The Washington Post

Montgomery adds people without adding driving

Montgomery County has 100,000 more residents than 10 years ago, but the amount of driving in the county has actually stayed the same, says a new study on how people get around. Meanwhile, more people are walking and biking inside the Beltway, and bus ridership is growing well outside it.

Drivers traveled about 7.3 million miles on state roads in the county in 2012. It’s a slight decrease from 2011, but about the same as in 2002, when the county had just over 900,000 residents, compared to 1.005 million residents today. It’s in line with both regional and national trends, and suggests that people didn’t stop driving simply because of the Great Recession. 

The results come from the Mobility Assessment Report, which the Planning Department conducts every few years to identify Montgomery County’s biggest transportation needs. County planners measured pedestrian, bicycle and car traffic throughout the area, in addition to looking at transit ridership.

Planners counted the number of pedestrians at 171 locations and the number of cyclists at 25 locations across the county, and plan to do more detailed studies in the future. Not surprisingly, the most walkers and bikers can be found in the county’s urban centers, including Silver Spring, Bethesda and Wheaton, as well as White Flint.

[Continue reading Dan Reed’s post at Just Up the Pike.]

Dan Reed blogs at Just Up the Pike. The Local Blog Network is a group of bloggers from around the D.C. region who have agreed to make regular contributions to All Opinions Are Local.

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