Travel time from Gaithersburg, MD, to Baltimore-Washington International Airport (BWI) has gone up, according to a travel-time study released by the Transportation Planning Board (TPB) as reported in its most recent TPB Weekly Report.
But it doesn't stop there—lane-miles of congested highway during morning rush hour in the Washington region are expected to increase more than 100 percent in outer suburban areas from 2010 to 2040, according to the report. During that same time, lane-mile increases in the overall region are expected to increase by 38 percent.
When it comes to airports, the report states the Federal Aviation Administration projects a soaring 120 percent increase in local air passenger originations at BWI by 2040, compared to 2010 levels. It also cites a whopping 220 percent increase projected at Washington Dulles International Airport (IAD) and a 40 percent increase at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport (DCA) during that period.
This highlights the need for appropriate planning, according to the TPB.
The report states travel time from Gaithersburg to BWI rose steadily during the morning (63 minutes in 2003 to 78.2 minutes in 2011), midday (50.7 minutes in 2003 to 53.9 minutes in 2011) and evening (51.8 minutes in 2003 to 82.7 minutes in 2011) hours over the eight year period.
The increase is just as dramatic in other areas, such as Tysons Corner, where travel time to National Airport jumped from 24.8 minutes to 44.3 minutes, according to the report.
The 2011 Ground Access Travel Time (GATT) Study was completed as part of a TPB Continuous Airport Systems Planning Program and looked at travel to BWI, IAD and DCA.
Gaithersburg is not alone, from most of the 15 plus residential or commercial centers that the National Capitol Region TPB studied, one-way travel times to airports by highway went up during the evening rush hour.
The TPB report states the increases are due to increasing congestion on the region's network of highways—and that projections show a continued increase.
The region's airports are responsible for an annual regional economic impact of more than $30 billion and for 250,000 jobs, according to the TPB Weekly Report.