The Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority (MWAA) is preparing a massive roadway and parking expansion at Washington National Airport that would be an environmental disaster which the Environmental Assessment completely dismisses - the air quality impacts of the additional vehicles, the stormwater impacts of the additional impervious surfaces are all ignored.
This expansion of car infrastructure is almost certainly unnecessary, counter to MWAA's adopted Sustainability Plan, and is being justified by disproven theories and assumptions - the EA treats parking demand and mode choice as set inevitabilities that MWAA can't possibly influence and ignores induced demand.
Transportation Demand Management (TDM) strategies like properly pricing parking and making the airport's other transportation choices easy to use and well-known would satisfy nearly the entire purpose and need stated in this EA with a dramatically lower environmental impact & much lower cost.
Building a new office building on airport grounds in Arlington when there is a massive glut of empty office space in Crystal City, walking distance to DCA, is foolhardy and unjustifiable.
Speak-up today for using TDM strategies to better utilize the many other great ways to get to DCA - MetroRail, MetroWay BRT, Virginia Railway Express, biking via the Mt Vernon Trail, walking from Crystal City, and more!
Email comments to email@example.com with the subject line "DCA Roadways Feedback". Here is a suggested template:
I am writing today to provide feedback on the DCA Roadway Improvements Environmental Assessment.
The EA fails to properly quantify the environmental impact of the additional vehicle miles traveled this expansion of roadway and parking infrastructure will induce. The proposed action will increase stormwater runoff by adding to impervious surfaces at DCA & worsen air pollution by bringing additional car traffic to the area.
This expansion of roadway infrastructure is justified by debunked theories and fails to account for MWAA's ability to influence passenger and employee travel choices through Transportation Demand Management (TDM) strategies and making DCA's other existing & future transportation options well-known and easy to use. TDM has a proven track record of influencing mode choices and reducing road and parking demand. Seattle Children's Hospital, for instance, achieved a reduction of their drive-alone rate from 73% to 33% of employees.
Instead of expanding roadways and parking, MWAA should:
- Improve support for biking to work or travel at DCA by adding easy-to-follow signage directing employees and passengers to the Capital Bikeshare Station.
- Improve support for biking to work or travel at DCA by adding secure, covered bicycle parking that is convenient to both the Mt Vernon Trail access and the terminals at DCA.
- Improve support for biking and walking to Terminal 1 by building an additional connection from the Mt Vernon Trail to Thomas Avenue near the TNC / Limo staging lot. DCA’s existing trail access is only convenient to Terminal 2.
- Scrap the foolhardy move to build new office space in a market that is already drowning in overbuilt office capacity and lease space in Crystal City instead.
- Provide a grade-separated crossing for the Mt Vernon Trail of the onramp from DCA to the Northbound GW Parkway to mitigate the safety problems at this crossing.
- Work to make the user experience of the CC2DCA project as friendly as possible - avoid unnecessary detours & grade changes and make the wayfinding straightforward and easy to follow.
- Improve support for biking and walking to DCA for work or travel by improving the existing connection from the Mt Vernon Trail which is circuitous, poorly-signed, dark, and does not meet ADA requirements. The EA previously mentions rebuilding this connection but provides no details that would allow the public to understand if it will be sufficient.
- Ensure any airport changes in the vicinity of the Mt Vernon Trail do not preclude the National Park Service's plans to widen the trail.
- Reduce parking demand through increased pricing, rather than an expensive and environmentally damaging expansion of supply. DCA already has more parking spaces than any other facility in Arlington County, including the Pentagon.