Better Land Use Planning: One of the Best Ways to Improve Transportation

Smart growth advocates have been making this point for years, but a new report from the Washington, D.C. regional planning organization provides more evidence for the strategic location of population and job growth.

1 minute read

November 19, 2017, 5:00 AM PST

By James Brasuell @CasualBrasuell

Washington Monuments

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The Transportation Planning Board—the metropolitan planning organization (MPO) for metropolitan Washington D.C.—recently released a study linking transportation and land use planning, according to an article by David Alpert.

Actually, the "Long-Range Plan Task Force: Draft Analysis Results" report analyzed ten possible transportation improvements for their potential for enabling more jobs and housing in the eastern reaches of the Washington, D.C. region, but only one of those options had to do with land use. Nonetheless, the report found that a balanced approach to regional land use would be the second-most effective approach to reducing congestion, increasing housing options, and improving access to jobs.

"Steering more of the jobs and housing growth (especially jobs) to the east side of the region (like east of the Anacostia River, eastern Montgomery, Prince George's, Alexandria, and Route 1 in Fairfax) and putting more of that growth near transit," would cut traffic delays by 18 percent, according to Alpert's explanation of the report's findings. Other effective transportation planning improvements include travel demand management and an express travel network.   

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