Sunday, February 04, 2007

The Authorities' Orthodoxy

Illustration: Proposed Roadway Network from U.S. National Capital Planning Commission's 1996 edition Extending the Legacy: Planning America's Capital for the 21st Century

As good a document for proposing its South Capitol Street Frederick Douglass Mall (which it fails to give a name; I named it with that applied to the existing South Capitol Street Frederick Douglass Bridge), NCPC's "Extending the Legacy" nonetheless embodies the deification of highway truncation. Although promoting the good idea of reconstructing portions of the existing Anacostia Freeway underground, it fails to offer a single freeway extension from any of the numerous freeway stubs or stumps, despite the feasibilities of recycling existing corridors and of tunneling. It is as if USDOT and the FHWA were unaware of what was done with I-90 in East Seattle

The bias against highways is so strong as to include the following statement, in the 1997 edition of "Extending the Legacy" at page 43, about the future "obsolescence" of bridges:
Amphibious cars -- contemporary versions of the old Army "ducks" -- could eventually make bridges obsolete.
I suppose that we want to make our automobiles heavier with worse fuel economy, with traffic slowing from 65 mph to 5 mph for the transition, because of the bridgephobia of the disproportionately influential, such as those who live in far upper NW and Potomac?

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