Saturday, May 25, 2024

Opinion | National Harbor needs Metro, and Metro needs National Harbor

Opinion | National Harbor needs Metro, and Metro needs National Harbor

A Metro station at National Harbor in Oxon Hill via the Blue Line is the best alternative for the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority’s capacity and reliability study because it satisfies all the stated goals of the study: maximizing sustainability and equity, capacity, reliability and flexibility. Metro service is needed along the Route 210 corridor to allow efficient travel from National Harbor to the future home of a proposed 23-acre hospital campus in Fort Washington and to Charles County and back. Piscataway Highway is saturated with nearly 80,000 drivers per day in some stretches.

Fort Washington, which borders National Harbor, has higher median incomes than Bowie and Alexandria, according to census data. Moreover, Charles County, which feeds into the Route 210 corridor, has experienced population growth almost every year from 2011 to 2021. Commercial development in some of these areas in Southern Maryland, however, has lagged. Metro would spark smart development in the region while delivering multimodal transportation options.

The lack of a Metro station at National Harbor and along Route 210 is glaring, and renders Southern Maryland residents less healthy and less mobile. Adding Metro rail in these areas would increase ridership and revenue streams, foster sustainable communities, and create more economic parity in the D.C. area.

David Owens, Fort Washington

The writer is president of Fort Washington Forward.

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