Thursday, October 22, 2009

ECTC Paid To Riot Via Covington & Burling?

Paid Anti-Freeway group to Riot to disrupt public hearings on I-266 Bridge poised at Georgetown University

According to Gilbert Hahn Jr.: The Notebook of an Amateur Politician (and how he began the D.C. subway)

“…Arrayed against the freeway lobby was a fiercely vocal, but not very impressive group called the Emergency Committee on the Transportation Crisis. This was a group headed by an otherwise very nice young man named Reginald Booker and included Sammy Abbott, former Communist candidate for the House of Representatives from Buffalo and later the mayor of Takoma Park. It also included Julius Hobson and, as one of the chorus, Marion Barry. I held some freeway and Three Sisters Bridge hearings, which immediately broke up into several famous riots (but more of that latter.)

The committee [ECTC] was funded by solid citizens of Georgetown, like attorney Ed Burling. Their interest in the matter was to prevent the Three Sisters Bridge – or any highway – through Georgetown, and so they funded Reginald Booker and all of his conferees very lavishly. When a hearing on the Three Sisters Bridge broke up yet in another riot, I had Ed Burling and his fellow Georgetowners to thank for paying Booker and Company to riot. Among other things, I was hit with a flying ashtray.

Why was I so adamant? I don’t give myself any particular merit badges for agreeing with the argument that freeways would ruin the city and Balkanize its different parts by putting up a “Chinese Wall” through the middle of a neighborhood. It’s just that I thought that it was a good thing not to have the freeways and the Three Sisters Bridge, and a better thing if I could manage to get the subway system funded instead.
This curiously ignores the concept of urban freeways below ground in tunnels, versus say that of surface and elevated RR berms that quad sect Washington, D.C.

The proposed I-266 'Three Sisters Bridge'
pointing at Georgetown University

Perhaps this curious RR-freeway double standard has something to do with this significant backer being a RR industry attorney?

Edward B. Burling (1877 - 1966)

The name "Burling" within the name of the law firm Covington & Burling refers to its co-founder, Edward B. Burling. According to the firm's web site:

"Judge J. Harry Covington and Edward B. Burling opened the doors of Covington & Burling in Washington, DC, on January 1, 1919. "

"The founders of Covington & Burling LLP foresaw the pervasive effects of the forthcoming era of federal legislation, regulation, and taxation. In 1919, they sought to create a firm in the nation's capital that could advise and represent corporations located anywhere in the nation or the world on a wide range of legal issues. Today our Washington office has over 300 lawyers representing clients according to the highest standards and fulfilling the firm's strong commitment to public service."
Edward Burling, who would die in 1966, had a son, Edward Burling Jr. According to his 2002 obituary:

Edward Burling Jr. was born in Chicago on Feb. 5, 1908. His wife, Frida Frazer Winslow, said he was not given a middle name, but was called junior to avoid confusion with his father.

He graduated from Milton Academy in 1925, Yale University in 1929 and Harvard Law School in 1932. He then volunteered to work for the presidential administration of Franklin D. Roosevelt. Thomas G. Corcoran, a presidential aide and later a powerful Washington lawyer, assigned him to work for the legal staff of the Reconstruction Finance Corporation, a New Deal agency. He next worked on the staff of the Treasury Department.

In 1935, he joined the law firm that his father had founded with Mr. Covington, and, except for his war service, in the Army Air Force in World War II, stayed there until his retirement at 65.

Two of his principal clients were the metal-cutting tool industry and the National Trust for Historic Preservation. He acted as financial adviser to corporate clients and represented their interests before regulatory agencies, particularly the Federal Power Commission, now the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.

Mr. Burling was known for extensive philanthropy, and among the recipients were child adoption agencies in Washington.

The law firm Covington & Burling has long been allied with the private organization, the "Committee of 100 on the Federal City", which along with U.S. National Capital Planning Commission, was founded by Frederic Adrian Delano, uncle to 32nd U.S. President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, and brother in law to Burling via marriage to a pair of sisters.

1201 Pennsylvania Avenue
since 1981
the Covington & Burling building

Covington & Burling's other co-founder, former U.S. Congressman James Harry Covington, was a law professor at Georgetown University.

James Harry Covington (1870 - 1942)

James Harry Covington (August 15, 1863May 14, 1939) was an American jurist and politician. He represented the Maryland's 1st congressional district in the United States House of Representatives from 1909 to 1914, and served as chief justice of the Supreme Court of the District of Columbia from 1914 to 1918.

Covington was born in Easton, Maryland, and attended the Maryland Military Academy at Oxford. He entered the law department of the University of Pennsylvania at Philadelphia in 1891, attending at the same time special lectures in history, literature, and economics, and graduated in 1894.

Soon thereafter, Covington began to practice of law in Easton. He was an unsuccessful Democratic nominee for the Maryland State Senate in 1901, and served as State’s attorney for Talbot County, Maryland, from 1903 to 1908. He was elected as a Democrat to Congress in 1908 and served the 1st Congressional district of Maryland from March 4, 1909 until his resignation on September 30, 1914, to accept the position of chief justice of the Supreme Court of the District of Columbia.

Covington served as chief justice of that court from October 1, 1914, to June 1, 1918, when he resigned to practice law in Washington, D.C.. He was a professor of law at Georgetown University from 1914 to 1919, and was appointed by President Woodrow Wilson as a member of the United States Railroad Commission in January 1918. He and Edward B. Burling established the law firm of Covington & Burling on January 1, 1919. Covington died in Washington, D.C., and is interred in Spring Hill Cemetery of Easton.

Covington served as Worthy Grand Master on the Supreme Executive Committee of the Kappa Sigma Fraternity from 1892–1894.

Kappa Sigma Official Site

Kappa Sigmas are taught to live their lives by the Star and Crescent, which are the symbols of the Fraternity that make up the official badge:

The Star and Crescent shall not be worn by every man, but only by him who is worthy to wear it. He must be a gentleman... a man of honor and courage... a man of zeal, yet humble... an intelligent man...a man of truth... one who tempers action with wisdom and, above all else, one who walks in the light of God.[9]

The Star and Crescent is also used as part of the guidlines behind Kappa Sigma's strict no-tolerance anti-hazing policy. The Fraternity takes all allegations of hazing very seriously and routinely pulls charters from guilty chapters which can be as old as 130 years.

They also follow the four cornerstones of the Fraternity: Fellowship, Leadership, Scholarship, and Service.

Frederic A. Delano's 'Family'

ECTC's Creation Assisted By Roman Catholic Church Assett John D. Kelly

ECTC’s creation assisted by John D. Kelly – graduate of Jesuit Canisius College in New York, civilian employee in intelligence for the Army Security Agency for 26 years, retiring in 1974, who in 1983 was ordained a deacon and hence served at St. Anthoney’s Roman Catholic Church in Brookland, D.C.


Earlier, when local and federal agencies made plans to run an expressway through Brookland, Mr. Kelly joined Sam Abbott, Thomas and Angela Rooney and others in forming the Emergency Committee on the Transportation Crisis, said his son Peter T. Kelly of Aspen, Colo. The committee "held protests at the Three Sisters Bridge site, at various blocks around our neighborhood which the government had seized by eminent domain, and at congressional hearings and city council meetings," his son said.

It was "ultimately successful in having the planned I-95 expansion canceled and the Metro rail system built." John Kelly was quoted in a 1978 Washington Post article about residents of Brookland who fought the plans for the North Central Freeway and advocated the Brookland-Catholic University Metro station. "Our answer has been yes to urban transit, no to highway," Mr. Kelly said. "The subway is a welcome addition to the community. We're not interested in high-density development here. We're concerned about preserving and refining the quality of life that exists."

In the 1960s, Mr. Kelly also was active in the strike against the D.C. Transit System, the precursor company to Metro that was privately owned by businessman O. Roy Chalk. "I can remember the 'Erase Chalk' posters around the house and my dad driving around D.C. in our station wagon giving free rides to people who were participating in the strike," his son said.

John Kelly was born in Medicine Hat, Alberta, Canada, and grew up in Batavia, N.Y. He served in the Army during the Korean War. He received a bachelor's degree from Canisius College in New York and did graduate work in literature at Catholic University. He moved to Washington in 1948 and settled in Brookland. After a close friend died of cancer in the late 1970s, Mr. Kelly became interested in the hospice care concept that was growing in the Washington area. He began a program with hospice-type volunteers at Providence Hospital in Northeast Washington.

In 1980, he began studying for the Permanent Diaconate Program of the Catholic Archdiocese of Washington. He was ordained a deacon in 1983 and served at St. Anthony's Catholic Church in Brookland.

ECTC Creations

A Collection of ECTC Materials the "Emergency Committee on the Transportation Crisis"
"The action coordinating committee of organizations fighting against freeways and for rapid mass transit"

June 26, 1968

April 11, 1969

July 15, 1969

February 17, 1970 April 30, 1971 Letter to Senator Kennedy

October 2, 1969

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Roads for the Many Through The Homes of Few

A Trip Within The Beltway 102
Realities’ Undercurrents:
That’s some ‘white mans’ roads through black man’s homes'

I-95 'stumps'

Stump City

Failing to extend I-95 inside the beltway always seemed to me as representative of a bizarre clash between public functionality and secreted political interests- so truncated during the 1970s – with 1st interchange design’s stub roadways a clear testimony to the fact that I-95 was intended to continue – yet canceled mysteriously. Its cancellation was popularly attributed to simple opposition to ‘white mans’ roads through black mans’ homes’: a conceptualization disregarding the basic physical realities of that of the existing corridors, starting with that wide open power line corridor extending well inside the Beltway.

White Mens’ Roads through Black Mens’ Homes?

I first saw this in 1972 at the age of 91/2 on a family visit to Washington DC upon the then newly completed south of Baltimore 8 lane I-95. Crafted on a wide right of way with a generous grassy median that begins to run alongside the 250 foot wide electrical transmission (power line) corridor to its interchange with the I-495 Capital Beltway, I-95's pair of 4 lane roadways ended abruptly just inside the Beltway, where a temporary u turn took us to the southerly bound clockwise direction of that Beltway taking us to the Baltimore-Washington Parkway, which connects to Washington, D.C.’s defector eastern gateway- New York Avenue.

At our stop at the Howard Johnson’s Motel in Cheverly Maryland, where I asked a man working there what was up with the inside the Beltway extension of I-95, I received the answer that it was because the popular idea was it was "white mans’ roads through black mans’ homes” – an answer that left me perplexed. Though the term implied something requiring the clearing of many houses and other buildings, I-95 clearly had that existing PEPCO corridor continuing well inside the Beltway.

Riding in to downtown via the largely industrial New York Avenue corridor with its parallel railroad, and noting the extension of such to the north via the railroad extending northwards from Union Station, only made this justification of opposing ‘white mans’ roads through black mans’ homes ‘ of stopping I-95 at the Beltway even more mysterious – against a backdrop of coming from an area of Westchester New York where I-95 was constructed through the downtowns of towns as New Rochelle and Larchmont alongside the existing railroads: a logical routing choice to minimize local impacts.

Alongside U.S. Archives II

The 250 foot wide PEPCO electrical power transmission line corridor, which immediately parallels I-95 at the Capital Beltway and continues to 1,600 feet from the D.C. line at New Hampshire Avenue

Roads For Many People Through Very Few Homes

Exploring this years later with a personal tour of the PEPCO power line – B&O Metropolitan Branch RR – route, made me even more interested. The power line corridor, with its 250 foot width, extended for over 3 miles inside the beltway- hence providing a clear right of way requiring only the realigning of the electrical transmission towers all the way to the vicinity of the intersection of New Hampshire Avenue and Ray Road, about 1600 feet from the Maryland-District of Columbia line- requiring no residential displacement within Maryland, and there only the 13 or so retail strip properties along New Hampshire Avenue’s southbound side (with the topography permitting air rights development).

Once inside D.C., this route alongside New Hampshire Avenue encounters its first dwelling displacement – about 27 circ. 1940s red brick houses within the adjacent one block segments of Eastern Avenue and Rittenhouse Road – a number significantly lower then if routed along New Hampshire Avenue’s northbound side – owing to the large open field along New Hampshire Avenue’s southbound side with a single tree that is a part of the Masonic Home of the Order of the Eastern Star – before encountering about 5 more houses in this also approximately 1600 foot stretch from the MD-DC line to the Metropolitan Branch RR which is where the above ground fork of the WMATA Red Line runs.

With its immediately parallel band of industrialized brownfieldesque properties and surface roadways, this RR allowing construction of Washington, D.C. I-95 with no residential displacement until the Brookland-CUA area just south of Monroe Avenue where the industrial band constricts, hence requiring some dwelling displacement for any new roadways along the RR’s eastern side.

Notably this is the spot where the corridor “pinch” to the west, namely the building closest to the RR’s western side, a CUA dormitory was recently removed, hence providing a clear right of way that, if not transitioning somehow to the RR’s eastern side, would have to continue north of Monroe directly alongside CUA, respecting the existing building line, alongside and under Brookland Avenue, in what should be a cut and cover tunnel in order to contain traffic noise and pollutants within this more dense urban environment.

Southward, I observed that such a west of the RR alignment not only provided the least displacement in the CUA-Brookland area, particularly with how this industrial – RR band widens westward towards 8th Street as it arcs to the south – but with the topography around Franklin Street where the land begins to drop significantly towards Rhode Island Avenue with a fairly wide but unused railroad corridor lined with decaying industrial properties continuing towards New York Avenue, where and which, as of 1991, a RR spur turned westerly to parallel that Avenue to 1st Street NE- taking it to a continuation of that axis which went through cleared properties to the east side of North Capitol Street, before continuing west through essentially the vanguard of residential Washington, D.C.- the cluster of Victorian townhouses between North Capitol Street and 4th Street NW -- for the connection to the Center Leg (initially designated as I-95 and today known as the I-395 3rd Street Tunnel.

Brookland, D.C. looking southerly over east side of B&O RR (at right),

with Red Line Station at lower right

next to Brooks Mansion that sits between 9th and 10th Streets NE

Looking towards the Franklin Street overpass along 8th Street NE along the RR's west side

This rail-side industrial property was NOT used by the recommended routes for the North Central Freeway, which instead placed it entirely to the railroad's east, through the western edge of Brookland, and hence away from Catholic University of America.

By 1966, the sole option considered that was routed via this space to the RR's west was a "Hi Level" elevated configuration- with earlier planning neglecting any discussion of employing this area as a cut and cover box tunnel, as would clearly be necessary in such close proximity to CUA

Sloganeering As Cover For Roads For More People’s Automobiles-Trucks Through Fewer and Fewer People’s Homes

So would studying the history.

Whereas this southernmost segment west of North Capitol Street, as planned by 1971, would have displaced 600+ dwellings (with planning for their replacements via air rights development atop this highway segment as a cut and cover tunnel, the big cry over “white man’s roads through black mans homes” interestingly appears to be a far less concern then far fewer (and less architecturally significant) dwellings targeted by the B&O Route (Metropolitan Branch-WMATA Red Line) as planned by 1966, (69), reduced by a 1970 revision to only 34. I have seen plenty of historical indications of protests for these Brookland houses; but I have not found any regarding the far higher number in the area west of North Capitol Street for the final segment connecting to the existing Center Leg (3rd Street Tunnel). Though such a protest priority could have been seen as strategy of stopping the more destructive downtown segment by instead protesting the highway segment connecting to it to and from the north -- the B&O Route North Central Freeway – canceling that road failed to address that this downtown segment – the western portion of the North Leg East – was also planned to connect to a highway segment to and from the east, along the New York Avenue corridor with its broad RR-industrial belt towards the freeway in Maryland designated as Route 50, taking few if any dwellings. Hence canceling the B&O North Central Freeway would save 34 houses in western Brookland, yet a New York Avenue Industrial Freeway that itself might displace none, would nonetheless still require that final connection to the existing I-395 Center Leg/3rd Street Tunnel, yet the 600+ more architecturally interesting dwellings in west of North Capitol Street to 4th Street NW area were apparently less protested. Although this segment -- the North Leg East remained on some government planning books as late as 1980 or 1981 -- with the I-395 New Yor Avenue Industrial Freeway itself being 'de-mapped' during the late 1970s, the bulk of the organized protest apparently tapered off sharply after the B&O Route North Central-Northeast Freeway's effective political death with the July 1973 announcement of Maryland official's discontinuing planning for the PEPCO I-95 extension.

orgotten in the “white mans’ roads through black mans’ homes logo-mania, was the reality that the Washington D.C. highway system as planned by 1971 would have taken a small faction then the systems proposed previously:

I-66 North Leg West: 148 primarily alongside New York Avenue just east of Mt Vernon Square.

I-95 North Leg East: 600+ alongside New York Avenue cut and cover tunnel segment between 4th Street and North Capitol Street,

plus alongside New York Avenue to 1st Street NE (since demolished) for transition to elevated segment crossing over Florida Avenue.

I-295 North Leg East: 172 alongside Mt Ollivette Road cut and cover tunnel segment with replacement dwellings); 0 further south to and past East Capitol Street to join the existing SE Freeway truncation at Barney Circle.

I-70S North Central Freeway: 150?

I-95 North Central Freeway: 34

I-95 Northeast Freeway in DC: 0 via Fort Drive Route; about 34 New Hampshire Avenue Route;

I-95 Northeast Freeway in MD: via NWB Park 110; via PEPCO route 110 (reduced by 1973 revised interchange design to 0)

Earlier plans would have taken considerably more, such as the 1955 Inner Loop study report, and promoted by the D.C. Department of Public Works until about 1969: 10,000 for new swath cleared paralleling Florida Avenue and U Street for a primarily uncovered open trench 6-8 lane freeway before transitioning to an elevated I-95 North Leg East connecting to a new viaduct near Galludet University for the I-95 Northeast Freeway, as planned in 1960, through Brookland along 12th Street some 3 blocks west of the RR towards a Maryland continuation via Northwest Branch Park. That route alone would have displaced 1,100 dwellings within D.C. Meanwhile, routes paralleling Georgia Avenue for the North Central Freeway as proposed in the 1959 Mass Transportation Plan, and studied in the 1963-64 engineering study would have displaced an upwards of 2,700 dwellings within D.C. plus some 1,300 within Maryland.

This was true with much of those segments that were built:

SW Freeway took …; the SE Freeway …; the Center Leg …, the West Leg ….. and of course the Anacostia Freeway.

Taking into account the design revisions, stopping the un-built freeways meant stopping those that would have displaced the fewest and have provided the greatest functionality by completing continuous through routes with the least displacement, while preserving the discontinuity of the existing segments while doing absolutely nothing about their greater of displacement and diverseness.

1962 JFK Proposal

I-70S/I-95 North Central Freeway hugging the east side of the B&O Metropolitan Branch RR

1963 Abomination

37 options all over the map, none that strictly follow the RR

Sloganeering As Cover For Stopping Roads For More People’s Automobiles-Trucks Alongside and Through Powerful Entities’ Properties

The anti-freeway protests hardly correlated to absolute numbers of affected people, regarding neither different freeways or different freeway segments- IOW those areas suffering the largest numbers of displacement did not produce comparative levels of local opposition. For instance the 1957-59 Northwest Freeway along the Wisconsin Avenue corridor to a split to the south of Tenley Circle to an Archbold-Glover Parkway not allowing trucks and a ‘Cross Park Freeway’ to the east via Rock Creek Park’s fork along the northern edge of the Cleveland Park neighborhood via a pair of tunnels – bored for the Sidwell Friends School area, and cut and cover near and crossing beneath Connecticut Avenue towards a new high arch bridge over Rock Creek Park before landing upon an open depressed freeway configuration through the Mt Pleasant neighborhood before turning south to run some 500” west parallel to 14th Street SW. Most of the displacement was in the area to the east of Rock Creek Park. Nonetheless, the areas to the west where it would have displaced the fewest – 74 along the Wisconsin Avenue corridor from the Maryland line to the south of Tenley Circle split, and perhaps 6-15 along Cleveland Park produced most of the political opposition- while possessing a disproportionate amount of political influence as the nation’s capital’s wealthiest area. Rather, such protests reflected an array of variables including relative political affluence.

Significant segments of the Washington, D.C freeway system would built with relatively little protest, such as the Anacostia Freeway and the West Leg, SW-SE Freeway, and the Center Leg Freeways, respectively constructed in … and displacing ….. Yet it was the area of far upper NW along the Wisconsin Avenue corridor where the pressed highway would have displaced 74 houses (according to a 1957 engineering report) that was able to obtain in 1960 obtain a 5 year moratorium on any and all freeway planning to the west of Rock Creek Park- setting into a motion a continuing denying the need further and further east upon sentiments of class resentment, with the ironic effect of placing the traffic disproportionately in SE.

This was evident in the earliest stages of this with the early 1960s debates over whether inside the Beltway I-70S should run via the Northwest Freeway entering D.C. along Wisconsin Avenue, r via a North Central Freeway routed along Georgia Avenue- with that 2nd option having far higher housing displacement 2,500-4,100 in D.C. according to that highway’s initial engineering study in 1964- hence leading to the concept first officially proposed with the November 1962 White House Transportation Report under the JF Administration to replace the 3 separate freeways proposed in 1959 with a single 2 into 1 “Y” route situated to its west to the long established B&O Metropolitan Branch RR.

"The 1959 plan proposed three radial highways between downtown and Montgomery County and western Prince Georges County: one in Northwest, a second in North Central and a third in Northeast Washington. Considerable controversy has developed over all three routes but the Northwest hads generated by far the most opposition.

It is the Agency's view that the North Central and Northeast Freeways should be brought into the District and joined as a single route connecting with the recommended downtown freeway system and that the George Washington Memorial Parkway be built as planned. This highway system and high speed rapid transit service in Northwest, North Central and Northeast Washington will more then accommodate predicted traffic. Figures 15 illustrates this and an even more important fact- that at all points around the 10 mile square the recommended system will provide satisfactory highway service."

"Significance of Using B&O Route. Use of the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad corridor to bring Routes 70S and 95 into the city is the key to meeting the need for additional highway capacity in northern Washington, Montgomery County, and north-western Prince Georges County and at the same time avoiding the substantial relocation of persons, loss of taxable property and disruption of neighborhoods that would result from construction of the Northeast, North Central and Northwest Freeways proposed in the 1959 plan."

Why would the 1964 engineering report deviate so sharply from the 1962 JFK proposal- particularly when doing so would sharply inflame local anti-freeway sentiment?

Why would some officials fail to commit to the 1966 plan, instead favoring the 1964 plan, as late as 1968- particularly when doing so would sharply inflame local anti-freeway sentiment?

Why would ostensibly pro-highway organizations, such as the Federal City Council in 1966, favor building the North Central Freeway via the 1964 plan, as if a few months delays matter more then eternal changes- particularly when doing so would sharply inflame local anti-freeway sentiment?

Why would each successive engineering study on the North Central Freeway introduce new design objections that were previously absent- particularly when doing so would sharply inflame local anti-freeway sentiment?

What is suggested by the apparent disinterest of Catholic University of America as well as the Masonic Order of the Eastern Star regarding the issue of covering the segments of I-95 that would have respectively passed alongside or through its properties? Note even today their apparent attitude regarding the issue of covering the existing B&O/Metropolitan Branch//WMATA Red Line in the CUA-Brookland area.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Ruth Abbott - Widow of Sammie Abbott -- Dies

Was married to Sammie Abbott- artist and 1930s labor organizer who later became Mayor of Takoma Park after serving as perhaps the central figure of the local grass roots activism against the 1960s era freeway planning

Ruth Abbott
at the Franklin Street area overlook of the Metropolitan Branch RR
looking towards the U.S. Capitol Building
on un-built D.C. I-95 tour, 1997
(I-95 was not planned to run along this western side of the RR- which to the north runs directly alongside Catholic University of America,
instead being routed through residences to its east)

Ruth G. Abbott

ABBOTT RUTH GRACE ABBOTT Of Takoma Park, MD died October 14, 2009 at age 89. She was married to Mayor Sam Abbott, with whom she had three children: physician Abraham Abbott (wife Sonata); artist Susan Abbott Arisman (husband James); and writer Nancy Abbott Young. She is also survived by grandchildren: Jim Abbott, wife Alyson, daughter Ashley; Roxanna Abbott Lewis, husband Eric, son Maxwell; Nathaniel Vaughan; and Colin Arisman. Services will be held by the family. In lieu of flowers, donations may be sent in Ruth''s memory to the Public Citizen Health Research Group, c/o Dr. Sydney Wolfe, 1600 20th St., N.W., DC 20009.

Ruth Abbott at the I-95 stub
(since paved over with parking)
on un-built D.C. I-95 tour, 1997

Ruth Abbott at Barney Circle Underpass
on local highway tour 1997

SE Freeway Truncation

Glen Harper,
who favors building the ICC highway via environmentally advanced road design,
with Ruth Abbott 1998
on Glen Harper's ICC Tour

Sammie Abbott poster, November 1964

Sammie Abbott art

Looking down Cedar towards
the junction with Birch

The Abbotts were spurred to oppose the North Central Freeway - the north-south route for I-95 and I-70S in northern Washington, D.C. with the public unveiling of 'Route #11' - "Railroad-Sligo East" with its destructive and out of the way route deviation through some of the oldest areas of historic Takoma Park, Maryland,
inexplicitly disregarding the John F Kennedy Administration November 1962 proposal for a North Central Freeway strictly hugging the existing B&O [Metropolitan Branch] RR

According to Ruth, the woman who lived in that house, depicted to the right in his rendering, in 1964 had refused to sign their petition against the North Central Freeway

In 1964 the Abbotts lived on Birch,
at the very spot marked in the above 1964 report illustration with the number "320".

Afterwards, they resided on Holly
at the spot where the 1964 plan placed the northbound on and off ramps

1964 Option #11 I-70S segment leaves RR in Silver Spring

1964 Option #11 I-70S segment cuts through Takoma Park,
on longer route
through 471 houses, including the Abbott's

1964 Option #11 I-70S segment at New Hampshire Avenue

Under this 1964 plan, the North Central Freeway intercepted an I-95 Northeastern Freeway at Fort Totten
that was routed in D.C via the Fort Drive Route -- Fort Circle Park -- between Gallatin and Galloway Streets, and in Maryland via North West Branch Park

Further south, the 1964 plan's I-95 segment ran fully east of the RR's parallel industrial belt, displacing over 200 dwellings
in the Turkey Thicket neighborhood
between Taylor Street and Michigan Avenue NE,
69 south of Monroe Street and west of 10th Streets NE, plus
the historic 1837 vintage Brooks Mansion

1963-1964 Study
37 route options

JFK 1962 Plan-
freeways and rail transit

This plan proposed that the North Central Freeway tightly hug the existing railroad to reduce its local impacts, yet was entirely disregarded -- without explanation -- by the 1963-64 North Central Freeway study with its 37 routes all over the NE map inflaming local opposition. It was not until late 1966 that a supplementary report was released that followed the 1962 plan.

1966 Supplementary Study
B&O Route North Central Freeway
(officials waffled on this, refusing to commit
to this far less impactive 1966 plan

while continuing consideration of the 1964 plan
as late as 1968!)

1966 B&O North Central Freeway I-70S segment in Silver Spring, Maryland
with cut and cover tunnels alongside Montgomery Community College

1966 B&O Route North Central Freeway
I-70S segment
3 lanes hugging each side of the RR

1966 B&O Route North Central Freeway
I-70S segment
at New Hampshire Avenue

1966 B&O Route North Central Freeway,
retains I-95 interception at Fort Totten (with added jog of route westwards further into Fort Totten Park), with Fort Drive-Northwest Branch Park Route
for I-95 connection to the stubs at the Capital Beltway

1966- Proposed 'air rights' cover,
I-95 segment
alongside Catholic University of America-
disappears from subsequent 1971 version;

1966 B&O Route North Central Freeway instead employs industrial zone along RR's east side,
entirely sparing Turkey Thickett and Brooks Mansion, limiting local residential displacement to the 69 south of Monroe and west of 10th Street. By 1970, the plan is further refined (either by running even closer to the RR or via substituting a sloped embankment with a vertical retaining wall) to reduce this number from 69 to 34, with the 1971 proposal showing this highway in a cut and cover tunnel from a few hundred feet north of Michigan Avenue, to just south of Rhode Island Avenue, with replacement housing atop.

The proposed I-266 'Three Sisters Bridge'
pointing at Georgetown University

Notably, it was this area of Brookland near Catholic University of America -- the 69 houses reduced to 34 by the 1970 revision, along with the Three Sisters Bridge next to Georgetown University -- that apparently received the ECTC's greatest protest activity during the late 196s-early 1970s, as opposed to the 600+ targeted by un-built D.C. I-95's southernmost segment -- the North Leg East that would connect to the existing Center Leg (3rd Street Tunnel) at New York Avenue and 4th Street.

1971 B&O Route North Central Freeway,
I-95 segment
Washington, D.C. Brookland - CUA area

1971- retains the I-95 Northeastern Freeway Fort Drive-Northwest Park route

1971- alternative of I-95 Northeastern Freeway via New Hampshire Avenue-PEPCO Route- see 1973 Maryland report
connecting through the field of the Order of the Eastern Star home

'The Freeway Fighter's Primer' ECTC June 1971

'An Open Letter to Every Member of the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives'
Reginald H. Booker, ECTC, June 23, 1968

1970 ECTC poster-
shows 1966-71 North Central Freeway with the 1955- version of the Inner Loop
with the cross-town I-66 North Leg via an open trench along Florida Avenue and U Street NW eastwards to New Jersey Avenue past which it transitions as a raised berm. Though dated 1970, the poster does NOT show the I-66 K Street Tunnel alternative proposed by U.S. National Capital Planning Commission's Elizabeth Rowe in 1965, and then already the official preference of Federal and D.C. officials -- with the D.C.Department of Public Works being the holdout -- and included as an east-west alternative to the SE/SW Freeway, even after the deletion of the north-south North Central/Northeast Freeway

anti-freeway ECTC poster (excerpt)
dated January 1970,
with Sammie Abbott as publicity director
and, as one of its Chairmen- Marion Barry,
who later became D.C. Mayor, and
in 1996 advanced the 1st official proposal since the 1970s
extending I-395 via a new tunnel design

Ruth attended the 1998 D.C. Historical Society panel Freeways in Washington- see a review.

1998 D.C. Historical Society panel Freeways in Washington
Keith Melder, (author "City of Magnificent Intentions"), moderator, with
Angela Rooney, Douglas Willinger and Jeremy Korr

Angela Rooney, Douglas Willinger, and Jeremy Korr

audience with Ruth Abbott (center)