WAMU 88.5 : News

Planners Tackle Traffic Congestion To Fort Meade

Play associated audio
Fort Meade is home to a number of defense organizations, including the National Security Agency, and most workers commute by car.
Fort Meade is home to a number of defense organizations, including the National Security Agency, and most workers commute by car.

Planners are looking for ways to improve the commute for the more than 56,000 people currently work at Fort Meade in central Maryland.

A top transportation planner at Fort Meade says there are a couple possible strategies to consider to reduce regional traffic congestion. One would be to build major highways at an estimated cost of $50 billion over 25 years. A second option is to use "transportation demand management," which is another way of saying increasing car pooling, rail and bus use.

Howard Jennings is a lead researcher at Arlington-based Mobility Lab, which specializes in commuter services. He says a multipronged approach is more feasible and less expensive than laying down miles of asphalt.

"Experience has shown that over the years if you build a highway, usually it is going to fill up in just a few years, and we can cite many examples of that," says Jennings.

He favors the "transportation demand" approach, which also includes encourages more telecommuting. Add all these measures up, and Jennings says there will be significantly fewer single-occupant vehicles on the roads around Fort Meade.

"Peoples' commutes are very individualized," says Jennings. "There is no one-size-fits-all. We find that when offering up options to people, they will self-select what will work for them."

Jennings says what would work near Fort Meade, where the typical commuter now travels 20 miles alone in a car, would work around any of the region's 20 major job centers that hold 40 percent of the region's jobs.


ABC Celebrates 50th Anniversary Of 'A Charlie Brown Christmas'

ABC will air "It's Your 50th Christmas Charlie Brown" Monday night. On the classic Christmas cartoon's golden anniversary, NPR explores what makes this ageless special endure.

When Tipping Was Considered Deeply Un-American

Imported from Europe, the custom of leaving gratuities began spreading in the U.S. post-Civil War. It was loathed as a master-serf custom that degraded America's democratic, anti-aristocratic ethic.

Trump Remains On Top Of GOP Field As Start Of Primary Voting Nears

There are now just 10 weeks until voting begins. After Thanksgiving, there are some clear themes emerging in the state of the presidential race.

Big Data Predicts Centuries Of Harm If Climate Warming Goes Unchecked

How can climate scientists be so sure about what will happen decades and centuries from now? About 30 teams using supercomputers to churn through mountains of data see patterns aligning.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.