In a letter to Casey Anderson, Chair of the Montgomery County Planning Board, Councilmember Roger Berliner decried the county’s focus on how quickly vehicles get through an intersection leads only to wider roads and larger intersections, instead of what he described as more progressive options for decreasing commute times and getting people living closer to where they work.
Next year the County Council will take up the County’s subdivision staging policy, a policy, which among other things, focuses on the transportation tests that must be met in order for specific development projects, consistent with master plans, to move forward.
Among the suggested options for testing for traffic other than by testing levels of service and critical lane volumes. were:
- Reducing Vehicle Miles Traveled (VMT)
- Testing Person Hours of Travel (PHT), so transportation policy goals could focus on reducing commute times for all people, regardless of the mode of travel
- Accessibility, testing how much employment or how many residential units are a set travel time (by car, transit, bike, or foot) away from a new development to reward properties that are mixed-use and make jobs and housing more accessible
As the Pike District/White Flint area strives to become a walkable, transit-friendly community, we support this quest for alternative testing methods that would better support policy goals to move people rather than cars. “The bottom line appears to be that if we measure the right things, we will move towards true multimodal solutions that give residents and businesses the traffic relief they need and a quality of life that we aspire to,” Councilmember Berliner wrote.