The Washington Region: Land Use and Travel Patterns

by Ronald F. Kirby, Dept. of Transportation Planning, Metropol. Washington Cncl. of Govt., 777 N. Capitol St., N.E., Suite 300, Washington, DC 20002, United States,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Urban Public Transportation Systems: Implementing Efficient Urban Transit Systems and Enhancing Transit Usage


The Washington Region is the eighth largest metropolitan area in the United States, with a population of four million people spread over 4,000 square miles. By 2020, the region's population is projected to reach 5.6 million, 43 percent more than in 1990. Likewise, the number of jobs is expected to increase by 43 percent between 1990 and 2020, to more than 3.5 million. Most of this growth will occur outside the regional core, in areas with limited road and transit services. The number of trips made daily by Washington residents is expected to grow by more than 65 percent between 1990 and 2020, and the number of miles driven will increase by more than 75 percent. Meanwhile, the funded improvements in the current long-range transportation plan provide for only a 23 percent increase in the capacity of the region's highway system, and very little expansion of the transit system. Under current plans and policies, traffic congestion on area roads - already among the nation's heaviest - is projected to be more widespread in the future, affecting all major travel corridors and more side roads.

Subject Headings: Travel patterns | Land use | Highways and roads | Urban and regional development | Public transportation | Urban areas | Project management | Highway transportation | United States | Washington | District of Columbia

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