Thursday, December 14, 2006

The Braddock Road Black Hole

The Growler has been looking at the Executive Summary for the Braddock Road Metro Small Area Plan and has discovered the smoking traffic gun.

If you are a Parker-Gray resident, the City doesn't want you know just how much traffic the massive developments planned for Braddock Road will have on local streets.

Here's how they are hiding the numbers:

The study found that the proposed redevelopment scenario adds only 8% more peak hour trips than the current zoning scenario, equating to approximately one-sixth of a lane of traffic. (Executive Summary, p. 14)
So what's suspect about this statement? Well, the City is hoping citizens will read this as meaning there will only be 8% more traffic even when Braddock Road is fully built out.

But look carefully at the wording. It's not saying there will be 8% more traffic than we have today. It's saying there will be 8% more traffic "than the current zoning scenario."

Here's the catch: like much of the rest of Alexandria, the Braddock Road area is currently not as densely developed as zoning would permit.

The number that's being hidden is the comparison between today's traffic levels and what we will have once everything is built out given the zoning changes that are recommended in the Small Area Plan.

There's three numbers here: A (the amount of current traffic), B (the projected amount of traffic if the area was maxxed out under current zoning), and C (the amount of traffic when the area is maxxed out with the new zoning which will permit more density).

The City is saying the difference between B and C is only 8% more traffic. But they haven't told us what the difference is between A and C.

And what impact will this have on quality of life?