Transportation demand management can work everywhere, even in sprawling Montgomery County, MD - Mobi

Montgomery County, Md. is big and sprawling, built out at the height of suburbanization. This presents problems when it comes to encouraging transit, and even more so for walking and biking.

Fortunately, the county has a long history of implementing transportation demand management (TDM) programs to encourage public transit and other alternatives.

Due to its size and nature—a million people in nearly 500 square miles—Montgomery County must be selective. The county has long worked on developing urban centers and has designated six Transportation Management Districts (TMDs) to implement TDM in key areas with dense populations, as well as job and transit centers.

Montgomery County does have a history of forward-looking regarding transit and smart growth, beginning with the “wedges and corridors” plan in 1964 that helped preserve agricultural areas. Furthermore, the county includes important portions of the greater Washington, D.C. Metrorail system, as well as an award-winning local bus network.

Despite this, Montgomery County consistently has some of the worst traffic in the nation, along with the entire D.C. region.

The TMD areas are designated and operated by the county, but with local input and participation. (For those readers who might be confused, TDM is the policy while TMDs are the areas that manage TDM.)

However, at least two districts, White Oak and White Flint, have had residents actively lobby for measures to reduce traffic and increase transit, on the way to more density and walkability. (The White Oak TMD, however, is not yet funded.)

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