The Montgomery County Council has voted 9-0 in favor of an 82 mile Rapid Transit System, the majority of which would run in dedicated lanes! Can you take a minute to send a note of thanks to the County Council for their courageous vote in favor of a sustainable transportation future?
As Thanksgiving approaches, the Coalition for Smarter Growth is thankful for the smart growth momentum in DC, but also worried that the soaring price of DC housing will leave too many residents out in the cold and reduce the future diversity and vibrancy of our neighborhoods.
That’s why we support DC’s Inclusionary Zoning (IZ) program. It’s an important tool for building more affordable housing in a smart way that maximizes both long term affordability and mixed-income neighborhoods. Mayor Gray has always been a champion for the policy, but he needs to hear from us to know he should continue to strengthen it.
The city will be taking stock of IZ as a policy in the next few months, and we want to send a strong message of support. Send Mayor Gray an email today to tell him to keep and strengthen this important tool for creating long-term affordable homes.
On Tuesday, November 26, the Montgomery County Council will take its final vote on the proposed Rapid Transit System, and if last week’s unanimous straw vote in favor of the system is any indication, it’s likely to pass. After a year of working to build a movement together, let’s write the Council once more to bring the plan over the finish line and let them know we’re ready for a sustainable transportation future where residents have real options to leave their car at home.
On November 21, Montgomery County took a step in the wrong direction on transportation. The Planning Board voted to approve the destructive Midcounty Highway (M83), against calls from their staff and two hours of public testimony to block the highway and evaluate transit instead.
Use the form below to tell the County Council and County Executive that in 2013 we should be building transit, not destructive highways:
Now that the dust is settling from the Virginia elections, it’s time to refocus on one of the biggest environmental threats in Northern Virginia: the proposed Outer Beltway.
On November 20, 19 groups sent a joint letter to the Governor-elect, urging him to reject the McDonnell administration's proposed Bi-County Parkway and associated North-South Corridor. The Outer Beltway (aka Bi-County Parkway, N-S Corridor, Dulles Cargo Highway) is not just a road project -- it is the project that would have the largest negative impact on Northern Virginia’s environmental quality for years to come.
Why should Governor-elect McAuliffe reject the Outer Beltway? Let us count the reasons…
- It would increase the pollution that causes climate change.
- It would pollute streams that feed our drinking water supply in the Occoquan Reservoir.
- It would harm our children with unhealthy noise and air pollution on the doorstep of two Loudoun schools.
- It would open up rural land to development, and increase traffic congestion compared to not building it at all.
- It would divert funds from adding transit in the I-66 corridor and undermine public investment in the Silver Line Metro and redevelopment of Tyson’s Corner.
Building the Outer Beltway would be doubly tragic, because there are so many alternatives to solving the transportation problems in Northern Virginia, many of which do not have these fundamentally negative impacts.
We stand united in urging the Governor-elect in the strongest way possible to stop this wasteful and destructive project and instead work for the modern, effective and sustainable transportation solutions that all Virginians can be proud of.
Will you stand with us? Send the Governor-elect a note urging him to protect Northern Virginia’s air, water, and communities from the Outer Beltway. >>
Edited letters are the best letters! But if you're short on time, a form letter is better than no letter at all.
Lately Prince George’s has been saying the right things for creating walkable, transit oriented neighborhoods. And has something to show for it – like the upcoming transit-oriented regional medical center. But some good isn't good enough - the county still has a lot of improving to do.
Plan Prince George’s 2035 is the county's new long-range plan, which sets the priorities for development over the next two decades. In it, a lot of good things are unfortunately overshadowed by a few bad things – like continuing to place bets on risky sprawl plans like Westphalia, Konterra and Brandywine.
As the Planning Board takes public comments on Plan Prince George’s 2035 this month, you can make a difference. Despite a plan that focuses on growing near transit and inside the Beltway, it still is too permissive of suburban sprawl “centers”. Allowing continued building on distant greenfields undermines efforts to reinvest in our existing neighborhoods and transit stations to make them more walkable and our county more competitive and sustainable.
It’s disappointing because in most ways the Plan Prince George’s 2035 is outstanding. We commend the plan for its bold ideas, like focusing future growth around transit and inside the Beltway communities, and prioritizing public investment for a short list of Metro stations (Prince George’s Plaza, New Carrollton, and Largo Town Center). But this otherwise excellent plan could be undermined by the bad reality of doubling down on outdated new sprawl “Suburban Centers” like Westphalia, Konterra, and Brandywine.
Tell the Council and the Planning Board to keep the good ideas and get rid of the bad! >>
The County Council's transportation committee will decide the future of Rapid Transit on 355 this Friday. 355 has the highest projected ridership of any line - 44,000 riders per day - making it critical to the effectiveness of the entire plan. Please write in today to call for a robust Rapid Transit plan for 355!
Write to the Montgomery County Council! Enter your information and send our template letter as is, or take a few seconds to edit and craft your own personal message.
What's your vision for Fairfax? The county is asking for your opinion on which transportation projects to build over the next six years. Fairfax has almost 200 unfunded projects on the books, and we need strong support from you to make sure that transit, cycling, and walkable streets are front and center.
While we're pleased to see two important transit projects -- a Route 1 transit study and a Route 7 transit study -- included, there are too many bad highway widenings and expansions under consideration. All these seem to do is move the bottlenecks down the road and further divide our neighborhoods.
If commercial areas in Fairfax like Route 1 and Route 7 are to be transformed into more livable, walkable environments, then they will need modern transit to support these changes.
It is critical that Fairfax County officials know your priorities and hear your opposition to wasteful road projects and support for more sustainable alternatives.
Email the Fairfax Board of Supervisors now in support of transit, bicycle and pedestrian investments. >>
Transit on Route 29 has been deferred for almost 30 years – we can’t afford to wait any longer to provide better transportation options for East County. Write the Montgomery County Council today to urge them to act now for high quality transit for East County:
Enter your information and send our template letter as is, or take a few seconds to edit and craft your own personal message.
Alexandria is becoming a leader in walkable communities and climate friendly transportation choices. But key initiatives still require your support! The city is currently considering dedicated bike lanes on King Street between Russell Road and Janney's Lane.
The lanes, shown below, will provide a key connector from the planned bike lanes on Janney’s Lane to the King Street Metro station, improving east-west bike travel and making a bike and Metro commute much easier for many more Alexandrians.
We've been following the news around this issue closely, and we're disapponted to report that city staff have taken the original proposal for a fully connected bike lane off the table.Some worry that they may even drop bike infrastructure in the corridor entirely.
Now, staff are proposing a modified plan that replaces some bike lanes with sharrows. But we're concerned that in the face of aggressive traffic on this stretch, cyclists will choose to ride on the sidewalk.
The Coalition for Smarter Growth strongly prefers a proposed compromise - keeping the original plan for full bike lanes extending to Janneys Lane, but making the bike lane on the north (uphill) side significantly wider at five feet, in order to provide a safe buffer for residents pulling in and out of their driveways.
We believe that the wider north-side lane balances the interests of residents in having a safe buffer to their driveways with the need to improve cyclist and pedestrian safety.
The city report shows limited use of the parking spaces along this stretch of single family homes with driveways. The better use of the limited road space is to provide a critical bicycle connection that offers Alexandrians a congestion-avoiding alternative and improves pedestrian and cyclist safety.
Want to know more? Read this recent explanation from Jonathan Krall on Greater Greater Washington.
The new bike lanes are part of Alexandria’s 2008 Bike and Pedestrian Mobility Master Plan, are consistent with its 2011 Complete Streets plan, and will support the boom in bicycling in Alexandria for commuting, errands, going to school, exercise, health and recreation.
The Council and the board have heard a lot from those who wish to keep parking spaces along the stretch. Tell the Alexandria Council and Traffic and Parking Board that full bike lanes on King Street are important to you. >>
“Parcel 42” may sound like a secret government facility akin to “Area 51”, but in reality it’s a piece of city-owned land directly facing the Shaw Metro Station that's slated for development. So while our framing might be a little dramatic, “Parcel 42” is very important. The vacant site sits opposite the Shaw Metro station R Street entrance, and kitty corner from the modern Watha T. Daniel library. A developer has been selected who is offering to build a 105-unit apartment building that incorporating 20% of the homes as affordable units along a broad range of affordability, as well as space for small businesses.
Future residents at this location have a wealth of transportation choices – Metro, the Georgia Ave./7th Street buses and crosstown buses, Capital Bikeshare, and their own two feet -- to access hundreds of thousands of downtown jobs, the O Street Market, and restaurants and stores cropping up all over Shaw.
But as always in these cases, there will be a lot of pressure to scale back key parts of the projects and place too high a priority on parking – something that can significantly raise the price of units and bring more traffic (and more air pollution) to the neighborhood and the city. In the past, DMPED has either encouraged or allowed developers to build far more parking than is needed for key sites at Metro stations. We need to tell DMPED that it shouldn’t make this mistake again. Urge the city to get it right – with less parking and more housing, especially more affordable housing, at the Shaw Metro station.
Send a note to the Deputy Mayor for Economic Development staff (DMPED) and tell them that you want to make the most of this site – to build more affordable housing and encourage more use of transit.>>
Montgomery County is pushing forward a costly and destructive highway project called M83 (the Midcounty Highway Extended). In a time of scarce resources and rising environmental challenges like climate change, we can’t afford to make the wrong investments for our future. Now is the time to invest in transit, not new highway capacity.
There is an important public hearing on August 7 to grant an environmental permit for this major sprawl highway. Please stand with our allies at TAME Coalition (Transit Alternatives to the Midcounty Highway Extended) to stop this destructive project:
Please modify the letter below to send your comments in to the Army Corps of Engineers, Maryland Department of the Environment, Montgomery County Department of Transportation, the County Executive, Montgomery County Council, Montgomery County Planning Board, and the EPA.
This summer, Montgomery’s proposed Rapid Transit System took a major step forward when the Planning Board unanimously approved the master plan for the system!
It’s a key political milestone and lays the groundwork for a robust, sustainable rapid transit network that we need to find relief from rising traffic, reduce our contribution to climate change, and provide working families with more affordable transportation choices and better access to jobs.
Now the plan is in the hands of the County Council, but it’s unclear where they stand. So it’s a critical moment to let them know that there is strong and widespread support for a new transportation vision for Montgomery.
Can you take a minute to email the Council and demonstrate your support for a Rapid Transit future?
Done right, the planned redevelopment of the McMillan Sand Filtration Plant will create the city’s largest new park and foster a vibrant, walkable neighborhood. The planned transformation will sensibly complement the surrounding neighborhoods of Bloomingdale and Stronghold and bring the isolated Washington Hospital Center campus back into the city’s fabric.
While the extensive planning process has built broad community support, the future of the former sand filtration site is still contested.
Some who are opposing the transformation of this long off-limits city-owned parcel have mischaracterized the plans and are urging the D.C. government to halt progress despite the many proposed public benefits.
We need you to step up and show that many fair-minded D.C. residents believe moving McMillan forward in a responsible way is the right thing to do. It will add greater vibrancy to our community, contributing a grand new park (over 6 acres), restoration of historic buildings and landscaping, along with a compatible mix of housing, offices, and retail. It will also create much-needed affordable homes, though the number has diminished as the proposed park has expanded in size.
Please send an email to the office of the D.C. Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development, expressing your support for a new McMillan right now!
The D.C. Zoning code shapes the form of our city and influences how walkable, inclusive and transit-oriented it is. Yet the code hasn’t been comprehensively updated since 1958! Priorities have changed a lot since 1958 – and that’s why it’s so important to get involved in this effort to create the framework to help us ensure the gains we’ve made in recent years continue far into the future.
Do you agree? Join with us and sign the petition below:
The "zombie road" is back with a vengeance! Once again, lobbyists are pushing for an unneeded and wasteful Outer Beltway, seeking to divert scarce tax dollars from the needs of existing commuter roads that are choked with traffic. The Outer Beltway would do nothing to solve our current traffic problems, but instead would open new land to sprawling development, adding yet more traffic to existing commuter routes.
The Wall Street Journal reported on this oft-overlooked fact in their recent article, "More Roads, More Traffic."
Moreover, the Outer Beltway would run through historic land on the western boundary of Manassas National Battlefield, destroying this hallowed landscape, even as our nation honors the 150th Anniversary of the Civil War.
Please sign our petition calling on Governor McDonnell and Secretary of Transportation Sean Connaughton to protect Manassas Battlefield and stop this unneeded and fiscally irresponsible highway.