A Concerted Call To Action
The Greater Washington Partnerships Advocates for Transportation Improvements
The Greater Washington Partnership, a group of CEOs from some of the largest corporations in the world, recently released a report titled Capital Region Blueprint for Regional Mobility. Recognizing that the Baltimore/Washington/Richmond economic market is “the third largest in the United States and the seventh largest in the world,” concerted effort must be focused on keeping our transportation network up to date, and thus the region’s workers and resident mobile.
The Report recognizes the importance of improving mobility throughout the greater Washington region and investing more resources in doing so because “With currently planned investments, by 2040 the region’s consumers are projected to see congestion grow by more than 150 percent from 2015 levels. In other words, by 2040 the region’s consumers will go from sitting in congestion 30 percent of each trip to nearly 50 percent.” Needless to say, those are daunting numbers.
The Blueprint for Regional Mobility relies on what it refers to as a “performance-based transportation agenda” that advocates for a “range of solutions around four priorities:
(1) connecting the super-region; (2) improving consumer experience; (3) ensuring equitable access; and
(4) integrating innovation.”
More specifically, the Blueprint for Regional Mobility is a call to improve and expand our public transportation systems (Metrorail, bus and bus rapid transit), integrating more technology and expanding the existing toll highway network. The report also calls for expanding our network of trails and pedestrian/bike facilities, expanding the American Legion Bridge and improving the “Long Bridge” for rail traffic across the Potomac River.
The estimated cost of these recommendations? $7 billion a year on top of the already planned $12.3 billion to be spent between now and 2045! However, with the recent announcement of Amazon choosing the region for its next headquarters based on the quality of future workers, the Partnership sees this investment as making up for years of under investing. The consensus from the business community is simple – either invest in our future infrastructure, or lose our competitive edge that brought Amazon here in the first place.