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Old 10-23-2009, 06:55 AM
 
Location: Brambleton, VA
2,136 posts, read 4,634,035 times
Reputation: 1292

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Quote:
Originally Posted by novajs View Post
We should better use the airport lanes of the toll road. During rush hours we should open one of the lanes. We could devise a system using license plate number to manage who can get on that lane.
Ironically, the airport road is currently backed up because of Silver Line construction!
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Old 10-23-2009, 07:00 AM
 
Location: DC
3,286 posts, read 10,566,444 times
Reputation: 1301
Quote:
Originally Posted by claremarie View Post
"Make mass transit more CONVENIENT, and yes, people WILL take it."

Mass transit will NEVER be as convenient as driving your own car, on your own schedule, especially in spread-out suburban areas.
Sad, but true. I'm lucky in that I've got one of the better commute situations in the area (walking distance to work, or take the Metro for 3 stops), but if I could park more easily or cheaper at work I'd probably drive. As it is, I have a tendency to come home after work and drive to class in Dupont Circle to save me the Metro ride home at 9pm.

Maybe that's the key. If you want people to use buses, either take the parking away or jack up the price. It won't be popular, but people will look for other options. Sure, it sucks waiting 20-30 minutes, but that was my reality for a while and it was better than paying $13/day to park. You just rearrange your schedule to make it work.
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Old 10-23-2009, 07:14 AM
 
139 posts, read 257,238 times
Reputation: 57
The two pressures that make the problem unsolvable from a logisticla point of view are immigration and desire for tax revenue. If you make transportation faster to an area, a development will just move that much farther out till is slows again.

Immigration is what's driving population growth through the roof, and if it continues at current levels, people are just going to have to accept a lower quality of life. Governments are always eager to add housing developments and office space in an effort to grow their tax base. Predictions are real bad for this area. Try to live close to work and hunker down.
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Old 10-23-2009, 07:18 AM
 
Location: Virginia
18,717 posts, read 26,826,108 times
Reputation: 42860
Quote:
Originally Posted by dlumpen View Post
Immigration is what's driving population growth through the roof, and if it continues at current levels, people are just going to have to accept a lower quality of life.
I don't agree that people moving here means the rest of us have to accept a lower quality of life.

But let's run with this argument for a second. What do you suggest we do about it. You're a person who just moved here. How would we have kept you away? Do you want us to pass some some of legislation that companies can't hire people who live in other states? And what about the people who just move here without a job? Should we build a great big wall to keep them out?

Last edited by Caladium; 10-23-2009 at 07:29 AM..
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Old 10-23-2009, 07:19 AM
 
7,965 posts, read 18,038,005 times
Reputation: 2588
Quote:
Originally Posted by dlumpen View Post
The two pressures that make the problem unsolvable from a logisticla point of view are immigration and desire for tax revenue. If you make transportation faster to an area, a development will just move that much farther out till is slows again.

Immigration is what's driving population growth through the roof, and if it continues at current levels, people are just going to have to accept a lower quality of life. Governments are always eager to add housing developments and office space in an effort to grow their tax base. Predictions are real bad for this area. Try to live close to work and hunker down.
IMO it's not so much immigration from other countries so much as relocation from around the county. Granted, there is certainly incentive for internationals to plant roots near the Nation's Capital whether their collar is "white" or "blue".
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Old 10-23-2009, 07:25 AM
 
Location: Virginia
18,717 posts, read 26,826,108 times
Reputation: 42860
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tone509 View Post
IMO it's not so much immigration from other countries so much as relocation from around the county. Granted, there is certainly incentive for internationals to plant roots near the Nation's Capital whether their collar is "white" or "blue".
People who move here from other countries tend to use mass transit options more than the rest of us. The people in my neighborhood who take the bus are from India. You can't accuse them of adding to traffic, they didn't bring their car with them. Kind of hard to pack a car so it will fit in the overhead baggage compartment.
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Old 10-23-2009, 07:41 AM
 
Location: Atlanta
606 posts, read 1,513,671 times
Reputation: 448
Honestly, I think most, if not all of NoVa's transportation headaches would be fixed if there were a willingness on the part of the state and Federal governments to expand public transit, and particularly, expand MetroRail.

If I had my way, we'd build a beltway line that went around the entire beltway. It'd probably take years to build and it could be implemented in sections, beginning with Alexandria to Tyson's, then Tyson's up to Silver Spring, then S-Spring to PG County, and finally PG County over to Alexandria. That would be better than expanding I-495 and would help a lot of problems.

There are so many people commuting from places like Fairfax and Vienna, up to Bethesda and Rockville (including me), but no one is paying $11 to take a bus to Vienna, then take the Orange Line into DC, then take the Red Line up to Rockville. It's like a 90-minute trip.

Then, the Metro should also expand down the I-66 corridor and at stops in Fair Oaks and maybe Chantilly.

The silver line is a great thing, but I'm not sure it will fix the most major traffic headaches in the region, but it might alleviate some of the Tyson's traffic on the Beltway. The bigger issue to me, though, is that there is no quick way to get from NoVa to the NW suburbs in Maryland (Rockville/Bethesda). Moreover I-495 in Maryland from Bethesda to College Park is so heavily trafficked that it's always a pain.

As far as Woodbridge and I-95; that's a more difficult issue. It's such a sprawling area that mass transit is more difficult to implement down there. Moreover, there are actually two lines in that direction, whereas the Western 'burbs of NoVa only have the Orange Line.

I actually wish they'd create another new line running down through the Columbia Pike thru Annandale into Springfield. I think they plan on building a streetcar instead, right? I don't oppose that, but I think building a whole Metro line thru there would be better and would promote more upward development in that region. For some reason, people still haven't learned the whole "if you build it, they will come" mantra in transportation. If you build highways, development inevitably pops up. The same is true with mass transit stations (it's even more true, in fact).

Maryland's problems would be more difficult to solve than NoVa's because it seems like most of the major headache areas in NoVa are heavily populated enough so that mass transit would be an ideal solution. The Metro system has never worked as well in MD in IMO. A beltway line would help. Maybe expanding up to Laurel would alleviate a few problems, as well. But other than that, I think MD is a tougher nut to crack than NoVa.
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Old 10-23-2009, 07:43 AM
 
139 posts, read 257,238 times
Reputation: 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by Caladium View Post
People who move here from other countries tend to use mass transit options more than the rest of us. The people in my neighborhood who take the bus are from India. You can't accuse them of adding to traffic, they didn't bring their car with them. Kind of hard to pack a car so it will fit in the overhead baggage compartment.
Two interesting points. I know that certain parts of town would have lost population because people are trying to move closer in, but they grew anyway due to immigration. Nationally and locally, it would be interesting to see what areas where congestion would have gotten better. Probably a few places do anyway, such as around Detroit.

Also, it's great how so many immigrants bicycle and use the bus. I suspect that a lot of them would trade up to a car if they could afford it. It would be interesting to find ways to keep them in these habits and maybe have drivers learn from their examples. It atrocious how dangerous it is to walk, and this is certainly reflected in the accident rates high immigration areas. Safety would be a start.
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Old 10-23-2009, 07:49 AM
 
Location: Virginia
18,717 posts, read 26,826,108 times
Reputation: 42860
Quote:
Originally Posted by dlumpen View Post
Also, it's great how so many immigrants bicycle and use the bus. I suspect that a lot of them would trade up to a car if they could afford it.
LOL, most of the immigrants I know can easily afford a car. They don't buy a bunch of cars because they're just here for a short time. They tend to be highly educated and they've come here to pursue a degree or to work in the medical, research, or high tech industries. The family down the street rented a car, but the wife uses it. The husband takes the bus.
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Old 10-23-2009, 07:53 AM
 
1,592 posts, read 3,080,492 times
Reputation: 1152
I have taken both rail and bus. Bus rocks. Get rid of the rails and turn them all into express bus lanes. Another problem with rail is that metro stations attrack waaaay too much development and thus creates more sprawl and crawl.
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