Monday, December 10, 2012

11th Street Bridge Project Stresses Need to Improve - Bury DC 295 and Connections to Route 50

This December 7, 2012, having the opportunity to drive with my Dad from New York to Williamsburg and Jamestown Virginia, drove through Washington, D.C. via the Baltimore-Washington Parkway to the new 11th Street Bridge connection to the SE/SW Freeway.

That only renewed my astonishment of the lack of comprehensive planning to update the antiquated DC 295 Kennilworth Avenue Freeway,( to say nothing for now about the lack of grace of the approaches of the replacement 11th Street bridges, more appropriate in style to my eye to someplace other than Washington, D.C). 

Think about the 1983-1996 Barney Circle Freeway Bridge proposal, with the wealthier neighborhood northwest of the Anacostia River avoiding a brief freeway extension (despite the topography allowing it to be covered).  And think about DC295, making even more of a wall from the waterfront to the neighborhoods to the southeast of the river, representing impact deferred being impact increased.

The new 11th Street Bridges project completes the connection between the SW/SE Freeway and DC 295 to and from the northeast, and hence is going to increase traffic upon DC 295 Kenilworth Avenue Freeway.

So what's being planned?

A new undergrounded segment beneath a new traffic circle or oval at Pennsylvania Aveune.

A newly widened and lenthened trench at and near Eastern Boulevard.

Nothing from either the feds nor D.C. for anything further, eg. replacing the segment in the vicinity of East Capitol Street beneath an artisically designed lid for extending and enhancing the L'Fant plan axis east.  Not since the 1990s with USNCPC's 'Extending the Legacy' program.

I say entirely replace it with an 8 lane interstate specification grade cut and coverway with full 12 foot lanes and shoulders.  Start the new excavation alongside the existing freeway.  And be damn well sure to make sure that new real estate development is not built too close that would intrude upon the widening requirements.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Sam Smith- Elitism in DC anti-automobile policies

I lived in DC most of my life and became used to ethnic conflict, class conflict, neighborhood vs. downtown conflict, geographic conflict, but now there's a new aura of conflict, described below by two of the city's most perceptive journalists. There is one thing this conflict has in common with previous ones: power calls the shots. - Sam Smith
Courtland Milloy, Washington Post - As an increasingly elite D.C. begins walling itself off from the masses, the rough outline of an architecturally restored yet soulless city emerges. Red-lined school boundaries around wealthy neighborhoods keep out less-privileged students. Closed streets and parking restrictions make for a “walkable city.” For the low-income resident who must travel longer distances to get to work and stores, a better description would be “trudge town.”

In the new D.C., the rich take a stroll. The poor take a hike.

No middle school students from outside the Wilson [High School] boundary were accepted this year, raising the specter of a “new line between educational haves and have-nots,” wrote [Ken] Archer, chief technical officer of a software firmwho lives in Georgetown.

You’d hope that striving for the common good wouldcontinue through a building boom, that the economic gap among District residents wouldn’t grow so wide that the well-to-do would lose sight of those on the other side.

“What I think is missing is a vision of what we can do to preserveaffordable housing, maintain diversity by helping those who are struggling to stay in the city as housing costs go up,” said Ed Lazere, executive director of the D.C. Fiscal Policy Institute. “The number of families with children in the city is going down, and they are largely African American families, low- and moderate-income families who aren’t just moving to other parts of town but actually leaving the city.”

... “If there is one system that serves rich neighborhoods, and another serving the poor neighborhoods, would well-meaning parents in the wealthier and more politically powerful neighborhoods lobby for morefunding for traditional public education and inadvertently disadvantage less affluent areas?”Archer wrote on the Greater Greater Washington blog. “Or would politicians from the poorer wards of the District end up opposing DCPS’s needs? A battle for resources between the haves and have-nots is not what we need, regardless of how it turns out.”

District officials recently announced a plan to promote bicycling and mass transit, with changes that could affect 10,000 parking spaces. How about making the creation of 10,000 decent-paying jobs for working-poor residents more of a priority?

“That is the sign of the future. That discourages car ownership,” said D.C. Council member Jim Graham (D-Ward 1), referring to the aggressive campaign against parking spaces.

Meanwhile, the basic rush-hour fare for a Metro bus and rail ride is up to $1.60 and $2.10, respectively, making public transportation more expensive than some car trips.

“Stay out.” That’s what the sign of the future really says.

Gary Imhoff, DC Watch - We don’t like suburbanites; we don’t want them coming into the city; we don’t want them to patronize our shops or work in our businesses. If they must come here, they should leave their cars at home and take the subway or buses or, better yet, bicycle or walk. That’s healthier and more environmentally correct, anyway.

Those are the messages sent by the Washingtonians in the more than four hundred comments to Sunday’s Washington Post article by Tim Craig, "DC Implementing Parking Rules to Limit Visitor Spots, Discourage Driving,"

Here are the first sentences of the article: "District officials are reserving thousands of on-street parking spaces for residents on weekdays in the city’s most crowded neighborhoods, part of an aggressive effort to limit spots for visitors. The restrictions are a slice of a city strategy to promote bicycling and mass transit while increasing the odds that residents can find parking. The changes, which could affect as many as 10,000 spaces, come as the city eliminates some on-street parking to make room for bicycle lanes and prepares to set aside hundreds of meters for the disabled .... Angelo Rao, manager of the District’s parking and streetlightprogram, "said the new revisions, which will affect as many as twenty parking spaces per city block, are driven both by residents’ concerns about a lack of on-street parking and a broader city policy to encourage less vehicle traffic."

... Is this the way to market DC to new residents or potential new businesses? Is this even thinking about Washington constructively as what political leaders claim tobelieveis "one city"? Divide the city into eight wards, and deliberately make it difficult for people who live in any of the wards to have guests, visitors, or workers who come from any of the other wards? If you shop for something bigger than you can carry in your arms as you walk, or bigger than you can fit in your bike’s basket, you should drive to Maryland or Virginia so you can shop in a store where you can park?

If you’re young and healthy, or if you’re alone in life, you’re welcome in the city. As long as you’regrocery shopping for yourself alone, and can fit what you buy into your bicycle basket, you’re welcome to live here. If you do a weekly grocery shopping for a family of four, move out of town. We don’t want you and your and your cancer-producing automobile here. Earlier this month, Zoning Commission Chairman Anthony Hood made the commonsense observation that, "Some of us who are riding bikes now will not be riding bikes later. And then also, we need to make sure we balance the development we do in this city for all, ’cause I haven’t seen too many people go to the grocery store and come back with their groceries on a bicycle," He was mocked by people who said that, of course, they carried theirgrocerieson their bicycles. These are people who see their lifestyle, their current lifestyle, as the normal, natural way that everyone should live, and are scornful of anyone who would actually buy provisions for an entire family.

If you’re running a business that requires patronage from more than the fifteen thousand people or so who live in your immediate neighborhood, take your business to the suburbs. If your employees want to drive to their work instead of spending hours a day on public transportation, take your business to the suburbs. This city’s planners have decided that it should be only for young, wealthy, single hipsters. Families and old people and people who have friends in distant neighborhoods aren’t welcome. They may as well be suburbanites.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Get really serious with Washington, D.C.'s Union Station

Craft the Corridor into the Grand Arc

A landscaped terraced linear park atop a primarily underground railway and highway

Would allow expanding the railways

Would include the primarily underground extension of I-395 to a continuation to I-95 via a tunnel alongside New Hampshire Avenue to the PEPCO power line corridor.

Would include above grounding the Tiber Creek to a point just south of New Yor Avenue

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Bringing Up The Rear Side of Union Station

New Amtrak plan (pdf) for a major re-do of the rear of Washington D.C.'s Union Station.
Includes future lower level railroad completely below street level.

Removes the existing vehicular parking garage replaces with underground completey below street level.

Constructs new buildings atop with a glass enclosed center spine.

Is an improvement over the so-called 'Burnham' plan though still departs from Union Station's classical architecture and still represents an irrational fear of the Union Station railroad corridor shape; it should have a teardrop shaped glass canopy atop the platforms with buildings designed to compliment rather than contrast with classical Union Station.


Union Station Master Plan, Washington DC

Amtrak & Akridge imagine the future of Union Station

Amtrak makes no little plans with Union Station vision

Saturday, July 28, 2012

DC 295 to I-695 Connection

Jul 27, 2012 4:01 PM
This is a little bit out-of-boundaries, but people who drive into Near Southeast (and Capitol Hill, and Southwest, etc.) may find it of note. Signage first hinted at it earlier this week, and now WTOP reports (and DDOT confirms via e-mail) that on Monday, July 30, the new ramp will open from southbound DC-295 to inbound I-695, i.e., the 11th Street Bridges' freeway span that feeds into the Southeast/Southwest Freeway. WTOP quotes DDOT deputy chief engineer Ravindra Ganvir as saying, "This piece has been missing for about 50 years. We're very excited about it."
WTOP got a sneak preview, and made it from Nannie Helen Burroughs Avenue in Northeast to 6th Street SW in about 10 minutes, while another driver at the same time going the old way, via Pennsylvania Avenue, needed 19 minutes.
Of greater interest might be the next big piece of the reconstruction: the new ramp from the outbound freeway bridge to go northbound on DC-295, negating the need for either the ghastly left turn on Pennsylvania Avenue or wandering through Capitol Hill to get on DC-295 at RFK.
UPDATE: The second I posted this entry, I got an e-mail from DDOT with this announcement of the public event opening the span at 10:30 Monday morning, and this flyer explaining the new traffic movements.

Comments (0)

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Millennial Gateway

An excellent concept
fully consistent with an underground eastern extension of the SouthEast Freeway

This was the Millennial Gateway Project proposed by Atlanta Georgia architect Rodney Cooke

Its centerpiece was an arch de triumph atop the Barney Circle overpass-tunnel of the existing eastern end of the SouthEast Freeway in Washington, D.C.

IIRC, the D.C. City Council rejected this, owing to their reported uncertainty over the electric bills for its lighting.

Monday, July 16, 2012

NCPC Eco District to Lock in Existing I-395

A retreat from their 1998 plan to lower I-395 into a new tunnel beneath Washington Channel which essentially followed the extended Louisiana Avenue axis to a new 14th Street Bridge Potomac crossing.  This new plan instead covers the existing freeway, with buildings to the west of 9th Street SW, and solar panels to the east alongside the 28 notoriously close Capital Square townhouses between 9th and 7th Streets SW.  It would do nothing to add I-395 capacity nor eliminate its dangerous merges.

It would also cover portions of Maryland Avenue occupied by railroad tracks, and extend Virginia Avenue to the west of 9th Street SW.

See the 1998 proposal

Saturday, June 30, 2012

Truncation 1971

a personal case of early 1970s truncation,
having nothing directly to do with freeways

The Evening Star, Washington, D.C. December 22, 1970

Monday, May 21, 2012

The Quirks of the L'Enfant Plan

The Quirks of the L'Enfant Plan Thursday, May 24, 6:30 - 8:00 pm Panelists explore the history of Pierre L’Enfant’s plan for Washington, D.C. and how the plan influences the look and feel of the city today. The panelists will examine some of L’Enfant’s unrealized concepts, such as the idea to have states adopt squares across the city. This program complements the exhibition Unbuilt Washington, which will be open for viewing before the lecture.The exhibition closes on May 28. Panelists include: •Scott W. Berg, author of Grand Avenues: The Story of Pierre Charles L'Enfant, the French Visionary Who Designed Washington, D.C. •G. Martin Moeller, Jr., senior vice president and curator, National Building Museum (moderator) •Jeff Speck, Speck & Associates, LLC •Whayne Quin, partner, Holland and Knight 1.5 LU HSW (AIA) / 1.5 CM (AICP) / 1.5 LA CES (ASLA) Register now. ______________________________________________ Mark your calendar... Thursday, May 31 A Conversation with the National Mall Design Competition Winners Thursday, June 14 Building in the 21st Century: Designing a Resilient Community Subscribe to the Museum's e-news. Visit 401 F Street NW Washington, D.C. 202.272.2448 Metro Red line:Judiciary Square Yellow & Green lines: Gallery Pl.-Chinatown 4 blocks from the National Mall Hours Monday - Saturday: 10 am - 5 pm Sunday: 11 am - 5 pm

Monday, April 09, 2012

Continually Ignoring Un-Built D.C. I-95 - 3

Nice of the Washington Times to run an editorial titled "Freeways are the solution to congestion" without mentioning any of the still un-built freeways within the Beltway, particularly in Washington, D.C., though dissing the concept of tolling which would make such new freeways more fund-able

As is the case in major metropolitan areas throughout the country, congestion plagues Northern Virginia. The constant traffic snarls impede business, pollute the environment and generally make living in the region an unpleasant experience.

This doesn’t mean - as the Fairfax County Chamber of Commerce suggests - that toll roads are in any way a solution to the problem. To the contrary, a toll road’s financial survival depends upon perpetual congestion in the road network as a whole.

The explanation is straightforward. Given alternative routes without traffic, no rational consumer would fork over his hard-earned cash to take a tolled highway. Purportedly “innovative” public-private partnerships ensure that this situation never exists by securing non-compete contract clauses that either directly prevent or indirectly discourage improvements to nearby free roads. Happy commuters are not paying customers.

Take the Capital Beltway high-occupancy toll (HOT) lane deal between the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) and the tolling firm Transurban. Under section 9.02 of the contract, improvements made to the Beltway’s general-purpose lanes without Transurban’s permission trigger “compensation events.” This scheme forces Virginia taxpayers to pay ransom to the Australian firm before the free lanes can be widened within the next 80 years. The payment would be based on an estimate of the financial loss to the tolled lane from improvements to the free lanes.

This is the equivalent of Ford customers being forced to make payments to Toyota if improvements to the American product attracted customers away from the Japanese marque. Nobody would consider such an arrangement to be in any way free-market. Nor is market competition involved when a private foreign corporation profits on the backs of taxpayers after taking federal and state grants, loans and guarantees subsidizing 82 percent of the project’s total cost.

That sum, including tolls paid over the lifetime of the scheme, amounts to billions more than it would have cost the public to construct the same lanes as part of a traditional freeway. The construction of additional free-lane capacity is the only permanent solution to gridlock.

Local bureaucrats steadfastly have opposed adding new capacity. Instead, officials kowtow to special interests infatuated with the concept of spending other people’s money - in this case through motorist user fees. No better example of this can be found than the $5.3 billion that drivers will pay to subsidize the Dulles Metrorail extension, not counting the billions more in cost overruns, financing charges and operational subsidies over the project’s lifetime.

Fortunately, Northern Virginians can look forward to a small bit of relief on Interstate 66 inside the Beltway. This summer, VDOT will begin a modest project expanding the overloaded highway’s capacity, starting with the stretch between Fairfax Drive and Sycamore Street. Commuters should thank Rep. Frank R. Wolf, Virginia Republican, for his persistence in driving this project over the objections of the not-in-my-backyard crowd.

This road carries 110,000 vehicles to and from work every day, and the first phase of Mr. Wolf’s project will cost just $19 million. By comparison, the Federal Transit Administration estimates that the Dulles rail project will benefit about 35,000 persons on weekdays - meaning the cost for each regular user will be $150,000.

Unless this region puts a stop to these wasteful transit boondoggles and tolling schemes, the congestion will only get worse.


OK then- how about the Washington Times calling for constructing the I-270E/I-95 Grand Arc Mall Tunnel, under-grounding the B&O Metropolitan Branch RR, I-95 PEPCO connector, crosstown I-66 K Street New York Avenue Tunnels, and augmented Center Leg/under-grounded SW-SE Freeway?

How about protecting the Center Leg (3rd Street Tunnel) from ill advised details that would squander its design capacity, of otherwise sensible real estate development projects.

How about ensuring that SW re-development preserves the space for USNCPC's excellent Washington Channel Tunnel concept?

Wednesday, April 04, 2012

Continually Ignoring Un-Built D.C. I-95 - 2

It's good they are considering something with the Beltway in Maryland, especially the segment alongside President Eisenhower's favorite hang-out; but it's a continuing testimony to the disproportionate influence of the Master's of CUA & Georgetown U in keeping the freeways away

When they finally build PEPCO I-95, southbound people shall be able to see the rotunda of what is now CUA

By Ashley Halsey III, Wednesday, April 4, 11:34 AM

Maryland’s top transportation priority should be a $5.8 billion project to widen the entire Capital Beltway, from the Woodrow Wilson Bridge to the American Legion Bridge, a leading national transportation group said Wednesday.

The first step would be the investment of $800 million to relieve the weekday congestion between Interstate 270 and the American Legion Bridge by widening the roadway, adding High Occupancy Toll (HOT) lanes and designating lanes where the direction of traffic could be reversed to accommodate the flow of the morning and evening rush hours.

In a report released Wednesday, the group said that Maryland’s recovery from the recession and its future economic viability depended on investment in relieving congestion and improving mobility.

“Maryland’s transportation system has significant deficiencies that could prevent the state from reaching its full economic potential,” the report said. “Maryland’s economy and quality of life could be adversely affected if its transportation system cannot provide for the efficient movement of goods and people.”

The cost of the top 10 projects TRIP (The Road Information Program) listed amounted to almost $13.7 billion.

In addition to the Capital Beltway project, they include replacing the Gov. Harry W. Nice Bridge in Charles County ($885 million); widening the Baltimore beltway ($1.2 billion); building the state’s Purple Line from Bethesda to New Carrollton ($1.9 billion); widening and adding interchanges on Route 5 in Prince George’s ($1.1 billion); widening Route 295 to six lanes near Baltimore ($220 million); building Baltimore’s Red Line light rail from Woodlawn to Bayview Medical Center ($2.2 billion); widening U.S. 29 northbound to three lanes ($104 million); building an interchange where Route 97 and Route 28 meet in Montgomery County ($142 million); and building an interchange where Route 210 meets Kerby Hill and Livingston roads in Prince George’s.

The Gov. Nice Bridge is substandard and doesn’t meet needs at peak hours. The report projected that by 2025 weekday bridge traffic will increase by 45 percent and weekend traffic by 33 percent.

The Baltimore beltway project would require rehabilitating or replacing three bridges at an estimated cost of $85 million.

The proposed 16-mile Purple Line is estimated to carry 60,00 daily riders by 2030, with 21 station stops. Maryland transit planners are seeking federal funding for half of the construction costs and have said it would open in 2020 at the earliest.

Widening Route 5 would relieve east-west congestion in Prince George’s and encourage development along the corridor.

Widening three miles of Route 295 from Route 100 to I-195 would ease access to Baltimore-Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport.

The Red Line Light Rail Transitway is projected to serve 57,000 Baltimore area riders per day in 2030, provide faster, more reliable transit in congested corridors and provide a connection to other transit services.

The widening of Route 29 northbound from Seneca Drive to Route 175 would relieve commuter congestion through Columbia between Washington and Baltimore. The southbound section already is three lanes.

Construction of the Route 97 interchange would relieve congestion and provide bicycle and pedestrian facilities. It also would speed access to and from the Intercounty Connector and regional corridors of I-95 and I-270.

The interchange construction for Route 210 would improve north-to-south movement in southern Prince George’s County.

TRIP said it prioritized the state’s transportation needs by evaluating transportation and economic trends, and using data compiled by the Maryland Department of Transportation, the U.S. Department of Transportation, the Federal Highway Administration, the U.S. Bureau of Transportation Statistics and the U.S. Census Bureau.

All well and good, at least in basic principle.

Especially widening the "Nice" Bridge.

But just look at a map.

They say widen the Capital Beltway and do the improvements to the outside.

All the while they neglect the missing inner radials and upper downtown Beltway, which can be sensible routed almost entirely via existing right of ways and be enclosed (cut and cover tunnel) to shield local neighborhoods, while providing a shorter and hence more cost effective solution providing greater benefits. Notably the "Grand Arc" Mall Tunnel which I first had published in the July 1997 Takoma Voice, provides a cut and cover design solution for the North Central Freeway with the added benefit of the new northern mall and uncovering of upper Tiber Creek culminating in a waterfall at the site of the ill advised Washington Gateway real estate development project.

Yet since, the authorities have shown only this new fixation upon pretending that the massive inside the Beltway 'de-mappings' are not worthy of review, as if such de-mappings sold on the premise that highways would not be needed because the world would run out of petroleum by sometime during the 1990s where saroscant- irregardless of the sheer irrelevance between the political sloganeering and the physical realities.

Sunday, April 01, 2012

Takoma Railside Development to Be Demolished

"We need to stop letting the Masters of Catholic University of America be the tail that wags the dog, and build the I-270/I-95 Grand Arc Mall Tunnel"

Ray LaHood to Demolish Takoma, D.C. developments built too damn close to the B&O Metro Branch Corridor

Developments all built after 2001, inexplicably after 911 reminded us about the importance of transportation evacuation routes, under the mania of "Transit Oriented Development" based upon premise that people could not walk more than 100 feet away to the Takoma WMATA station.

The to be demolished projects are: Elevation 314 (opened 2004), Cedar Crossing (opened 2007) and Spring Place (started later)

The projects are too damn close, being within the footprint of a potential RR car derailment, including the relatively lightweight aluminum WMATA cars, and the far heavier CSX freight cars. Earlier derailments along this RR corridor, just to the south in 1976, and about a mile to the north near 16th Street, resulted in relatively little loss of life due to the buildings being setback respectively by Blair Avenue and a parking lot, compared with what would happen to Cedar Crossing or Elevation 314 which are not only too close, but also LOWER than then this locally environmentally preferred mode of transportation. Additionally, Cedar Crossing and Elevation 314 were constructed with wood framing, as this was deemed cheaper and irrelevant to safety because no freeway was constructed along this railroad, and we know there will never be any more de-railments ever.

The lands they were built upon were industrial with some of it cleared for the WMATA Red Line, which had been anticipated with a tightly routed parallel North Central Freeway first endorsed by the White House in November 1962 and shown in 1966-71 planning, though seriously politically subverted by the perversion of the planning starting in late 1963 with the released in October 1964 J.E. Greiner initial study with 37 routes (all far more imp-active than the apparently non-controversial JFK plan) all over the map and a recommended route #11 veering 1/3 from the RR on a longer route through Takoma Park, MD, taking 471 houses instead of only about 30, and than with officials waffling towards the infamous 1964 plan as late as 1968 to ensure an official reversal at USNCPC upon the erroneous notion that a freeway is simply another arterial- like Wisconsin, Connecticut or Georgia Avenues.

USNCPC Reverses Itself- 1968

I-70S North Central Freeway- Takoma area

District of Columbia Interstate System, by DeLeuw, Cather Associates and Harry Wesse & Associates, LTD, 1971, prepared for the District of Columbia Department of Highways and Traffic, in cooperation with the U.S. Department of Transportation, Federal Highway Administration.

This represents the last past formal planning study design for the B&O Low Level Route I-70S Low Level North Central Freeway. As if planned to create opposition, it is entirely routed to the railroad's east, thus forcing the removal of the architecturally more significance along Takoma Avenue, plus the landmark Cady-Lee mansion previously spared.

A look at this railroad corridor during the 1990s revealed the geometric potential to re-craft it with the highway in an infinitely more socially sensible configuration placing highway and railway underground with the surface as a new linear park: that there was sufficient space to widen the corridor without conflict with landmark structures, and minimum displacement; for instance the tunnel would go beneath Takoma Avenue and avoid Cady Lee (which has an 85 foot setback); and since we were removing that railway berm, relocating the WMATA into a part cut and cover tunnel while retaining use of the existing overpass of Georgia Avenue and the CSX and MARC into a drilled tunnel owing to the grade requirements of 1% versus 5%, opening up the area laterally and lineally. Have you seen the M30 through Madrid, Spain?

This was being written about on the internet at newsgroups as misc.transport.road in 1997, and was that year published in the Takoma Voice:

Nonetheless, planning officials began looking in earnest at cramming real estate development blocking this corridor, with the first such project, the "Elevation 314" residential apartment building approved after 911 (and the brief lip service to evacuation routes). Yes, one year after 911, the Federal government would turn its back upon this route's security by allowing such limited benefit real estate development situated to subvert the greater good. Like a enclave run by a government somewhat invisible, yet omnipresent to effect a clear wobble effect of political power gravity pulling the strings.

2012 - April 1 - South Mall Blogger

Saturday, March 31, 2012

Continually Ignoring Un-Built D.C. I-95

Its good they are considering an 'outer beltway' bridge; but ignoring the un-built Washington, D.C. freeways should fail a laugh test

Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell and Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley are discussing building a new Potomac River crossing to ease traffic on the Beltway.

Virginia Secretary of Transportation Sean Connaughton told reporters Wednesday that the two governors are reviving discussions of the project, which has been proposed several times in recent years only to collapse under local and environmental concerns.

“This is something that obviously has enormous support in the region. It may not have support from all the special interests, but it is something that is long overdue for us to really examine very seriously,” Connaughton said. “Gov. McDonnell had raised this with Gov. O’Malley, and we are starting the process. I’ve already had some discussion with them about a joint effort.”

Connaughton would not say where the second crossing being discussed would be placed, but argued it's needed to relieve Beltway congestion.

“Imagine if you can get one out of every eight to nine cars off the [Beltway], he said. “There’s not another improvement we can make with that sort of impact on traffic.”

A Crafted Controversy- the Scuttling of JFK's North Central FreewayLink

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

1971 DeLeuw Cather Weese Hi & Low Level B&O NCF

Elevated- at MD-DC Line-Takoma

Depressed/Tunneled- at MD-DC Line-Takoma

Elevated- Brookland, D.C.

Depressed- Covered Brookland, D.C.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

US NCPC Perjury- 2006

Regarding the tragically located Comstock Homes 'The Hampshires'

Parcel 126/74 and Lot 858 in Square 3719, bounded by Rittenhouse Street, New Hampshire Avenue, Peabody Street, Chillum Place and Sligo Mill Road, NE

Lots 69 – 73, 801, 824 and 826 in Square 3714, bounded by Peabody Street, New Hampshire Avenue and 1st Street, NE, Washington, D.C.

Delegated Action of the Executive Director
October 26, 2006

Pursuant to delegations of authority adopted by the Commission on August 6, 1999, I find that the proposed consolidated Planned Unit Development (PUD) and related map amendment for a residential development (6000 New Hampshire Avenue, NE) located in Parcel 126/74 and Lot 858 in Square 3719 bounded by Rittenhouse Street, New Hampshire Avenue, Peabody Street, Chillum Place and Sligo Mill Road, NE and in Lots 69 – 73, 801, 824 and 826 in Square 3714 bounded by Peabody Street, New Hampshire Avenue and 1st Street, NE, Washington, D.C., would not adversely affect any federal interests nor be inconsistent with the Comprehensive Plan for the National Capital.

* * *

On behalf of the West Group Development Company, LLC and The Jarvis Company, LLC, the District of Columbia Zoning Commission has referred a proposed action for a consolidated Planned Unit Development (PUD) and a map amendment for a residential development for review and comment. The proposed PUD (6000 New Hampshire Avenue, NE is located within the Lamond-Riggs neighborhood in northeast Washington, D.C. on approximately 11.5 acres in Parcel 126/74 and Lot 858 in Square 3719, bounded by Rittenhouse Street, New Hampshire Avenue, Peabody Street, Chillum Place and Sligo Mill Road, NE, and in Lots 69–73, 801, 824 and 826 in Square 3714, bounded by Peabody Street, New Hampshire Avenue and 1st Street, NE.

NCPC File No. Z.C. 05-30
NCPC File No. ZC 05-30

Page 2

The site gently slopes approximately 30-50 feet from west to east and in general the existing topography will remain with the proposed development. The site is the former campus of the Masonic Star Nursing Home and Med-Star Health offices and is currently an open lawn area that is under-developed.

The proposed PUD will provide a variety of residential development, totaling approximately 369,684 square feet, including 2-3 story single-family detached homes (38), 2-3 story townhouses (73) and apartment condominiums (58) adapted within two existing structures. The development will provide housing opportunities for a variety of income levels and age groups; three of the townhouses and eleven condominium units will be designated for affordable housing. Two hundred sixty-eight parking spaces either within individual garages or on-street will exceed the minimum residential parking requirement of 188 spaces. In general the proposed site plan has single-family homes located around the perimeter and adjacent to the existing single-family homes found in the surrounding neighborhood. For the most part, the proposed townhouses will be located internal to the site. The PUD will provide a community center and a large common open space. A dog park and a series of pocket parks with passive recreation features and/or gardens will be provided for the residents. The proposed site will have an internal system of landscaped streets and alleys. The development will be accessed from five separate entrances as well as by two existing streets, Quakenbos Street, NE and First Street, NE, that will extend into the site.

In order to preserve green open space and reduce the need for extensive site regrading, the applicant is requesting flexibility of a small percentage of the residential units from side and rear yard and lot occupancy requirements. The applicant is requesting that the current zoning be amended from R-1-B to PUD R-5-A which will allow low density residential development (40% lot occupancy), building heights up to 60 feet, Floor Area Ratio (FAR) of 1.0 and the adaptive re-use of the existing structures into condominium apartments. I find that the proposed PUD and related map amendment will not adversely affect any federal interests nor be inconsistent with the Comprehensive Plan for the National Capital.
Patricia E. Gallagher, AICP
Executive Director


USNCPC of course has long ago abandoned support of a truly comprehensive transport network for Washington, D.C., resting upon a 180 degree in its reversal of its support for JFK's B&O Route North Central Freeway, in December 1968, based upon errors of fact about this important northern radial.

Such was likewise done during the mid 1970s with the downtown hub (Inner Loop), involving lying -- describing the system as destructive when in fact it was radically redesigned in conformance to the wishes of this same Elisabeth Rowe who had actively supported the crosstown I-66 K Street Tunnel, along with spurious reasoning based upon the assumption that automobiles could only possibly be propelled by gasoline or petroleum diesel combustion engines, and that the world was going to run out of petroleum by the 1990s.

Both the Catholic Sisters and Fort Drive routes in D.C. connected to Northwest Branch Park routes in Maryland, which was the official plan for the longest period (1950s to Feb. 1973)

The PEPCO power line route option appears as an suggested option in the 1971 report, with a modified version appearing in the 1973 Western Prince Georges County Transportation Study.

The power line is important as the -- using modern day terminology -- what would be definable as the Least Environmentally Damaging Practical Alternative for using the existing 250 foot clear-cut right of way of the PEPCO power line corridor, conveniently located parallel to I-95 at and north of the I-495 Capital Beltway. Because of this existing right of way, I-95 has the space to be extended considerably without displacing any dwellings, and no businesses, except for the 1600 foot extension past the PEPCO southern terminus to the MD-DC line, and then 23 and 5 dwellings within DC- the number being so low because of the open field of the Masonic Eastern Star Home at 6000 New Hampshire Avenue NE.

The PEPCO power line route option appears as an suggested option in the 1971 report, with a modified version appearing in the 1973 Western Prince Georges County Transportation Study.

The PEPCO I-95 route was the segment that The Washington Post misrepresented in this map in 2000.

About 'The Hampshires'

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Glen Harper pro ICC Activist Dies

Glen Harper with Ruth Abbott, widow of Sammie Abbott
in 1998


On Wednesday, March 14, 2012 of Rockville, MD. Devoted husband of Dorothy "Dot" Harper; beloved father of Ashley (Sean) Bergesen, Amy (Jeremy) Padbury and Michael Harper; loving grandpa of Andrew, Claire and Jackson; son of Eldride S. Harper; brother of Joseph "Jay" N. (Ann Marie) Harper, Jr. and Mary Ellen (Mike) Hart. A memorial service will be held at North Chevy Chase Christian Church, 8814 Kensington Parkway, Chevy Chase, MD 20815, on Tuesday, March 20 at 2 p.m. Reception to follow at church. Interment private. Contributions may be made to North Chevy Chase Christian Church.
A pro- Inter County Connector -- just a few miles outside the Beltway -- activist who promoted various environmentally sensitive forms of highway construction, particularly "end-on" construction.

He most certainly would hear Ruth Abbott tell him that they should build the ICC.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

A New D.C. 95 Project

The U.S. Government needs to start behaving as a government of the people rather than a lackey of an inside the Beltway levitation that wants to keep I-95 far away.

It needs legislation to 're-map' the Washington, D.C. freeway system as it was planning as per the 1970s, with a few modifications to further refine the design for superior operation-ability and reduced impacts, notably with the Center Leg transition to the north-east, as well as with the segment through the CUA-Brookland area to better utilize the lightly developed industrial properties to secure the right of way.

It needs a full system, featuring such components as the I-66 K Street Tunnel, the Y Route B&O North Central and PEPCO - New Hampshire Avenue Northeast Freeway, and the East Leg to RFK Stadium and the SE Freeway - updated as per the design evolution evident with projects as Madrid, Spain's M-30 tunnel- hence built as cut and cover tunnelways beneath new linear boulevard framed promenades, along the Anacostia Rver and over a buried B&O Metropolitan Branch WMATA Red Line/CSX/MARC RR- the latter the Washington, D.C.'s new northern mall the Grand Arc.

This full system includes the existing downtown freeway segments that would be improved in capacity and design, and under-grounded, as far west in the style as proposed in 2008 by U.S. NCPC for a new Washington Channel Tunnel for I-395 as part of a project replacing today's jumble of 14th Street Bridges. It would likewise reconstruct the I-66 West Leg (JFK Performing Arts Center area) underground, including the interchange at K Street beneath a new waterfront promenade, and accommodate future deep bored road links to the northwest in D.C., and southwest to Virginia.

This system is best facilitated by preserving a parallel path for segmenting the construction of the underground replacement for the SW-SE Freeway, with demolition primarily confined to the row of 28 townhouses at the northnmost end of the 'Capital Square' project of EYI Associates, plus that required for transitioning the subterranean right of ways for a collector-distributer tunnelway beneath G Street (and 2nd and 3rd Streets for the Center Leg), eliminating the SW Freeway's bottleneck, while easing its construction with new space alongside the still in service existing highway.

The system is buildable in segments.

The first segment would be the relief tunnels beneath G, 2nd and 3rd Street, thus first upgrading the existing SW-SE Freeway/Center Legnel), with the latter's extension tunneled beneath O Street to the vicinity of New York and Florida Avenue, with a spur along New York Avenue to Maryland Route 50, which would be improved inside of Maryland.