New Long-Range Transportation Plan for the D.C. Region Will Include a Climate Addendum

The National Capital Region Transportation Planning Board has almost completed the latest version fo the Visualize 2045 long-range transportation plan, but it is already making plans to add a climate plan to the final product.

July 6, 2021, 5:00 AM PDT

By James Brasuell @CasualBrasuell

A freeway in Maryland near Washington, D.C., on the Capital Beltway with an exit sign for Wheaton.

Kristi Blokhin / Shutterstock

The National Capital Region Transportation Planning Board (TPB)—which serves as the metropolitan planning organization for the Washington, D.C. region—recently took the drastic step of deciding to completely redo the process with climate change in mind.

"The agency will proceed with the adoption of its current proposal, titled 'Visualize 2045,' by spring next year, but they also voted to start over and adopt a new vision for the region’s transportation system by 2024," according to Pugh.

"The vote to develop a new plan by 2024 that reduces greenhouse gas emissions follows months of advocacy by smart growth and conservation organizations, and pressure from local elected officials to act," explains Pugh of how the dramatic decision came about. Public comments of the current version of Visualize 2045 "overwhelmingly objected to its lack of commitment to regional climate policies," according to Pugh. Instead, the plan represents a "continuation of massive road and highway expansions."

Pugh's article includes more details on the controversy surrounding the plan, and why TPB has had such a hard time meeting its climate goals through two iterations of Visualize 2045. Pugh is optimistic that the climate addendum will do a better job connecting goals to action because of new leadership and commitment at, and around, TPB.

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