D.C. Mustn't Look Far to Find Lessons for Reducing the Nation's Worst Congestion

Washington D.C. holds the dubious distinction as the nation's most congested city. As D.C. seeks ways to reduce its traffic, Arlington County, in suburban Virginia, has made great strides in convincing commuters to ditch their cars.

"While the District of Columbia grapples with proposed changes to its parking and zoning policies, last updated in 1958, nearby Arlington County, Virginia seems to have triumphed in its effort to minimize traffic congestion," reports Martin Di Caro. "Commuters are shifting from cars to transit and bikes."

"What’s more," he explains, "traffic volume has decreased on several major arterial roads in the county over the last two decades despite significant job and population growth, according to data compiled by researchers at Mobility Lab, a project of Arlington County Commuter Services."

"Researchers and transportation officials credit three initiatives for making the county less car-dependent: offering multiple alternatives to the automobile in the form of rail, bus, bicycling, and walking; following smart land use policies that encourage densely built, mixed-use development; and relentlessly marketing those transportation alternatives through programs that include five ‘commuter stores’ throughout the county where transit tickets, bus maps, and other information are available."

Full Story: How a D.C. Suburb Avoided the Capital’s Traffic Nightmare

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