AM »

I still have yet to hear how the pro-freeway crowd would have planned for the demand for parking. The only solution they would have been able to offer would be swaths of parking lots (look at aerial images of the City from the 60s through the 90s...ridiculous), turning the City into a glorified office park, for the benefit of surrounding jurisdictions.

To put it another way, what would serve the City better? Metro and development? Or parking lots?
« Last Edit: April 19, 2016, 11:55:52 AM by AlexandriaVA »
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jeffandnicole

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Re: Residents say transportation is D.C. regionís biggest challenge
« Reply #11 on: April 19, 2016, 12:01:07 PM »

8 gazillion online transit communities, and we have to deal with a few that creep into one of the very few road-based forums.

It didn't happen; it's not going to happen, so whatever.  They could've built parking garages. 
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AlexandriaVA

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Re: Residents say transportation is D.C. regionís biggest challenge
« Reply #12 on: April 19, 2016, 03:12:51 PM »

My interest in transportation is in seeing each mode utilized in its most effective way. I don't see any one mode as the ideal solution for all areas. Hence, I am interested in roads as well as rails and sidewalks. Note, that good freeways are also good for buses. This website is "AARoads" not "AACars". I can appreciate a good road network without being a car freak.
« Last Edit: April 19, 2016, 03:17:33 PM by AlexandriaVA »
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The Ghostbuster

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Re: Residents say transportation is D.C. regionís biggest challenge
« Reply #13 on: April 19, 2016, 03:28:24 PM »

Maybe if self-driving cars become a reality, we could have congestion relief without a lot of road improvements. Until then, we have to do everything we can to improve our transportation networks, including the roads.
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TheOneKEA

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Re: Residents say transportation is D.C. regionís biggest challenge
« Reply #14 on: April 19, 2016, 08:27:56 PM »

I still have yet to hear how the pro-freeway crowd would have planned for the demand for parking. The only solution they would have been able to offer would be swaths of parking lots (look at aerial images of the City from the 60s through the 90s...ridiculous), turning the City into a glorified office park, for the benefit of surrounding jurisdictions.

To put it another way, what would serve the City better? Metro and development? Or parking lots?

Why not both? I believe that DC needs both a freeway network and a heavy rail transit network. It has only parts of the former, and most of the latter. The region isn't going to get less populated unless total systemic transportation failure occurs and the employers choose to uproot and move on.

I am pro-freeway myself but I would not have appreciated a swath of parking lots across the District either.
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cpzilliacus

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Re: Residents say transportation is D.C. regionís biggest challenge
« Reply #15 on: April 22, 2016, 04:39:22 PM »

I still have yet to hear how the pro-freeway crowd would have planned for the demand for parking. The only solution they would have been able to offer would be swaths of parking lots (look at aerial images of the City from the 60s through the 90s...ridiculous), turning the City into a glorified office park, for the benefit of surrounding jurisdictions.

One phrase - the East-West Divide.  The communities East of D.C. have done noticeably worse than those to the West, and lack of freeway access appears to be one reason why.

To put it another way, what would serve the City better? Metro and development? Or parking lots?

D.C. and many of its elected officials (including the current Mayor) keep clamoring for D.C. statehood, as they have a right to do (and getting out from under the thumb of Congress, and usually its most-racist members, would be a good thing).

However, a state cannot demand that roads that some of its citizens do not want be simply rerouted through adjoining states.  Cities can do that (and have done it in many parts of the U.S.), but not states.
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Rothman

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Re: Residents say transportation is D.C. regionís biggest challenge
« Reply #16 on: April 25, 2016, 03:27:26 PM »

I still have yet to hear how the pro-freeway crowd would have planned for the demand for parking. The only solution they would have been able to offer would be swaths of parking lots (look at aerial images of the City from the 60s through the 90s...ridiculous), turning the City into a glorified office park, for the benefit of surrounding jurisdictions.

One phrase - the East-West Divide.  The communities East of D.C. have done noticeably worse than those to the West, and lack of freeway access appears to be one reason why.


Freeway access?  Eastern suburbs have just as much as western.

That said, perhaps you're talking about southern Maryland (say down towards Waldorf and beyond?)? 
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cpzilliacus

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Re: Residents say transportation is D.C. regionís biggest challenge
« Reply #17 on: April 25, 2016, 06:15:04 PM »

Freeway access?  Eastern suburbs have just as much as western.

To the core area of the Washington region?

That said, perhaps you're talking about southern Maryland (say down towards Waldorf and beyond?)?

No, most of Montgomery County and Prince George's County.
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froggie

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Re: Residents say transportation is D.C. regionís biggest challenge
« Reply #18 on: April 25, 2016, 07:42:42 PM »

On that subject, PGC has better freeway access to the downtown core, yet Montgomery County is doing far better economically, so I would argue that it isn't all about freeway access.
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cpzilliacus

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Re: Residents say transportation is D.C. regionís biggest challenge
« Reply #19 on: April 26, 2016, 06:51:15 AM »

On that subject, PGC has better freeway access to the downtown core, yet Montgomery County is doing far better economically, so I would argue that it isn't all about freeway access.

I made no statement about it being the only issue.

Lack of highway access to the airports of the region (especially Dulles, to a lesser extent BWI and DCA) also hurts (and getting to BWI should be relatively easy from much of the county, but the Baltimore-Washington Parkway now experiences severe traffic congestion seven days a week).

Prince George's County has suffered from periodic bouts of corruption involving its chief elected officials (Jack Johnson recently, before him, the late Jesse I. Baggett and in between, Councilmember Anthony Cicoria) involving land use and development approvals. All three ended up on the wrong end of federal corruption charges and were convicted.

Prince George's is also badly hurt by the self-inflicted TRIM property tax cap (itself a legacy of court-ordered school busing in an attempt to integrate the county schools that failed badly, resulting in schools that were even more segregated). TRIM assures that the public schools in the county lag behind its two large Beltway neighbors in Montgomery County, Maryland and Fairfax County, Virginia.

Prince George's County has also been hurt by geography - in addition to inadequate highway access to downtown D.C., it also has the misfortune of bordering on the most-crime-ridden areas of the District of Columbia, and some of that crime spills across Southern Avenue to the many blighted garden apartment complexes - some of which were built with corrupt help from the late Mr. Baggett. 
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Doctor Whom

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Re: Residents say transportation is D.C. regionís biggest challenge
« Reply #20 on: April 26, 2016, 08:20:32 PM »

Prince George's is also badly hurt by the self-inflicted TRIM property tax cap (itself a legacy of court-ordered school busing in an attempt to integrate the county schools that failed badly, resulting in schools that were even more segregated). TRIM assures that the public schools in the county lag behind its two large Beltway neighbors in Montgomery County, Maryland and Fairfax County, Virginia.
TRIM doesn't stop Prince George's County from spending almost as much per pupil as Montgomery County and more per pupil than Fairfax County.
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cpzilliacus

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Re: Residents say transportation is D.C. regionís biggest challenge
« Reply #21 on: April 27, 2016, 03:52:50 PM »

Prince George's is also badly hurt by the self-inflicted TRIM property tax cap (itself a legacy of court-ordered school busing in an attempt to integrate the county schools that failed badly, resulting in schools that were even more segregated). TRIM assures that the public schools in the county lag behind its two large Beltway neighbors in Montgomery County, Maryland and Fairfax County, Virginia.
TRIM doesn't stop Prince George's County from spending almost as much per pupil as Montgomery County and more per pupil than Fairfax County.

Source?
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