Sunday, February 22, 2009

Virginia's Inside the Beltway Corridor Chock Epidemic

It's not only within D.C. where railroad industry personal subvert highway competition

- spot improvement project was to add an axillary lane between on and off ramps in the westbound direction to better serve local traffic, yet do nothing about the infamous eastbound I-66/Dulles Access 267 merge
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Oscar Voss
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More options Feb 21, 3:09 am
Newsgroups: misc.transport.road
From: "Oscar Voss">
Date: Sat, 21 Feb 2009 03:09:41 -0500
Local: Sat, Feb 21 2009 3:09 am
Subject: VA - I-66 "spot improvements" in limbo
The Metropolitan Washington Council of Government's Transportation Planning Board voted this week to remove three proposed "spot improvements" to westbound Interstate 66 inside the Capital Beltway from next year's transportation improvement plan. Work on the first project, to create a westbound auxiliary lane connecting the Fairfax Drive on-ramp to the Sycamore Street off-ramp (that stretch is one of the worst off-peak chokepoints), would have started next year.

This decision was supposedly driven by VDOT's failure to fully fund a $15 million study of transportation alternatives in the I-66 corridor. VDOT points out, however, that the projects were never tied to completion of that study. My sense in any case is that the expensive and time-consuming study ($15 million and three-four years, as a precondition for projects totaling about $75 million which have already been talked about for ages, seem disproportionate) was sought as a stalling tactic, by people (lots of them in my Arlington County, including the county government) who will be dead set against the projects no matter what the study ends up concluding.

This decision could be revisited later, but VDOT seems resigned to having the projects put on hold for a few more years.

"Vote to Forgo I-66 Expansion Imperils Federal Funds, Increases Ire,"

see also:

Oscar Voss - - Arlington VA

my Hot Springs and Highways pages:
Hawaii Highways:

Friday, February 20, 2009

D.C. Corridor Chock Epidemic

Contempt of the Medievalists

The proposed DC CUA-Brookland Small Area plan is not the only threat to major transportation corridors within Washington, D.C., particularly regarding or connecting to the built and un-built I-395.

Here's is a list of the most infamous transgressors:

Capital Square Townhouses
I-395 SW Freeway bottleneck pinch

Eakin-Youngentob "Capital Square" townhouses, on land plot between 6th, 7th, G Street SW and the SW Freeway, with row of 28 townhouses a mere 16 1/2 feet from SW Freeway retaining wall, one block south of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. This 16 1/5 foot setback is significantly less then that of all of the other buildings along the southern side of the SW Freeway, which have 70-90 feet of setback.

This makes it more difficult and expensive to construct new retaining wall for tunnel roof (as the existing walls would not be likely to be so designed), hence keeping the existing SW Freeway in a configuration that divides DC SW - hence contrary to long term NCPC planning for the removal of the mass of elevated highways and railways that now cross over South Capital Street. This also makes it more difficult and expensive to improve safety and decrease congestion and pollution with mitigating the SW Freeway bottleneck southwards and westerly of the Center Leg -- hence more likely remaining a traffic bottleneck with ripple effects well into Virginia.

Increased costs required for Eminent Domain and Demolition for row of 28 townhouses : $30 million.

Increased costs required for obtaining construction staging area elsewhere, and for required extra construction equipment trips on local streets: $10 million by denying a logical staging area for achieving the long touted goal of constructing a new monumental replacement "14th Street Bridge"

Golden Rule Apartment
I-395 Center Leg (3rd Street) Tunnel on ramp blockage

Placing senior citizens in new apartment house that blocks the 2nd Street NW I-395 northbound tunnel on-ramp, placing greater traffic on a New Jersey Avenue where it established new migratory pattern of senior citizens carrying their groceries from food market owned by the same entity owning this apartment building.

Blocks currently unused on ramp built as a part of the 1978-82 3rd Street Tunnel north of Massachusetts Avenue for later use, hence increasing traffic load upon New Jersey Avenue north of K Street.

Establishes a migratory pattern of elderly pedestrians carrying groceries across New Jersey Avenue with its increased traffic load, with this new "Golden Rule" apartment building on the west side of New Jersey Avenue, with the closet grocery store being the "golden Rule" Market 1-2 blocks east.

Capital Gateway
I-395 NY Avenue Alternative Tunnel blockage

None of the official studies address the practicalities of constructing a tunnel directly beneath heavily traveled NY Avenue rather then partially alongside in undeveloped land, particularly at the spit where the existing cross RR bridge lands in the vicinity of Florida Avenue. Building beneath open adjacent land by definition will be less disruptive to traffic, yet officials say nothing about preserving an easement alongside New York Avenue, first with the Fed Ex building to the north, and now this project to the south.

CUA-Brookland Area Small Area Plan
North Central Freeway Tunnel Chock

This blocks any multi-modelization of the Metropolitan Branch RR other then the multiple level stacked elevated concept proposed in 1965.

Takoma Metro Area: Elevation 314, and Cedar Crossing DEATH TRAPS
North Central Freeway Tunnel Chock

New residences in wood framed structures within 15 and 45 feet respectively of elevated heavy freight RR, largely within the footprint of a potential RR derailment, tumbling downward.

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

What Obama Must Do For D.C. Transportation Security

Official planning to chock northern Washington, D.C.'s sole grade separated ground north south transportation corridor, subverting valuable evacuation route

Left: Brookland Metro station area today. Image from Google Maps. Right: Metro station sub-area plan. (from article within Greater Greater Washington)

Corridor Suitable for Cut and Cover Railway - Highway Tunnel, yet official planing sells out to real estate development

Chocks of the construction of the hugely useful North Central Freeway corridor, proposed by the Kennedy Administration in November 1962, but hugely botched with a 1964 engineering study that routed the highway needlessly through neighborhoods.

North Central B&O Metropolitan Branch RR corridor midway between Potomac and eastern Capital Beltway. (shown with I-95 Northeast Freeway via the Fort Drive - Northwest Branch Route).

1962 Kennedy Administration plan with WMATA and B&O Route North Central Freeway

1964 North Central Freeway engineering study deviates seriously from the 1962 Kennedy proposal, officials considered this until the late 1960s as a 'cheaper' alternative
to the 1962 concept featured in the
supplementary North Central Freeway study report of 1966

1971 North Central Freeway
with I-95 Northeast Freeway via the Fort Drive - Northwest Branch Route,
with cut and cover tunnel segment
from Rhode Island Avenue to north of Monroe Street NE
displacing 34 existing houses
with new development and parkland

My preference is for a new multi model transportation tunnel -- upgraded railways and new highway -- beneath a new linear urban park- the Washington, D.C. Grand Arc

Inside the Beltway I-95:
1971 PEPCO Power Line -B&O
1964-73 Northwest Branch Park - Fort Drive - B&O
1960 Northwest Branch Park - Catholic Sisters College - B&O

PEPCO-B&O offers greatest serviceability and least displacement
with greatest use of existing corridors.

Yet this is all often poorly reported.

Washington, D.C. FICTITIOUS I-95 Route

Brookland CUA Area Small Area Plan

Public Hearing Notice