Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Counting Cars

The Growler has toted up all of the new and proposed development for the Braddock Road/Parker-Gray area and here are the numbers:

Jaguar (proposed): 670 total one- and two-bedroom units
Madison (proposed): 344 one- and two-bedroom units
Monarch (approved): 168 one- and two bedroom units
Payne St Condos (approved): 146 one- , two- and three-bedroom units
Prescott (approved): 64 one- and two-bedroom units

Grand Total: 1,392 units

The numbers for Jaguar and Madison come from presentations at ICCA meetings in June and July. The total doesn't include the redevelopment of Tony's Auto and the Carpenter's Shelter, which is supposedly coming soon along with the Post Office. The Growler has no idea what will eventually be proposed for the Yates and Dwyer properties.

As you can see, in the next two to three years we will have nearly 1,400 new residents and quite possibly double that number depending on the plans for the other redevelopments.

How many of those 1,392 unit owners will have at least one car?

Let's assume 90%. Few Americans nowadays are without a car. That means 1,253 more automobiles will be cruising our narrow streets.

And let's say conservatively that a third of these owners will have a second car. That's not an outrageous assumption given that the redevelopment includes many two and three bedroom units for two-career couples, roommates and small families.

That adds another 376 automobiles for a total of 1,629 cars. That's a lot for a very small area that is essentially a cul de sac between Braddock Road and Monroe Avenue.

Now let's consider transit. The cock-eyed optimists who assume 50% of the residents will use Metro will still see about 814 additional cars on the road each morning and evening rush hour.

However, Metro ridership at Braddock Road is actually lower, with only 20% of residents living around the station using rail. That means of the 1,629 cars we project will be added to our area, some 1,303 cars may be hitting Patrick, Henry, and Fayette Streets at rush hour.

Now of course there's some wiggle room here. There are vacations, holidays, flexible work hours, etc. Nevertheless, the impact will be staggering.

Then double the numbers to account for projects that are not yet on the table, and try to imagine the level of congestion we will be experiencing in the next few years thanks to the City's taste for extreme development.