Posts Tagged ‘pedestrian’

Solving the Region’s Congestion Woes – One Step at a Time (Part 3 of 3)

March 31st, 2014 2 comments

Making every Metrorail station area walkable could reduce regional congestion without breaking the bank.

This is part three of a three-part series.

In the previous two posts we’ve laid out a case for making all transit stations walkable as quickly as possible.

  1. Increasing walkability and density at station areas has huge impacts on transit mode share and can take tens of thousands of cars of the road every single day.
  2. At a regional level, walkable station areas have an equivalent impact on congestion as a quarter trillion dollars in “last mile” infrastructure (see pages 37, 38, 43, 48).

Maximizing the capacity of the existing transit network while intelligently investing in station area connectivity would combat regional congestion just as effectively as trying to “build our way out of the problem”. And unlike many potential interventions, the market actually wants to do this for us.

Perhaps it is time to harness these market forces to make the areas around our transit network walkable and implement this low-cost congestion-busting paradigm. As for where to begin – well, we have a few suggestions…

Existing Walkability Near Metrorail Stations

The map below shows the range of existing walkability conditions near the Metrorail network and helps answer the question of how much of a half-mile radius of each station a person can walk to. The higher the percentage, the better the pedestrian network coverage. As shown, many of the station areas are under performing relative to their potential walkability. If walkability = connectivity and connectivity = mode share, then just imagine the impact on the region’s roads if we could focus on taking station areas with low accessibility and invest in some relatively easy, short-term solutions like sidewalks, pedestrian bridges, crosswalks, and smart, transit-oriented development to take maximum advantage of the existing Metrorail system and take tens of thousands of cars off the road each day.

How walkable are our region's Metrorail stations?

How much of the area within a half-mile of our Metrorail stations can you walk to?

Read more…

Solving the Region’s Congestion Woes – One Step at a Time (Part 2 of 3)

March 24th, 2014 2 comments

Improving pedestrian connectivity takes cars off the road at a formidable clip – rivaling the power of all of the region’s planned roadway additions and “last mile” transit connections.  Cheaply and quickly. 

This post is part two of a three-part series.

The data is finally in, and we now know that walkable station areas result in fewer motorized trips, fewer miles driven, fewer cars owned, and fewer hours spent traveling. And when we improve the pedestrian and bicycle access and connectivity to Metrorail station areas, ridership goes up, putting a major dent in congestion by taking trips off the roadways. Earlier, we discussed what it means to build walkable station areas and research shows the tremendous benefits to the region of making this a priority.

First, our data confirms that when walking access to transit is improved, transit ridership goes up – way up. In the 2040 Regional Transit System Plan (RTSP), we stress tested TPB’s transportation model to improve walkability to the transit network and saw huge increases in transit linked trips.  These trips go up by about 10% region-wide and we get an increase in transit mode share for all regional trips by 0.5%.  That’s over and above the roughly one percent increase in mode share we anticipate occurring as a result of building the entirety of the CLRP, an impact about half that of constructing all of that transit.

Source: Regional Transit System Plan

Source: Regional Transit System Plan

Read more…

Solving the Region’s Congestion Woes – One Step at a Time

March 17th, 2014 1 comment

One solution to the region’s crippling congestion could be right under our feet – literally.

This post is part one of a three-part series.

Illustration of possible walkability improvements that could occur in/around Tysons Corner. From Regional Transit System Plan

 

The region is abuzz with $220B of planned new transportation investments – the Purple Line, HOT Lanes, new streetcar lines, and additional roadways. Though there is not one dollar currently pledged to add capacity to Metro, these other investments may help the region chart a course away from leading the country in congestion (pdf).

However, for a quarter trillion dollars, one would expect that collectively these projects would have significant impacts on the region’s congestion. While there are some benefits – vehicle miles traveled (VMT) per capita are expected to decline and  transit mode share may increase by one percent – overall increases in VMT are expected to outpace road construction, leading to a 38% increase in the number of lane miles of congestion (pdf). But is there another way to get more bang for our buck?

Make station areas walkable. Every one of them. Now.

Read more…

Significant Property Tax Values Generated near Metro Stations

December 12th, 2013 No comments

New buildings right near Metrorail stations are 23-30% more valuable than buildings farther away, showing that our funding partners can generate significant property tax revenues from Metro.

A recent study shows that Metrorail stations in Arlington’s Rosslyn-Ballston corridor are powerful anchors for economic development and value. The report, by the real estate firm Cushman & Wakefield, showcases the substantial value the region can realize with good transit-oriented development policies near stations. Among the report’s findings:

Offices in the Rosslyn-Ballston corridor right near Metro command higher rents.

Offices in the Rosslyn-Ballston corridor right near Metro command higher rents. Source: Cushman & Wakefield via washingtonpost.com.  Click for original context.

  • Being able to walk to Metro is worth a lot. New office buildings within 500 feet of a station in Arlington’s Rosslyn-Ballston corridor are earning a 30% premium over buildings under construction just a quarter-mile away. For apartment buildings, the premium is 23%. No wonder walk access to Metrorail is on the rise, especially from those close by the station!
  • 92% of over 20 million square feet of office space under construction in the Rosslyn-Ballston corridor is within a quarter mile of a Metrorail station.
  • Conversely, new office buildings built farther than a quarter-mile from Metro are worth 18% less in rent.

These “rail premiums” of 23-30% are significantly higher than the 7-9% we found in our “Business Case for Transit” study, because of several significant differences in methodology. We looked at the assessed value, not the market/rental rate of property. Also, we looked at all properties in the region, rather than just those under construction in one corridor.

Although the presence of Metrorail creates this value premium near stations, Metro does not receive any of these revenues directly, even though continued rebuilding and improvements are needed to address state of good repair and relieve capacity issues in the corridor.

Nevertheless, this report certainly confirms that Metrorail increases property tax revenues, and shows just how big that value can be in certain markets.

Pedestrian Paths and Bike Stairchannel Complete at Glenmont

November 15th, 2013 9 comments

As we continue to improve pedestrian and bicycle access to Metrorail,  Metro has recently completed several  improvements on the east side of Glenmont station.

Walking and bicycling are key access strategies for Metrorail, as Metro seeks to grow ridership in sustainable and cost-effective ways. As our studies have shown, accommodating new riders at our current access modal shares would be quite costly to the region.  At Glenmont station, around 12% of riders in the morning arrive on foot or by bike, but there may be growth potential. Nearly 80 customers per day live within 1 mile of the station but currently park.  Over 550 customers, or a third of all parking customers, live within 3 miles of the station but currently park.

To make Glenmont station more attractive and safe for pedestrians and bicycles, Metro’s Parking Office has constructed new paved pathways connecting the station to the intersection of Layhill Road and Glenallan Avenue, replacing a dirt path. Metro has completed this work as part of the Bicycle and Pedestrian Capital Improvement Program.

Glenmont NE Path 3Glenmont NE Path 2

Read more…

moveDC Public Workshop Announcement – Comment on DC’s long-range transporation plan!

October 18th, 2013 No comments

moveDCThe District Department of Transportation (DDOT) is hosting its third and final round of public workshops in October to discuss moveDC, DDOT’s initiative to develop a strategic, multimodal long range transportation plan for the District.  The public is encouraged to attend a workshop to review the draft plan and help prioritize the transportation options. The October workshops will enable you to:

  • Share your ideas and observations on future plans for transportation;
  • Learn how three approaches to a future DC transportation system perform;
  • Review the results of our survey research;
  • Provide input into the draft transportation plan; and
  • Learn more about the moveDC local bus study.

Online Survey

Throughout October, you are also invited to participate in a survey to comment on and critique three approaches that have the potential to transform the way people travel in the District.

Public Meeting Dates and Locations

Monday, October 21

7:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.

Union Station

625 First St NE

Tuesday, October 22

6:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m., with a formal presentation 7 p.m.

Dorothy I. Height/Benning Neighborhood Library

3935 Benning Road, NE

Saturday, October 26

1:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.

DCUSA Retail Center, 2nd Floor, between Target and Best Buy

3100 14th St. NW

Wednesday, October 30

6:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m., with a formal presentation 7 p.m.

Petworth Neighborhood Library

4200 Kansas Ave., NW

Web Meetings

Visit www.wemoveDC.org for more details and to sign up.

October 24, noon – 1:00 p.m.

October 28, 7:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.

 

Delivering the Transit System the Region Needs

August 6th, 2013 No comments

Delivering the transit system that Columbia-Heights-Sta-041007-018the region needs will require an unequivocal commitment of additional resources from internal and external stakeholders. Simply put, the rehabilitation work being accomplished at the time of the writing of this document will not be nearly enough to keep up with the region’s needs, and without additional resources it will be unlikely that the region can continue to enjoy a transit network that contributes to competitiveness and makes the Washington metropolitan area one of the most desirable places to live and work.

Metro – Doing Business Differently

Metro recognizes that rebuilding the region’s transit system also means rebuilding the region’s transit authority – and will continue to be hard at work on this task in preparation for the implementation of Momentum.  In the near term this means revamping nuts and bolts elements of the authority, including but not limited to: identifying ways that Metro can do its job more efficiently while increasing performance; evaluating its contracting and procurement philosophy to emphasize lifecycle contract and asset management; engineering a budgeting process that allows Departments to strive to achieve the goals of Momentum within the context of tight fiscal and financial discipline; and a human capital strategy that must have the right talent in-place and in-queue.  In the long term, this means completing the journey to a much more business-like operating and execution philosophy for the organization.

Read more…

Time for Those Walking Shoes, Part 2

August 1st, 2013 5 comments

Walk access to Metrorail has increased 15% over the last 5 years, especially from those living within a half-mile of the station.  

So more rail riders are choosing to walk to their Metrorail station, according to the 2012 Metrorail Passenger Survey. But who are these pedestrians?

Around 40% of Metrorail customers in the AM peak walk to the station.  The survey found that younger people are much more likely to walk, with those under 35 were nearly twice as likely to walk to the train as those over 35:

Walk_Access_to_Metrorail_2012_by_OverUnder35However, younger Metrorail riders are also more likely to live within walking distance of their Metrorail station. Half of all riders under 35 live within a half-mile Metrorail, while 22% of those over 35 do.  Younger people in our region generally are slightly more likely to live near Metrorail –  15% of everyone under 35 in the region lives within a half-mile of Metrorail, 12% for those over 35. The chart below shows how younger riders tend to live closer to Metrorail: Read more…

Time for Those Walking Shoes, Part 1

July 30th, 2013 7 comments

Walk access to Metrorail has increased 15% over the last 5 years, especially from those living within a half-mile of the station.  

More and more Metrorail riders are lacing up their walking shoes and taking a short walk to their rail station these days.  According to results from the 2012 Metrorail Passenger Survey,  the number of passengers walking to Metrorail each morning grew by 15% between 2007 and 2012, from 78,500 to 89,900 in the AM peak period – far outpacing overall growth in ridership in the same period.

Where are all the new pedestrians coming from?  From stations all over the network, but the growth is strongest among those walking a half-mile or less.  Those walking from less than a half-mile rose by over 20% – faster than the overall growth in walk access.

Walk access to Metrorail has increased 15% over the last 5 years, especially from pedestrians walking a half-mile or less.

Walk access to Metrorail has increased 15% over the last 5 years, especially from those living within a half-mile of the station.

Read more…

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Huntington Station Auto Access “Hotspots”

July 25th, 2013 2 comments
Heat map showing parking access within 1 mile and 3 miles at Huntington station, which may indicate good opportunities for pedestrian and bicycle improvements  (click for full map)

Heat map showing parking access within 1 mile and 3 miles at Huntington station, which may indicate good opportunities for pedestrian and bicycle improvements (click for full map)

We continue to explore barriers to pedestrian and bicycle access to Metrorail stations with a look at Huntington station. Previous posts in this series explored Forest Glen and Southern Avenue stations.  All stations profiled share similar characteristics in that they have a high percentage of short-distance (less than three miles) parking access, and low bicycle use.  By looking at street layout, customer distribution and gathering your comments we are working to better understand barriers facing pedestrians and bicyclists and improve safety.

The map on the right (full version) shows auto access “hotspots” for Huntington station. Huntington is located in Alexandria Virginia less than a mile south of interstate 495, the Capital Beltway.

The station serves as a park and ride option for commuters from south of the DC metropolitan area as it is the last station on the southern end of the Yellow Line and is easily accessible from the interstate. Still, roughly half of the 3,600 daily parking customers originate from the many residential areas within three miles of the station.

Short distance parking customers almost exclusively originate from south and west of the station. The Potomac River, Capital Beltway, and proximity to Eisenhower Ave, Kings Street, and Braddock Road stations also along the Yellow Line seem to influence this. Read more…