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Officials in Howard County want to see traffic reduced as development grows near Columbia.

Officials in Howard County want to see traffic reduced as development grows near Columbia.

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What’s in Columbia’s Transportation Demand Plan?

Howard County wants to reduce traffic near downtown Columbia by 15 percent under a new plan that will be presented to the public July 10.

The Downtown Columbia Transportation Demand Management Plan calls for a sharp reduction in trips to the area and is asking developers to provide more comprehensive reports on the impacts of their projects.

Impacts of New Developments in Downtown Columbia

According to the text of the plan, a reduction in vehicle trips to the area could make congestion unbearable as new developments come to the downtown Columbia area.

“Absent this reduction, the amount of development envisioned under the Downtown Plan could cause congestion that would exceed the congestion standard established in the Plan and/or road improvements, some of which will be very costly, may be needed sooner than envisioned,” the county said.

Howard County approved the Downtown Columbia Plan in 2010. The plan required the formation of a Transportation Demand Management Plan to map out how new development may impact traffic.

Plan Asks Developers for Impacts on Traffic

The plan places pressure on developers to outline how their projects will impact traffic. Developers will be asked to craft comprehensive and property-specific transportation demand management statements every three years. But the plan stops short of imposing penalties if targets aren’t met. That could come in an update to the plan six years from now.

“This TDMP recommends reconsidering a financial performance program in an update to this TDMP in approximately six years, or 2024,” the county said. “This will allow time for Downtown Columbia to continue to evolve toward a more dense and walkable environment with more investment in alternative transportation choices.”

Public meeting details:

When: Tuesday, July 10 from 6:30 to 8:00 p.m.

Where: Community Room at Merriweather Post Pavilion, 10475 Little Patuxent Parkway

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