The National Park Service has published a Long-Range Transportation Plan for parks in the Greater Washington area. While recognizing the pivotal role many national park roads play in region's greater transportation network, the 20-year plan establishes a vision for equitable and safe access to iconic visitor experiences while protecting parks' history, beauty and nature. Because maintenance needs exceed available funding, the plan also outlines an investment strategy that balances competing priorities.
The plan identifies transportation funding needs totaling more than $86 million annually with a projected annual transportation budget for Greater Washington area national parks of $36.5 million. The plan considers park visitor experience and resource protection, consistent with the NPS mission, and sets performance measures to track progress on traditional transportation issues such as asset management, financial sustainability and safety.
In 2015, there were over 1,500 NPS transportation assets in the National Capital Region. These assets include roads, paved multi-use trails, bridges, tunnels, parking areas and marinas. The investment strategy developed in the plan, focuses on three main components: fund highest priority assets first, align capital and operations and maintenance investments, and invest in new assets. Following this strategy will allow the NPS to maintain the highest priority assets such as parkways and bridges and limit the decline of condition of other assets. These assets are critical to moving drivers, pedestrians and bicyclists around the region safely. The NPS will also pursue additional funding for large capital projects, similar to how the NPS was ultimately able to fund the Arlington Memorial Bridge rehabilitation.
The NPS is committed to continuing broad coordination and collaboration with its federal, state, local and agency partners. Coordination with local departments of transportation allows the NPS to maximize efficiency, accomplish shared goals and minimize inconvenience to drivers, cyclists and pedestrians.
The plan was developed to bring NPS into compliance with federal legislation requiring that Federal Land Management Agencies conduct long-range transportation planning consistent with the currently adopted U.S. Department of Transportation planning practices, as applicable for States and Metropolitan Planning Organizations. The National Capital Region Long Range Transportation Plan supports a national-level plan for the agency, and is one of seven regional-level plans across the national park system. You can learn more about the NPS's long range transportation planning work and view plans for other areas of the national park system online at https://www.nps.gov/orgs/1548/long-range-transportation-planning.htm
Deputy Associate Regional Director
Lands and Planning