Too Much TOD Set to Strain D.C.'s Subway

New development is poised to add thousands of riders to D.C.'s Metro, but rush hour trains are often packed already. Though Metro has proposed $6 billion in fixes, some see better land use planning across the area as the key to solving the problem.
October 15, 2013, 11am PDT | Jonathan Nettler | @nettsj
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"Since the recession, real estate developers have been gobbling up Metro-accessible land and planning and building offices and apartments from Reston to New Carrollton," writes Jonathan O'Connell. "This building renaissance will add thousands of new riders to the Metro system’s already overwhelmed tracks. Stemming the overflow may require not just changes to the system but to how the region makes land use decisions."

"Metro has unveiled $6 billion worth of improvements it says are needed by 2025, among them increasing trains from six to eight cars ($2 billion), redesigning track connections or adding a new station in Rosslyn ($1 billion) and adding pedestrian tunnels connecting Metro Center to Gallery Place and Farragut North to Farragut West ($1 billion)," notes O'Connell.

But Ron Kirby, director of transportation planning at the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments, thinks that better balancing land use across the system is important to addressing overcrowding. "That requires Metro, local governments and the private sector coordinating their visions, but it’s far cheaper than adding new lines or stations: 'A lot of what we need to do with the Metrorail challenge is shape the demand.'” 

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Published on Sunday, October 13, 2013 in The Washington Post
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