Archive

Archive for the ‘Baltimore Washington Parkway’ Category

Construction Delays – The Unintended Drama from Obama’s Recovery Act

July 14, 2010 5 comments

Today, I experienced a very common frustration for those of us who commute to work everyday — construction delays.  While it’s great that, due to the Economic Recovery Act, money for construction projects has been flowing into Maryland, Virginia, and D.C., the unintended result is more construction delays — and misery — for commuters.

The route that I take to work is usually heavy with traffic.  I choose this route because, even with lights and traffic, it is actually more tolerable than crawling along I-495 to work everyday.  And, for the past several months, I have been enduring construction delays, resulting in even more increased traffic congestion and longer commute times. 

We Need a Solution

One solution that I came across was Emily Cyr’s blog on How Fix Traffic Congestion, which asserts that we could use computer software that syncopates lights with each other on major routes to minimize wait times and move traffic along more efficiently.  In other words, during rush hours, these lights could be constantly adjusted to accommodate and ease the inevitable traffic ebbs/flows that occur when crews repair roads during these hours. 

Montgomery County is already using a traffic control system, which apparently has had some major kinks in the past several months.  Judging from how bad my commute through the county still is every day, it probably isn’t geared towards construction delay workarounds such as the ones that Brian Park at the University of VA’s Center for Transportation Studies talks about.      

I think that many different solutions applied at once would be the only way that we all would experience sustained collective commuter relief.  As a worker who has to commute about 25 miles to work one way every day, I would certainly appreciate the relief that this solution would provide.  The sooner we implement smarter traffic control systems, the better our collective commutes will be.

Advertisements

Washington DC Traffic Congestion: Several Problems

July 7, 2010 6 comments

Yes, traffic has gotten much worse in the metro D.C. area.  There are several problems that we have that aren’t being sufficiently addressed:

We don’t have enough roads/lanes/infrastructure to meet the demand.  But there’s absolutely NO shortage of vehicles, though!

Our addiction to our vehicles has been neccessitated and fueled (pun intended) by urban sprawl due to out-of-control housing construction/expansion on every piece of land that is available. 

Many of us in the Washington, D.C. area are college-educated or better.  That means that the demand for white collar jobs is very high and ultracompetitive.  However, most of the decent-paying (white collar) jobs are located in only a few major hubs (i.e Herdon/Tysons Corner, D.C., and Bethesda/Rockville/Silver Spring).  This causes those of us who don’t also LIVE in these areas (because we can’t AFFORD it) to have to DRIVE to these areas in order to pay our bills because there are, oftentimes, no decent alternatives.

If more people had viable alternatives, like the option to telecommute, more schedule flexibility, convenient commuting/travel options, conveniently located workplaces, more affordable housing located closer to workplaces, expanded infrastructure, etc., we might really be able to lick this thing!

%d bloggers like this: