Regional and Federal

Image: John J Young

With over 5 million people, 8 congressional districts, 3 state-level governments, and 22 local jurisdictions, the Washington region certainly has its complexities, but it also has a rich history of working together through the regional Council of Governments (COG) and partnering on major projects like the Metro system. The Coalition for Smarter Growth has played a central role in promoting a more sustainable and equitable way for our region to grow via a network of walkable, inclusive transit-oriented communities (TOCs). Our 2002 Blueprint for a Better Region illustrated this approach, and led to the 2005 Reality Check visioning exercise, and the Council of Government’s (COG) 2010 Region Forward vision plan, and 2021 resolution to prioritize development at high-capacity transit stations.

Our Work in the DC region


Climate change and the regional Transportation Planning Board (TPB): We have just nine years to slash our greenhouse gas emissions and transportation is now our #1 source.  Our recent report shows electric vehicles will not be enough, transit-oriented communities are key to reducing emissions from driving. We are pressing regional officials to do more and move faster to shift funds from highways to transit and TOCs, both at COG’s Transportation Planning Board (TPB)  and at the Northern Virginia Regional Authority. Learn more >>>

Improving our Regional Transit Network: Having teamed with business allies in the MetroNow coalition in 2018 to win the first-ever dedicated funding for Metro, we are now working with MetroNow and other partners for Better Buses — more frequent, reliable and affordable, with improved networks and dedicated bus lanes, while continuing to press WMATA on safety, maintenance, transparency and communications. Learn more >>>

Latest Happenings


Sign-On Letter to Transportation Planning Board on Cutting Carbon Emissions

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The undersigned organizations call on the National Capital Transportation Planning Board (TPB) to strengthen the resolution before it to affirm COG’s accepted long range CO2 target of 80% reductions by 2050 in two ways: 1) Include a deadline of September 30, 2015 to complete committee work and the final report
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Does the D.C. regional transportation plan include enough mass transit?

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“There are 1,200 lane miles of new highway in this plan and only 44 miles of transit,” said Stewart Schwartz, the executive director of the Coalition for Smarter Growth, a pro-transit group. “We've argued that when you see the success of D.C., Arlington, and Alexandria and the urbanizing suburbs in places like Tysons and White Flint, more investment in transit, walking, and bicycling would do much more to reduce regional traffic than this road-heavy approach.”
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RELEASE: Dangerous by Design - with 843 pedestrian fatalities in 10 years, still work to do for safe streets in DC region

RELEASE: Dangerous by Design – with 843 pedestrian fatalities in 10 years, still work to do for safe streets in DC region

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Washington, D.C. – A new report, Dangerous by Design, released today by the National Complete Streets Coalition, a program of Smart Growth America, provides information on pedestrian fatalities and injuries and ranks every state, metro region and county based upon the degree of danger faced by pedestrians. Comparatively, the Washington, DC region is safer for pedestrians than many other regions in the nation, ranking 35 out of the 51 largest metro areas (with 1 being the most dangerous). At the same time, the report found that 843 pedestrians were killed in the region from 2003 to 2012 — an unacceptable number no matter the DC region’s current ranking - and the dangers for pedestrians along suburban arterial roads is particularly high.
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Study: Extend Metro or build light-rail to Ft. Belvoir?

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ALEXANDRIA, Va. - It's a 25-mile stretch connecting Quantico, Ft. Belvoir and the Capital Beltway. Now a study is under way to look at U.S. Route 1 from Virginia 123 north to the Beltway. The Virginia Department of Rail and Public Transit is leading the analysis of the 14-mile stretch in Prince
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Washington Area's Mean Streets

Washington Area’s Mean Streets

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A disturbing increase in the number of pedestrian deaths in the Washington, D.C., region is prompting public concern. In response, area officials have launched a “Street Smart” education campaign exhorting both walkers and motorists to watch out. Area jurisdictions are also stepping up law enforcement. Caution is always warranted and enforcement essential, but the only lasting way to ensure all users can travel safely is to design communities and streets that make walking and bicycling less risky and provide convenient connections. Each land use and transportation decision must consider and design for safe walking and bicycling.
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