A new study of commuting in this area revealed two conflicting trend lines — one encouraging and one distressing.

The 2022 State of the Commute survey, done every three years by the Commuter Connections program of the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments, found that telecommuting exploded during the pandemic.

(9) comments

gary4books

Solo drivers a problem? Of course.

But it may depend on when they drive. If they are solo to avoid rush hours or busy roads, they might not be such a burden. Perhaps a computer program could match routes with drivers if they have compatibility. Governments can offer incentives (lanes for cars with passengers) or even cash to share a ride. Slugs?

Any suggestions?

petersamuel

Gary: my suggestion is to look to the millennia-old principle of letting prices bring supply and demand into harmony. This is how Gov Hogan's administration has proposed to deal with the most congested high volume highways in the state, namely the Beltway from the American Legion Bridge to 270 and up 270 -- financing new price-managed capacity as express toll lanes. If traffic starts to get too dense and threatens a breakdown in flow enough drivers are deterred with the higher toll rates to maintain freer flow conditions. When there's plenty of spare capacity prices drop. It is the well proven solution on Northern Virginia's major highways and in scores of others around the country.

gary4books

OK. But better would be to not migrate every day when people could be closer to work or just not travel at all. And to be honest, I do not see Northern Virginia to be my model. I was there in 1969 when they started building and since then it still seems congested.

petersamuel

Gary: Saying that people should live closer to their work so they don't have to do long commutes is patronizing. People have their own good reasons for living where they do -- maybe housing closer to work is too expensive, maybe spouses have a job near the home, maybe they're attached to where they live by way of friends, leisure-time activities, maybe... Those long-commuters are expending a lot of their own time and money on the long commutes and their choices should be respected. On NoVA a lot has changed since 1969. Maryland's Beltway and 270 are now the most congested highways in the greater DC metro area. By now all NoVA's major highways (495, 395, 95 and 66) have express toll lanes -- providing free flow travel at a price there for most lengthy trips. It's much easier to get around there than here in MD.

cleanrunoff

Before Covid, I would arrive in my office in Baltimore at 6am and leave at 2:30 in an effort to avoid the traffic between there and my home in Harford County. I now telecommute almost full time and don't have to drag myself out of bed at 5am every day. Most of my co-workers thought I was crazy for the early arrival, but the traffic experience was much more stressful, and could easily double commute times depending on daily incidents.

Greg F

There are many government positions that can be remote, but the pig-headed management still has antique thinking that everybody should be in offices. I know several agencies that mandated 3 days in office for the same job two in my home are doing remotely at a higher capacity since March of 2020. They want the fake team feeling and in person meetings that do nothing that can't be done remotely and think if they want to do it, everybody should. I get there are those that simply can't work remotely...I know several that go in because of their own reasons and some crave community feel. I know some who are mega-commuting well over an hour each way to as far as Waldorf or Aberdeen Proving Ground from Frederick that do the exact same work I do that could easily be one 100% at home. Just the bunch of fossils at each place that want to retain their desire to control things and retain their illusion of power.

Sam1934

Telecommuting keeps people off the roads; reduces the carbon footprint. I was doing a 105 mile round trip drive (alone) to Virginia to do a job that I can do at home. My car has been off the road since March 24 of 2020. I would think that could offset some of the single driving into MOCO and DC.

dremsberg

Nothing shocking about this. Mass transportation is not convenient to most living out side a metro area - certainly not in Frederick county. Frederick county residents are spread out necessitating at least a commute to a transport hub. And mass transportation destinations are often not near places of employment. Mass transportation sounds like the obvious solution - but in reality not viable for most commuters in this county. But county residents do commute - in droves. Didn’t find current numbers but stats from md dllr from just before COVID indicate only 40% of Frederick county residents work in Frederick county. That’s a huge number commuting out of the area (60% based on the dllr report - 23% commute to Montgomery alone). A more effective for Frederick county would be to get jobs here / far more impact than mass transportation solution would provide. Frederick county has low unemployment but very high jobs deficit. And that jobs deficit makes the county somewhat vulnerable. Over past couple years telecommuting has certainly helped and think it will in the future. But not all jobs can and for many not ideal - but certainly to be encouraged when it makes sense.

Dwasserba

“Distressing New Study” or, whole phrases as headlines that make reading unnecessary.

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