Conclusion and Further Research
Hence, government decentralization, highway development through the suburban sprawl, environmentalist concerns, and the effects of the free market are the key factors that explain how America’s suburban transportation came to be today. The scholarship on this topic is extensive, but it lacks in regard to the suburbs of the DC metro area. There is a substantial amount of scholarship on transit and urban development in Washington DC alone, but significantly less on the surrounding suburbs, especially outside the range of the Metro system. Moreover, it is worth noting that Zachary Schrag, a professor at George Mason University, has published a notable work that includes a select few of DC's surrounding suburbs and counties, including Fairfax, Virginia. The Great Society Subway: A History of the Washington Metro is worth looking into for more details on the DC metro system.
Further research on this topic includes recognizing the similarities and differences between the suburbs included in this project, and the suburbs of the DC metro area. The unique histories of each suburb definitely play a part in the creation of its urban development and transportation and that should not be minimized. In addition, a collection of data and creation of new scholarship on the suburbs surrounding the DC metro area is a crucial next step in this project.
The four segments in this project intended to lightly address this gap in the research and propose an answer to my initial research question: why do America’s modern suburban cities not have viable public transportation? In congruence with Lizabeth Cohen’s research and the data from the primary sources, I propose that the fundamental reason that mass transit is not developed for the suburbs of the DC metro area is due to the post-war prioritization of consumerist and individualist ideals at the expense of a sustainable future.
 Schrag, Zachary M. The Great Society Subway: A History of the Washington Metro (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2006).