Public comments on a draft plan that identifies transportation priorities for the D.C.-Maryland-Virginia region are due August 23, 2013. The National Capital Region Transportation Planning Board released the plan on July 24, 2013.
The plan will play an important role in identifying transportation priorities, such as Metro maintenance, that require regional cooperation.
“This is the first time it [the Transportation Planning Board] has done this type of plan,” Steve Kania, a spokesperson for the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments, said.
The Transportation Planning Board developed the draft plan based upon 660 responses to a public opinion survey conducted during April through July, 2013. Among the issues covered in the survey, Metro and highway repairs, and transit crowding and roadway congestion received the greatest level of concern.
Back in 2010, the idea for the priorities plan began with a series of stakeholder meetings. In 2011, the Transportation Planning Board approved a scope of work that stressed public support and outreach.
The Transportation Planning Board will likely finalize the priorities plan before the end of this year, Kania said.
The final priorities plan will influence the Board when it updates the region’s long-term transportation plan next year. The long-term plan, updated annually, identifies significant transportation projects and programs planned for the D.C. region through 2040.
Under federal law stemming back to 1962, every urban area with a population of 50,000 or more must have a regional transportation planning organization as a condition of receiving federal transportation money. The National Capital Transportation Planning Board meets that federal requirement for the D.C. region.
The Board includes elected representatives of local and state governments from the D.C. region; high-ranking officials from D.C., Maryland and Virginia transportation and planning agencies; members of the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority; and non-voting members from the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority and federal agencies.
Comments to the Transportation Planning Board on the draft priorities plan can be submitted online at www.mwcog.org/transportation or through the telephone comment line by calling (202) 962-3262.
“The Board is looking for feedback,” Kania said.