Driving to Area Airports Is Taking Longer These Days

Driving to Area Airports Is Taking Longer These Days

Photo by katieforeman2010

In yet more evidence that there’s a lot of traffic in the region, a study by the Metropolitan Washington Council of Government’s Transportation Planning Board has found that driving to any of our local airports is taking a lot longer these days:

The GATT study looked at travel times from more than 15 residential or commercial centers in the greater Washington-Baltimore region to each of the three commercial service airports. In most cases, highway travel times during peak weekday evening periods went up. From Greenbelt, Maryland, travel time to BWI increased from 26.6 minutes to 31.2 minutes. From Tysons Corner, travel time to National increased from 24.8 minutes to 44.3 minutes.

The observed increases over the eight-year period are the result of increasing congestion on the region’s network of highways, and projections of future travel patterns in the Washington region show highway congestion continuing to increase. Overall, the number of lane-miles of congested highway during the morning rush hour is expected to increase by 38% between 2010 and 2040, with increases of more than 100% expected in outer suburban areas.

In addition to car traffic, there’s also more air traffic at our local airports. According to the FAA, trips out of National are set to rise 40 percent by 2030, 120 percent out of BWI and 220 percent at Dulles.

It probably goes without saying that Metro’s Silver Line extension out to Dulles couldn’t come any sooner. Once it gets built, non-driving alternatives will be available for Dulles, and residents of Virginia counties heading west out of D.C. will be able to get to National using nothing more than the train. BWI isn’t directly accessible by Metro, but it’s a short bus ride away from the Greenbelt Metro.

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