On Wednesday, October 15, 2014, the National Capital Region Transportation Planning Board (TPB) adopted the 2014 Constrained Long-Range Transportation Plan (CLRP) update and FY2015-2020 Transportation Improvement Program (TIP). Both documents outline the transportation investments the Greater Washington, DC region will make in the coming years. The CLRP provides a list of projects that the region will invest in over the next 26 years, and includes $243 billion in investments. The TIP is a shorter-term list of projects that will receive funding over the next six years, and includes $17.9 billion in investments.
The Greater Washington DC Safe Routes to School Regional Network submitted comments to the TPB and provided testimony at the board meeting.
We are encouraged by the significant investments in pedestrian and bicycle infrastructure and Safe Routes to School programs that appear in the CLRP and TIP project lists. On the positive side:
- There are over $15.7M in Safe Routes to School investments in the TIP project list, and many jurisdictions are represented.
- Most if not all communities are investing in new pedestrian and bicycle infrastructure, and incorporating it into larger road, highway and transit projects.
Yet overall, the amount this region is investing in walking, bicycling and Safe Routes to School makes up less than 2% of the CLRP and TIP budgets.
- The CLRP Performance Analysis predicts a 49 percent increase in trips by walking and bicycling by 2040, and an even greater increase of 69 percent within activity centers.
- Walking and bicycling are also the only modes with a significant projected increase in overall mode share by 2040, jumping from 11% to 14% of all trips.
- Therefore, making investments in these modes is critical to ensure that pedestrians and bicyclists have safe, convenient routes to reach their destinations all across the region.
Moreover, we are investing in many new transit projects across the region, and most of the trips to and from these stations will be by foot or bike, especially in Activity Centers where most household and job growth will occur in the next 26 years. Providing safe and convenient connections between these transit stations and housing, jobs, schools and other services will be critical to generating ridership.
Overall, we are encouraged by the number of pedestrian, bicycle and Safe Routes to School projects included in the CLRP and TIP, but feel they could receive greater prominence given current forecasts, policies and demographic trends. While we acknowledge that the project lists reflect the priorities of local jurisdictions, the TPB could do more to encourage its members to apply for walking, bicycling and Safe Routes to School funding in future rounds.
Read our full comments and testimony below. More information on what’s included in the CLRP and TIP on the TPB website.