Imagine our region in the year 2045. What will transportation look like in this region for people who bike and walk? What types of infrastructure will we have?
WABA has spent a lot of time thinking about this. Our vision is one including hundreds of paved trails, interconnected networks of protected bike lanes, and safe and accessible places to bike for transportation, recreation and fitness.
Regional transportation planners are also asking this same question for all modes of transportation. Through the Transportation Planning Board (TPB, the Washington DC’s federally designated metropolitan planning organization), regional planners have created Visualize 2045, a long-range transportation plan.
The intent of this long-range plan is to chart the course for the next 25+ years, and include aspirational elements that will help push our region in the right direction.
While there are some positive elements within Visualize 2045, the plan doesn’t go nearly far enough for people who bike and walk.
Of the seven aspirational elements, only two directly address biking and walking. In addition, the trail initiative, known as the National Capital Trail, is just a small sliver of a much broader, visionary future trail network called the Capital Trails Network.
The network has been researched, defined, and mapped by a coalition of public agencies representing TPB member jurisdictions, non-profit organizations, and other stakeholders focused on completing the Washington DC regional trail network.
The TPB needs to fully adopt the Capital Trails Network as a key part of the long-range transportation plan, and invest in trails and bicycling and walking projects.
If our Transportation Planning Board refuses to be bold, to think big, and to develop new transportation solutions, then we will be stuck with the same transportation problems (congestion and traffic fatalities to name a few).
Tell the Transportation Planning Board that you want a brighter future for biking in the region! Let them know that the entire Capital Trails Network should be adopted in the long-range plan, and that more extensive planning should be done for our future regional bike networks.