Transportation in DC Predictions

This is the third part of the 3-part series, covering the 2006 Washington Business Journal’s Predictions for 2020. 

When this was published, I was working for a national builder, blind to the fact that in a few months, the phones were going to stop ringing. All hell was about to break loose in the real estate industry and we were all about to be out of jobs. 

I’ve held on to this for many years. It survived a move or two, but it didn’t survive Annie who chomped on the corner a few years back. If you want to see what life with Annie is like, check out the video.

This discussion is about Transportation in the Washington DC Area.

WBJ Item #3 Greater Washington Will be More Great

Prediction: Places as far north as Baltimore, as far south as Richmond and as far west as the 81 corridor will all be one giant metro area – like the Chesapeake Region.

Reality: Not yet. But people have been constantly promoting Baltimore as a commutable area by train. Still, this is a big nope. With the pandemic, people even moved out to these areas, but it didn’t help to unite us into one giant metro area. Plus, they didn’t mention the beaches, which are a huge vacation spot for DC city-dwellers.

WBJ Item #7: Tysons Will Look Like a Real City

Prediction: With the silver line coming through, Tysons will be a force to be reckoned with.

Reality: Yes, and the silver line did get to Tysons. But, cities are walkable. And Tyson’s is not walkable. 

WBJ Item #8:  You’ll Get Where You Need to Go

Prediction: There will be streetcars, purple and silver metro lines, high occupancy toll lanes and new HOV lanes.

Reality: A good bit of this happened. Streetcars became a reality, so did the metro lines and those toll lanes. They forgot to mention that part about making I66 a toll road during peak times and you can’t opt for non-toll lanes.

WBJ Item #9 You’ll Hop Aboard Streetcars

Prediction: They made fun of this – saying we should bring back the horse and buggy, and pointing out that DC got rid of the streetcar for a reason. Yes, but…

Reality: as of right now, there’s just one streetcar line which runs along H Street. The 2006 prediction mentioned Anacostia and Adams Morgan as streetcar routes, and nothing about H St. I guess they didn’t believe H Street was going to turn from a place where you would most definitely get jumped to the bustling corridor it is now. 

WBJ Item  #10: You’ll love Purple

Prediction: No this isn’t a Baltimore Ravens reference, it’s the purple line metro.

Reality: It happened! It lines entirely within Maryland and runs from Bethesda to New Carrollton

WBJ Item #12 – Transit oriented development (TOD)

Prediction: More of the same as the living where you work except this focuses on private developers working with Metro (WMATA) to develop areas by identified metros

Reality: Many of the identified metro stations are on the eastern part of the DMV, and this plan has now been pushed out to 2035 according to the Prince George’s County Park and Planning Website

They close by saying that it’s anyone’s guess. No one predicted Sept 11 or the dot com crash. Yes, and they were right. No one predicted a pandemic or Amazon adding their 2nd Headquarters to that beacon of 80’s excess and dreary architecture – Crystal City. But the Washington Business Journal did play it safe on their predictions, and didn’t really think critically about other things that may happen in DC. Some real predictions would have been awesome instead of just outlining what was already in the “approved” plans or plans in the works.