As long as the weather remains fair, a physical streetcar will make its first appearance on H St NE this week. DDOT should move the vehicle on Friday, and testing should begin on either Saturday or Monday. Before streetcar service begins in 2014, testing must take place to prevent any future problems with jaywalking and double parking. As the Silver Line delays continue, area residents are hoping for quick and successful testing of the streetcar. Once studies are complete, the Rapid Transit System should be far quicker to implement than a streetcar or light rail system because it'll make use of existing roads, not new tracks.
New research shows that bus rapid transit, already widely implemented in both developed and developing countries, "can reduce travel time by millions of hours for commuters worldwide." EMBARQ's report, Social, Environmental and Economic Impacts of Bus Rapid Transit Systems, examines international evidence and four case studies of rapid transit systems in Bogotá, Colombia; Mexico City, Mexico; Johannesburg, South Africa; and Istanbul, Turkey. The report concludes that having an RTS improves quality of life in cities by: saving travel time, reducing greenhouse gas and air pollutant emissions, improving traffic safety, and increasing physical activity. As the Montgomery County RTS moves forward, can the same quality of life improvements be brought to MD?
“The pressure of the holiday, the pressure of having to find something and running all over to find it and all of those things would tend to distract them,” said David Brown, a University of Alabama professor who has studied holiday traffic. “. . . Their mind is on other things, and the next thing you know they’re pulling out in front of somebody.”
Almost 1/3 of drivers say they are more aggressive on the road during the holidays due to increased stress. If you are planning on being on the roads right around Christmas, consider other forms of transportation, including MARC's brand-new weekend service to BWI or to Baltimore.