Melanie Stern, MUP 2018
Organization: National Capital Planning Commission, Washington, DC
Sponsor: Greater Boston Community Service Fellowship
” This will be my last blog post of the summer as I am entering into my final week at the National Capital Planning Commission. While my internship in many ways has seemed to pass so quickly, looking back on my work it is exciting to realize the breadth of projects to which I have gained exposure and the variety of planners and designers with whom I have worked.
This past week I attended my second Commission meeting. With six action items and two information presentations, the meeting agenda was the longest it has been in years. Among some of the most interesting action items I found to be the Lincoln Memorial Restoration, the National World War I Memorial, and the President Franklin D. Roosevelt Prayer Plaque. In addition to listening to the Commission give their feedback on the concept designs for the above projects, I was excited to hear an information presentation on the National Capital Region Parking Study, as I have been peripherally involved in its development.
NCPC is partnering with Volpe National Transportation Systems Center to assess NCPC’s current parking ratio policies for federal facilities in light of industry best practices, land use patterns, transportation network improvements, and projected regional population changes. While I originally had very little experience in transit and parking policy, working on this study has opened my eyes to the important role parking plays in urban planning and its impact on a myriad of other factors including regional land use, economic development, and environmental sustainability. I particularly enjoyed gaining exposure to the modeling component of the study which depicted the variation in regional transit accessibility, how this accessibility is related to current parking policies, and how accessibility will change in future years.
As I continue on with my studies in the fall, I look forward to seeing how the Parking Study, the Parks and Open Space Element, and various other projects I have worked on this summer continue to progress. I have thoroughly enjoyed my time at NCPC and am very grateful to both NCPC for their guidance this summer and to the Community Service Fellowship for funding this opportunity.”