MS. REBECCA SHEIR
You just heard many of the boundary stones now lie in northern Virginia. And when we talk about that region, what would we say its boundaries include? Fairfax County, of course, Alexandria, Arlington, Loudon, Prince William, maybe Fauquier County. But transportation planners would add Caroline County to the south and Culpeper to the west as they discuss ways to improve transit in the coming decades. They're working on a project called the Super NoVa vision plan and it's the topic of our weekly transportation segment, "From A to B."
MS. REBECCA SHEIR
Transportation reporter Martin Di Caro caught up with Amy Inman, the manager of Public Transportation Planning at the Virginia Department of Rail and Public Transportation to find out just what Super NoVa could include and what it might mean for local residents.
MR. MARTIN DI CARO
So we're here at the Franconia-Springfield Metro Station, a very busy station but is the best metro gets into Virginia. How would Super NoVa extend the transit carters into Virginia?
MS. AMY INMAN
We're looking at the major quarters throughout the Super NoVa area, the super region. It isn't necessarily looking at extending any one particular quarter, but it's really looking at the major travel patterns of people throughout this region and trying to understand where they are and where they want to go.
There's a growing realization in our country, not just in our region, that highways aren't enough, just more Metrorail isn't enough. What other modes are you looking at?
We're looking at bus rapid transit, light rail, carpool, van pool, teleworking as an option. We're looking at all the various modes of public transportation.
Super NoVa is not just a region of the state, it is a plan, it's a vision and you're looking all the way out to 2040. Correct?
Yes. We are envisioning mobility beyond boundaries. As we all know, there isn't just one mode of transportation that's going to be the solution for the future. But we want to be able to provide people with travel options.
What are you learning so far? You just had some public hearings in February.
We have learned that the growth and the dynamic of this region is very great. And into the future, the areas out in Fauquier and Culpeper, Winchester areas, they have a developing demand for different types of public transportation.
Looking ahead to the year 2040, what is northern Virginia going to look like compared to now, when it comes to transportation, modes of transportation?
I think we're going to see increased carpooling and van pooling. We're going to see bus rapid transit connecting with bicycle and pedestrian facilities, light rail, potentially where that makes sense. But, again, the recommendations need to coincide with the area in which they're being made. So, where the land use can support a light rail investment, where it could support bus rapid transit.
What are the typical comments you get at the public hearings from people?
Folks want to have mobility options. In many areas of this super region, they may not have an option other than to drive or to carpool. We've heard extensive comments about having accessible bus stops, making sure that they're connected well with ADA-compliant sidewalks and that bike facilities are also adequate.
That's an ambitious vision, isn't it, to extend public transportation 75 to 100 miles away from an urban center.
Again, it's going to be within the context of the locality. So, we won't be making recommendations to extend a particular transit system to an area that may not be able to support it.
That was Amy Inman of the Virginia Department of Rail and Public Transportation speaking with WAMU's Martin Di Caro about the Super NoVa and TDM vision plan.
What do you think about expanding the boundaries of northern Virginia to create a so-called Super NoVa? You can reach us via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter. Our handle is @wamumetro.
After the break, a busy beach town tries to redraw the boundary between regular hustle and bustle and all-out ruckus.
MR. JIM DEDES
There's no way you can sleep with your windows open at all. That's impossible and let alone having your windows closed, you still can hear the music.
And we'll go up in the air with the D.C. man who became the world's first Jewish aviator.
MR. PAUL GLENSHAW
There was something about the airplane that compelled him to change everything.
That and more coming your way on "Metro Connection," here on WAMU 88.5.
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