We have two urgent actions we need you to take. Two massive road projects would undermine a sustainable and prosperous future for Prince George’s County.
Today the Moore Administration announced it will seek a federal grant to advance former Gov. Hogan’s defective plan for toll lanes on I-495 across the American Legion Bridge to the I-270 spur, and the I-270 west spur.
Our partners and policy makers have proposed a range of toll-lane alternatives that can provide congestion relief alone or in combination. These include bus rapid transit networks on parallel roads; incentives for telework and flexible work hours; converting a lane on I-495 for bus, vanpools and HOV; reversible lanes during rush hour; metered ramps and other features included in the successful Innovation Congestion Management Program on I-270; addressing the East-West economic, racial and commuting divide through transit-oriented development; quickly completing the Purple Line and planning for Metrorail or light rail over the American Legion and Woodrow Wilson Bridges.
Our region’s road building isn’t reducing traffic. In fact, it’s fueling more spread-out development (sprawl) and even more driving and traffic. The regional long-range transportation plan includes 900 more lane-miles in proposed road expansion!
But you have a chance now to speak out against wasteful road expansion and FOR smart growth, with better transit, safer streets for walking and biking, and also better maintaining the roads we’ve already built to handle climate change. With so much at stake, including our regional goals for climate, equity, safety and reducing sprawl, your voice is critical.
Your feedback is critical to ensure that VDOT prioritizes fostering walkable, transit-friendly communities connected by clean, convenient intercity rail and bus systems rather than continuing to pave over Virginia and making communities more car-dependent and less safe to walk and bike.
“CSG’s Induced Demand fact sheet for local, regional, and state officials – released today – makes clear the failures of road expansion,” said Stewart Schwartz, Executive Director of the Coalition for Smarter Growth.
In short, the public understands that “induced demand” is real, even if they are not aware of the term itself. Today, when officials in the DC region are planning for at least 900 more lane miles of highway and arterial road expansion and amid the ongoing debate over high-occupancy toll lanes for 495/270 in Maryland and 495 through Alexandria, the Coalition for Smarter Growth (CSG) urged officials to reconsider these plans.
induced driving, induced travel, and generated travel, is the widely documented phenomenon in which widening major roads and highways results in more driving (vehicle miles traveled) that generally cancels out any congestion-reduction benefits in as little as five to ten years.
You have a chance now to speak out against wasteful road expansion and FOR smart growth, with better transit, safer streets for walking and biking, and also better maintaining the roads we’ve already built to handle climate change. With so much at stake, including our regional goals for climate, equity, safety and reducing sprawl, your voice is critical.
Prince George’s County Council is considering a bill to freeze new townhouse construction for 2 years. We agree that too much growth is occurring outside priority centers, leading to increased traffic and high infrastructure costs, while diverting resources from existing communities. But a townhouse ban is an overly broad, indiscriminate approach that overlooks the underlying problems of Prince George’s zoning: too much single family zoning across the vast acres outside the beltway, and not enough flexible residential and mixed use zoning inside the beltway.