Sunday, April 28, 2013

The War On Freeways

Washington City Paper - Missing the Point
Lame-stream Paradigm Ignores Washington, D.C.'s War On Freeways 


This was the era when slums were condemned and razed in the name of urban renewal, when neighborhoods in Southwest were wiped out to build Brutalist federal office buildings and the quadrant’s eponymous freeway. The push to replace houses with highways amounted to a declaration of war on the District—and particularly the areas around downtown that were home mostly to minorities and the elderly—by “the whole interstate highway lobby, which were basically the oil companies and the aggregate companies and people that built the highways and that sort of thing, car companies, everybody like that,” says Boasberg. Fortunately, residents and preservationists managed to stave off much of the damage by successfully protesting proposed freeways like the Inner Loop encircling the White House in a half-mile radius, the 10-lane North Central Freeway running from Union Station through Brookland to Silver Spring, and the Three Sisters Bridge spanning the Potomac near Georgetown, saving numerous residential areas and parks from destruction.
In the 1980s, with the most aggressive freeway plans shelved and Metro operating with additional construction well underway, the city made modest efforts to restore some high-speed roads to neighborhood-friendly uses. No sheriffs threatened to shoot out anyone’s wheels, but reactions occasionally did get violent. Tom Downs, who led the District Department of Transportation from 1981 to 1983 and now chairs the Metro board, recalls a particularly extreme response to his efforts to remove reversible lanes, which allowed for speedier commutes, from Reno Road NW.

Interjects a dogma rejected everywhere else, for the sake of a dogma- that no houses may be condemned for highways in Washington D.C. simply because we want no freeways rather than a bar against the demolition of houses per se, and projecting a mythos that transit construction required no displacement of dwellings, completely ignoring the design evolution of the downtown loop, and the shenanigans with the routing of the North Central Freeway.

Blurs history with zero mention of the route and design evolution, as the proposed freeway system had been extensively rerouted and redesigned by the latter 1960s reducing housing displacement about 90% - if saving houses mattered than at least mention the K Street tunnel plan that had been initially promoted by opponents of the earlier Florida Avenue U Street corridor open trench route plan 

 In the 1980s, with the most aggressive freeway plans shelved” is hyperbole    

Most ‘aggressive’ plans were shelvedearlier during the 1960s, the 1970s+ de-mappings were a session in feelgoodism due to the evolution of the proposed freeways, for instance reducing the residential displacement within Washington, D.C. of the I-95 Northeastern Freeway from about 1,100 to 59, comparing the 1960 and 1973 proposals.  Whereas the D.C. freeway system proposed in 1959 during the Eisenhower Administration would have displaced the dwellings of some 33,000 people, the subsequent proposed system during the KennedyAdministration reduced that to 5,400, with re-routing and route consolidation, for instance with I-70S and I-95 along D.C.’s main north-south railroad-industrial corridor.
"Significance of Using B&O Route. Use of the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad corridor to bring Routes 70-S and 95 into the city is the key to meeting the need for additional highway capacity in northern Washington, Montgomery County and northwestern Prince Georges Counties 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 Freeway proposed in the 1959 plan. Further savings are realized by placing the rapid transit line to Silver Spring and Queen’s Chapel in the same railroad corridor."
Yet the initial such engineering report, which was supposed to be released in 1963, is delayed until October 1964, and disregards the use of the B&O corridor with an upwards of 37 routes either nowhere near the railroad, and with a recommended route partially following the railroad, but with deviations in the D.C. neighborhood of Brookland and further north in Takoma Park, MD.  That 1964 report was succeeded by a 1966 report that closely followed the B&O railroad, yet officials would waffle between that and the 1964 plan as late as 1968- sufficiently long to politically doom it with the USNCPC and the D.C. City Council reversing their support.

The Scuttling of JFK's B&O North Central Freeway
The re-studied proposal also tacitly admitted that the route first proposed was needlessly, even carelessly if not ruthlessly, destructive of our communities. The new version hugged both sides of the existing Baltimore and Ohio railway, thus avoiding a new swath of destruction to divide our communities and sharply reducing the number of homes to be taken.

The reduced, re-routed proposal was made public last year with endorsement of D.C. And Maryland highway authorities. The D.C. Portion was forced through the National Capital Planning Commission by votes of representatives of the D.C. Highway Department and of the U.S. Bureau of Public Roads. From this we concluded, reasonably enough, that the highway authorities of the two jurisdictions (Maryland and D.C.) had reached a firm understanding with the Bureau of Public Roads.

Many of us were therefore astonished and aroused to preparations for renewed protests when Washington newspapers recently reported that the Bureau has acted to open it all up again. We have not found the Bureau forthcoming with candid information, but the press articles intimate an intention to force Maryland to accept modifications of route or design ostensibly "cheaper."

The result is that the whole controversy, which had been somewhat quiescent, is beginning to agitate the communities again. 
Note the disregard to the evoloution of the design and the routing.

The Washington City Paper "No War on Cars" that postulated that replacing homes with highways was a declaration of war could have at least mentioned the design evolution of the proposed highway system, like for instance the North Leg.

1959 North Leg - Florida Avenue - U Street Corridor


Likewise with cancelling the Center Leg northeastern extension -- the North Leg East -- that was to connect with the North Central - Northeast Freeway and the New York Avenue Industrial Freeway.


Reactions to highway planning included threats of violence.

The City Paper could do a far far better job of informing its readers.

The WP Lies About D.C. I-95 Route

The WP Continues To Lie About D.C. Freeways

Monday, April 01, 2013

To Trump- Politicians Should Have a Paper Trail of Their Writings

and not get so fooled by the concept of ghost writing

Cos-mobile April 1, interview about the sorry state of infrastructure and politics

DA- Glad to have you back.

DT- It’s good to be back.

DA- Don’t you think it’s silly when people turn on the tv to see an interview with you that you talk not about substantive issues as transport infrastructure. After all you are a developer- you produce stuff that is important to peoples’ lives, so there’s a plausible connection to things that matter- namely the infrastructure.

DT- I know- it stinks. All they want me to talk about in the media are things that really don’t matter, not broadly anyway. Such as some beauty pageant. Or the idea that the most important thing about our current POTUS is the location of his birth- yet can never even mention the gross failure to discuss our infrastructure- with discussion of additions somehow beyond the pale of even a mention.

Whose idea was it for a monument to Honda, right at the spot where we used to have a GM factory assembling Chevy’s Nova and their variants, you know, Pontiac Ventura-Phoenix, Oldsmobile Omega, Buick Apollo-Skylarks.

DA- Ah yes, the Chevy Nova 1976-78 9C1 police suspension package. Vastly under appreciated solid US American construction. Right at that factory they had at that site just to the north of its landing in Westchester. Before they replaced those solid 1975-1979 rear drive 1970-1981 F car front chases with the front drive x cars. A study of these automobiles spoke volumes about business and design philosophies.

DT- Now we have this opportunity to improve the rail transit network. We’ve been discussing it for years. Tie together the heavy rail of the New Haven, Harlem and Hudson lines of Westchester with an I-287 corridor to Suffern and upstate. And of course design in such rail connections into a Cross Sound Crossing to the Route 135 corridor in Suffolks County, to tie into the Long Island Railroad braches and continue to the Beach. Improving our roads means improving those we got and adding new ones, and with a Cross Sound Crossing we will get highway and rail. Likewise with the much needed link across southern Long Island and Brooklyn tunnel to I-78 in New Jersey, connecting Newark and JFK airports. Both the Cross Sound and Cross Harbor projects ought to be post 911 security priorities. $30 billion would go a long way towards paying for a commuter heavy rail from Suffern to Seaford – Jones Beach Park and a full I-287 corridor encompassing the existing I-287 and Route 135 corridor upgraded and connected with a Cross Sound bridge or tunnel and so continued as a tunnelway across-beneath a Brooklyn Linear City and across the harbor to I-78 in New Jersey.

DA- But shit. Cuomo fails to take a look at the FEIS’ lack of a cost benefit analysis of the lower deck option, never-mind it only costing something like a mere $200 million (5% on a 5$ billion project), with way more potential capacity- bang for the buck compared to a supplementary or separate parallel structure. And these stupid outward canted “H” towers intruding upon the vertical clearance of whatever roadway gets attached to its median space.

DT- Talk about rubbing our faces in it while making it an even worse design- and they arrange these self congratulatory- masturbatory manufactured accolades to prop this up? Cuomo and those responsible for ordering these designs should perhaps be fired, or at least just go back to the 2011 designs with the lower deck. Have a referendum on the aesthetic issues of arched or towered spans. Upscale by 15-20% with the lower deck design. The cartoonists ought to have a field day with that “H” tower design.

DA- In a nutshell- right now, two groups are holding the region hostage- a few in Nyack against the duel deck; and those in Rye and in LI opposed to even a drilled tunnel that’s routed around them. INVESTIGATE BOTH. Investigate whatever the political connection is in Nyack against the duel deck with the Cuomo administration behind such overly weighty political influence.

DT- Why people in general are so unaware is a reflection of a worse problem of that as having a long history in a press, and in various types of organizations, long in the service of such special interests.

With many people focused many upon the veneer. Why Mercedes and BMW ended up taking much of what used to belong to Lincoln and Cadillac. A malaise marked by the dropping of the speed limits and by extension our expectations and realizations of happiness and or despair.

DA- It’s a lot like the lower of build quality of our automobiles and appliances- and the de-listing de-emphasis upon history, sciences, and math in schools. The forgetting of the importance of build and material quality. You know, like that new exhaust system purchased through Meineke, and within 6 months its rusted through junk. Perfectly fine machinists, workers. But somewhere up the command chain a serious lack of regard for material property- reflecting problems with understanding the production process, such as curing rates, and or basic raw material quality and or preparation likely reflecting problems with the educational systems.

It goes at our educational ideology. That part about gloating about Sharon Tate’s death was not a positive foreshadowing. A focus upon jealousy and revenge, rather than an overall betterment for as many as feasibile.

DT- Which explains what is so wrong with society. I mean, look at the focus on the wrong things they have gotten people, including me, to bring that up-wrong as a distraction from something that the point of contention is based upon. AKA the issue of where the POTUS was born, as in Kenya , rather the United States, with the birth certificate issue of discrepancies so focused away from the related issue of who was the biological dad. I mean, none of us were there to witness just where he or any of us other than ourselves, was born. But look for yourselves at the photos of the POTUS, Obama Sr., Anne Durham, and that man of her acquaintance, Frank Marshall Davis. And why does this get some little attention, versus the issue of his birth certificate? A recent spin against questioning the parentage ties this with Frank Marshall Davis having taken nudes of Anne Durham against a backdrop of a Christmas tree with gifts in late 1960, and with the POTUS born August 1961, potentially the time of conception, assuming a 7 and a half or 8 month gestation. Not that that ‘s something to hold against the man, never-mind it raises the issue of him perhaps being some sort of Manchurian candidate. Who knows?

DA- But beware, the levels go deeper. Yes, no one would hold it against him who he was born to. But what about who was his early influence, and in what ways. I mean we already have him self described as some form of leftist. But what type? The type that question the level of technology and offer solutions not necessarily favored by the capitalist-mercantilist forces; or that which brushes such aside in favor of masturbatory Malthusianism that presupposes its own ignorance of physical reality as its basis for adopting the sort of neurotic yet over-confident Malthusianism of Ted Kysczinski- pride fully satanic in not wanting to split the pie up into to many slices, never-mind the actual size nor quality of the slice.

DA- As a barometer indicator of such an attitude- a thing you got to wonder:

What role did Obama play in the decision to kill Pontiac? He is seen in a childhood picture with an early 1960s Pontiac Tempest in the back ground said to belong to a family member. Initially the White House plan had been to retain Pontiac as a niche brand with only 3 or 4 basic models, with a focus upon superior performance, given the brand’s reputation with models as the GTO, and the Firebird, especially the Firebird Formula and Trans Am . Yet the word came down from high up in the administration to over- rule that, and outright kill Pontiac. I read that his favorite automobile as a teenager was Fiat, and have not found anything regarding his feelings towards Pontiac. He does not seem to have shared my personal preference for Pontiac; my dad had a 1959 Catalina; I have owned a 1970 and 1972 examples of Pontiac’s GTO and own a 1970 Firebird Trans Am.

DT- That someone high up in the Obama White House would turn a decision to keep Pontiac as a niche brand – G8, Grand Am, and Firebird/Formula-Trans Am et al – into an outright kill Pontiac order makes one wonder- did Barack or Michelle give the command because they allowed their passion’s to be so inflamed over a word “Pontiac” that refers to an “Indian” – re- earlier American – inhabitant of Michigan – but also has the added and irrelevant meaning of “Poor Old “N-word’ Thinks It’s A Cadillac”.

DA- Who knows?

That would really s*ck if it happens to be true.  I knew damn few Fiat 128 teenage fans back during the late 1970s. That would be f*cked up if he held it against Pontiac and by extension all of connected with that marque in one way or another because of a joke against it by others.

DT- Welcome to the big top.

Welcome to the culture of resentments.

DA- Consider this- the real issue of one’s* intellectual evolution*, indeed, he was self described as a leftist- and that was at about the time of the worse excesses of the political “left” with the murderous regime of the Khmer Rouge. And his political circles cadra. That includes those that make crude statements about Sharon Tate’s death as some inevitable class war. Yet they never seem to say even a syllable about the betrayal to public health of the denial of freedom of medicine and diet. You know the type that are pro-choice on abortion. But not Cannabis. Nor Coca nor Opium.

The focus upon the birth certificate location distracts not just from the issue of the father, but also the issue of his early and early mid-life intellectual influences. Given his coming of age, graduating high school in 1979, right after the fuck’n Khamur Rouge butchered like 40% of Cambodia’s population to create their new socialist reality, jeez. That’s some time to be a hard core communist.

Is not it funny indeed weirdly ironic that they consider themselves pro big government yet aim so low in accomplishing anything new and big regarding a road project.

A communist of an elite that favored maintaining existing technologies and hoping for various forms of population reduction? That is my negative expectation of such a “New World Order”.

Wayne Root who went to Columbia at the same time made some good points. As have others about his later years as a professor of constitutional law at Harvard who said little. Said little.

And yet he rose rapidly. And was guided in language as a savior. And I saw family members get attached to this, becoming reverent Obama supporters. A video by Obama supporters getting young children to sing about Obama was widely criticized for its similarities to Hitler era supporters.

In this day and age of the internet and free to the user self publishing venues as, there is less and less of an excuse that a political candidates writings should be so obscure.

Any political candidate should have a long ‘paper’ trail of writings accessible to the general public.

There's no excuse not to map these things out.

Pennsylvania Avenue NW and 12th Street NW