Business leaders want more mobility

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A group of business leaders is calling for more transportation options in the congested region that stretches from Baltimore to Richmond — not just more roads but more and better trains, bus lanes, toll lanes and even bike and hiking trails.

The plea comes from something called the Greater Washington Partnership, which today unveiled its Blueprint For Regional Mobility, which includes 20 actions that the group says would “fundamentally transform the way we move around the region, reversing our current disjointed system’s trajectory of worsening congestion and limiting access to essential destinations for many families in our region.”

“Our transportation system, which has helped drive the region’s economic success, is not keeping pace with the needs of the region’s 10.2 million residents,” said Joe McAndrew, the Partnership’s Director of Transportation Policy. “The Blueprint is exactly the bold call to action we need right now and one that will bridge years of uncoordinated regional investments and policies. It is time for stakeholders across the region, from Baltimore to Richmond, to come together to build the Capital Region the world-class transportation system it deserves.”

20 steps

Key recommendations include:

  • Delivering faster, more frequent, and more reliable passenger and commuter train travel to better connect the region and reduce congestion;
  • Prioritizing job creation and inclusive development to ensure all residents in the Capital Region benefit from improvements to our region’s transportation system;
  • Expanding and coordinating the region’s highway performance-driven toll lane network to reduce travel times, increase reliability, and move more people on our congested roads;
  • Increasing adoption of best-in-class employer mobility programs to reduce congestion and rapidly improve the commuting experience;
  • Developing a seamless, integrated network of rapid public transportation options to attract talent and improve access to jobs and essential destinations;
  • Investing in hundreds of miles of trails to better connect our diverse region and encourage biking, walking and other alternative modes of transportation for work and leisure;
  • Reforming governance and investment structures to maximize the benefit from each dollar invested and enable regional institutions to deliver regional strategies;
  • Deploying technologies to reduce congestion and increase bus speeds, improve the consumer experience, and provide a more equitable and accessible tech-enabled future for all consumers.

These recommendations are based on input from citizens at a series of hearings? No, instead they are “the first ever CEO-driven comprehensive strategy that binds the Capital Region and better connects residents in Baltimore, Washington and Richmond to opportunity,” the business executives group said.

“The Blueprint is the direct product of 16 months of intensive dialogue between hundreds of our region’s government, business, and civic leaders, transportation advocates and experts, and labor leaders, all of whom have a key stake in ushering in a unified transportation system that will support our growing twenty-first century economy,” said Jason Miller, CEO of the Greater Washington Partnership. “The Blueprint builds off prior plans by uniting disparate efforts, removing recognized hurdles and coordinating great ideas into a coherent strategy that will move the region forward, together.”

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Truman Lewis
A former reporter and bureau chief, Truman Lewis has covered presidential campaigns, state politics and stories ranging from organized crime to environmental and consumer protection.