Montgomery County And Transit (revised)
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Montgomery County And Transit (revised)

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Presentation from 2006 about thinking about transportation planning in Montgomery County, Maryland.

Presentation from 2006 about thinking about transportation planning in Montgomery County, Maryland.

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Montgomery County And Transit (revised) Montgomery County And Transit (revised) Presentation Transcript

  • Montgomery County: Transit Beyond the Purple Line ACT: October 2006 Richard Layman Citizens Planning Coalition Washington, DC
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  • -- Average suburban household generates 15 trips/day. -- Most suburban single family households have two cars. -- Many suburban single family households have three or more cars.
  • Mobility ‘rithmetic 1,350 cars/hour Urban superblocks Capacity (per hour) Mode (one lane/mile) 2,200 cars Freeway (car) 1,800 cars/hour/lane Off-ramp (car) 900 cars/hour Urban small blocks 6,250 passengers/hour Regular bus 10,000 passengers/hour Rapid bus 16,000 passengers/hour Light rail 30,000+ passengers/hour Rapid rail transit
  • DC’s Competitive Advantages:
    • 1.  (Historic) architecture [historic preservation]
    • 2.  Pedestrian-centric urban design [walking city]
    • 3.  History and authenticity
    • 4.  A rich transit infrastructure that allows time- and cost- efficient mobility without being car-dependent.
    • ------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    • 5. The fifth competitive advantage is the federal government and its generation of an agglomeration of jobs and businesses, with a significant number of both being located in the core of the center city
  • What are Montgomery County’s Competitive Advantages?
    • Does transit and mobility rate?
    • If not, why not?
    • If not, should it be strengthened to become a competitive advantage? (Arlington!)
    • Many employment centers are located within range of subway stations (Silver Spring, Bethesda, Rockville, White Flint, Shady Grove-Gaithersburg)
  • Seven reasons why people don’t ride transit
    • It doesn't go where they need to go from where they are.
    • It's not time-efficient.
    • It's not cost-efficient to take transit compared to driving.
    • Metro goes where they need to go, and they would ride, if they could get to the station somewhat efficiently. Otherwise, it's easier or faster to drive. (This is related to but subtly different from [2]).
    • Transit can't be counted on; it is no longer reliable when planning time-sensitive trips, and therefore another mode is chosen.
    • Transit riding isn't conducive to the requirements of the trip (parent with children, transporting something big and bulky, etc.)
    • Driving is subsidized in so many ways (cost of roads, cost of military protection of access to oil, land use planning, free parking, etc.) that people don’t pay the real cost of the trip, and it seemingly is cheaper than transit
  • The auto-centric paradigm
  • Every parking space is an automobile trip generator
  • GE Streetcar ads in city management publications, 1940s
  • More to think about
    • Donald Shoup’s points about car subsidy, that a free public parking space is worth $1,800/year
    • People say transit is subsidized. It is. But so are roads to the tune of 50%. Gasoline taxes come nowhere near to covering road costs.
    • Average fuel cost: $1,500/year.
    • Cost to own and maintain a car: $6,000/year
    • Avg. household spends 20% of income on transportation (automobiles)
    • The less you spend on automobiles, the more there is to spend on housing ownership, other necessary and discretionary spending
  • Reinserting transit into the paradigm Arlington County Ad in the Arlington-Alexandria Extra, Washington Post
  • RideOn is a national best practice example of suburban bus transit
    • But you can’t be content with best practices from the 1980s
  • Think differently about how to get around
  • Jurisdictions in the WMATA region must adopt a “Places First (complete streets)-Transit First” land use and planning paradigm
  • “ Transit First” policies
    • Reduce subsidies to the private automobile through increase in user-based fees such as tolls, gasoline taxes, parking fees, and parking cash-outs.
    • Reward smart land use planning decisions by making greater regional transportation investments in communities that take real steps to discourage urban sprawl and reinforce city centers.
    • Fund transportation projects based on performance measures or criteria which consistently increase the share of non-automobile trips , improve air quality, and reduce average vehicles miles traveled per capita.
    • Ensure adequate funding for maintenance of the existing transportation system before spending money on expansion through major capital investments.
    • Maximize funding flexibility at the regional level so that local jurisdictions are able to program funds where they are most needed.
  • Transit user demographics Graphic: Washington Post
  • It’s politically incorrect to say but -- In some respects transportation planning is about getting people who have choices to make better choices -- Sure we want to make a great transit system for everyone -- But transit-dependent people (like me) will ride transit out of necessity -- Mode shifting is directed towards people with choices
  • The original WMATA system was designed for suburban commuters “ Rail Rapid Transit for the (suburban) Motorist”
  • Not to promote compact development
  • Sprawl/automobility vs. efficiency
    • Polycentric vs. monocentric transit planning
    • Sprawl land use patterns make transit costly and inefficient, therefore infrequent
    • Priming – road building shapes development patterns
    • Exurban development (people keep moving farther and farther out)
  • Transit planning needs to be based around the “mobility-shed”
  • Thinking about the mobility-shed
  • Mobility-Transportation Modes
    • -- Walking
    • -- Bicycling
    • -- Segways/scooters/Vespas
    • -- Transit
    • -- bus
    • -- rapid bus/streetcar
    • -- streetcar
    • -- light rail
    • -- subway
    • -- Taxi
    • -- Car Sharing
    • -- Motorcycle
    • -- Van pooling
    • -- Railroad
    • -- Personally owned automobile
  • Transit is more than WMATA or MARC and Mobility is more than just transit
  • 507 Square Miles. Closing in on 1 million residents in population.
  • We must focus on connecting modes*
    • Metrorail
    • Metrobus
    • Ride-on Bus System
    • Maryland Commuter Rail
    • Bicycling
    • Walking (?????)
    • Transportation Management Districts
    • *This is called articulation
  • What’s the County’s plan?
  • Is this a “Plan”?
  • Or a bunch of ideas listed in a report?
  • Auto mobility maybe--not mobility
  • Montgomery County has a number of distinct transit sheds
    • 13 subway stations (including Takoma)
    • 11 MARC railroad stations
    • Other transit centers (i.e., Langley Park)
    • Major employment centers
    • -- some with subway stations (Bethesda, Silver Spring, White Flint, Rockville, Shady Grove) and some without
    • Other activity centers (shopping centers, Montgomery College, etc.)
  • Plenty of opportunity for mode shift
    • The mobility-shed (transit-shed) provides a conceptual framework for planning
    • Mode shift within transit-sheds should be a priority for planning and marketing transit
    • MoCo extant “Transportation Management Districts” and “Mitigation Plans”
    • How effective are Mitigation Plans? Minimum 20% reduction in automobile trips.
    • The TravelSmart method as a way to implement mobility-shed approaches
  • Transit-shed planning links modes to promote mode shift away from cars:
    • -- Walking
    • -- Bicycling
    • -- Bus
    • -- Other modes
    • are linked to
    • -- Subway
    • -- Railroad
    • and eventually to
    • -- Light Rail
    • -- Streetcar
  • The bus isn’t sexy but can’t be ignored
    • Buses can be the most cost-effective way to get people to stations (RideOn is a national leader)
    • Parking lots at transit stations are perhaps the worst use imaginable of precious land resources
    • Transit shed planning enables planning within smaller areas to focus service improvements—frequency and headway—based on better calibrated opportunity, potential, and demand
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  • Bus marketing
    • Bus shelters are primary points of contact for marketing transit
    • Quality shelters
    • Signage-Identity systems
    • Bus-based identity systems
    • Schedules
    • Adshel/Decaux – ad-supported shelter program, bike rental
  • What does this say about how we value transit and the bus system? 4 th and H Streets NE. DC has contracted with Adshel to improve all extant bus shelters, to add additional shelters, and to launch a related bicycle use program comparable to carsharing. Outside Union Station--the region’s most significant intermodal transit station
  • Bus riding can be sexier Hop bus, Boulder, Colorado Forlorn bus stop, New Orleans US-1/Richmond Highway Bus— City of Alexandria, Fairfax County, and WMATA joint venture
  • Above: Attractive bus shelters in Berlin market transit and contain specific schedules as well as broader information about the bus system. Right: Adshel bike rental program, Oslo.
  • Bus shelters can be better integrated into neighborhoods and commercial districts, by incorporating public art, cultural-history signage and wayfinding programs.
  • Better Marketing and Promotion is Key!
  • Walking: Every transit trip starts and ends on foot That’s why you need great places to walk. People walk further when they have interesting, well-maintained, and safe places to walk. Montgomery County for the most part is safe, but not a nice place to walk. Above: Bethesda Row.
  • Bicycling
    • Montgomery County Bicycling Master Plan
    • -- I am not conversant with it
    • Does it propose Bike Stations with showers in each major employment center? (Bethesda, Silver Spring, Rockville, North Bethesda, Gaithersburg, Germantown)
    • Missing link in Purple Line Planning
    • Check out Washcycle.typepad.com
  • Reduce automobile use and automobile acquisition
    • Carsharing
    • Arlington County’s Master Transportation Plan is focused on reducing single occupancy vehicle trips
  • MoCo Transportation Planning: In Flux?
    • Corridor Cities Transit plan?
    • Bus Rapid Transit? -- few people with choices ride buses willingly
    • State Administration not committed to transit – planned failure, designed to maximize opposition? (Purple Line)
    • Inter County Connector!
    • Go! Montgomery & Ike Leggett?
  • One role of advocates is to push the envelope
  • Rebar Art Collective: Parking Squat, San Francisco, Sept. 2006
  • Road Witch project, United Kingdom
  • Simulation: MARC train in Crystal City, Virginia. Steve Dunham, Virginia Association of Railway Patrons -- MARC trains could go south from Union Station to L’Enfant Plaza, Crystal City, Alexandria; could stop in Takoma Park (Walter Reed); Brookland (CUA, Washington Hospital Center, Providence Hospital) Extend MARC within DC & Virginia-- or
  • Instead of commuter rail, create a regional railroad system - 1 Concept: Dan Malouff, www.beyonddc.com
  • Instead of commuter rail, create a regional railroad system - 2
    • Merge VRE and MARC into one system
    • Regional, not commuter, passenger railroad
    • Service in both directions
    • Include service to parts of Pennsylvania and West Virginia
    • 7 day/365 day service
    • That means weekends
    • Add DMUs to provide variable levels of service where practical
  • Bombardier Diesel Motive Unit (DMU) in Ottawa City, Ontario
  • Budd Self Propelled Vehicle, Metro-North Commuter Railroad, Connecticut
  • Budd RDC Vehicle, MTA, deaccessioned
  • Think of MoCo as a grid
    • East-West Streets
    • -- Viers Mill Road
    • -- Randolph Road
    • -- University Boulevard
    • -- East-West Highway
  • Think of MoCo as a grid
    • North-South Streets
    • -- I-270
    • -- Rockville Pike
    • -- Connecticut Avenue
    • -- Georgia Avenue
    • -- Colesville Road
  • Come up with your own unconstrained MoCo transportation plan - 1
    • Use the grid as a framework
    • Promote compact development within each box of the grid
    • Use transit-shed planning within each box on the grid to enhance the current system
    • And to shape the future
    • Don’t forget to look at maps of old streetcar and interurban systems
  • Come up with your own unconstrained MoCo transportation plan - 2
    • Streetcar or (ugh) Bus Rapid Transit
    • More light rail– a middle purple line?
    • Extend the Subway line north at each end, to Frederick, Carroll, Howard Counties?
    • -- from Shady Grove to King Farm, I-270, Marriott, Kentlands, Frederick?, Westminster?
    • -- from Glenmont to Olney?
  • Subway extension planning Proposed extended green line to BWI. -- Where is MoCo in all the crazy talk about extending subway lines? -- What about extending the red line north beyond Shady Grove, beyond Glenmont?
  • Bus Rapid Transit vs. Rail: DC region is not Bogotá or Curitiba
    • Most people riding transit in those places do so because they are transit dependent.
    • Buses are their only option
    • The more successful BRT lines in North America have ridership not much higher than highly used Metrobus lines
    • Mode shift must be the first priority
  • Jaime Lerner, former mayor of Curitiba, Brazil, says: "If you present the solution as a bus, it's a bus. If it's a system, the people will understand." Right: Curitiba. Below: Bogota.
  • Wifi/york
    • York region BRT (Toronto) is testing wi-fi on board as a way to reposition its bus service
    • More systems are considering it
  • What’s Old is New Again? Trolley at Glen Echo Park
  • Portland Streetcar, Oregon
  • Look Ma! No wires. Alstom Citadis Light Rail in Bordeaux, France
  • Citadis Light Rail in Barcelona: Note grass and adjacent walking-bike path.
  • Simulation: Skoda/Inekon Streetcar on Charles Street, Baltimore.
  • Regional Transit Advocates Unite!
    • We need to develop an annual cross-jurisdictional transit advocates conference
    • Develop a consensus, unconstrained agenda (publish-publicize)
    • Alternate meetings annually, between the Baltimore and Washington regions
    • Legislative advocacy conferences each year in Annapolis, Richmond, and DC (DC session to include lobbying Congress)
  • There’s more…
    • I didn’t talk about peak oil
    • The economic, environmental, political and social costs of oil dependency
    • And the need to accommodate more population in the region
    • Thank you to Ken Firestone for assistance in preparing this presentation
    • For simplicity, credits are not listed on most photos. Many are not mine. Provenance will be provided for any photo on request.
    • Richard Layman
    • Citizens Planning Coalition
    • Washington, DC 20011
    • Email: [email_address]
    • Blog: http:// urbanplacesandspaces.blogspot.com