Tuesday, May 07, 2013

Washington, D.C.'s War on Freeways War on People

is all about pushing the burden disproportionately upon less affluent areas.

[does not show NW Freeway; shows NW Branch I-95 and NOT the PEPCO route]

Cancelling the Northwest Freeway (shown below, not above), and anything along the Canal Road or former trolly right of way, shifted the burden partially to Virginia's George Washington Parkway, which does not allow commercial traffic as trucks, and largely to the east.

1957 Northwest Freeway Options

1959 Northwest Freeway along Wisconsin Avenue corridor
with Glover Archbold Parkway and I-70S Cross Park Freeway

I-70S Cross Park Freeway

Cancelling the North Central - Northeast Freeway shifted the burden to the New York Avenue Industrial Freeway, which was likewise cancelled, thereby shifting the burden to D.C. 295.

 1962 B&O-Fort Drive I-95

1971 B&O-PEPCO I-95

Not building the extension from the SE Freeway, particularly the cancellation of the East Leg placed the burden more upon DC 295
1961 East Leg Options

1963-1974 East Leg

1983-1996 proposed Barney Circle Connector

2013 - new 11th Street Bridges 
reinforce south of Anacostia with more of the burden, never mind the greater ease of covering the eastern portion of the SE Freeway and its Barney Circle or East Leg extension, owing to the topography, as opposed to the south of the Anacostia River Anacostia Freeway that would have to be completely reconstructed at a lower elevation in order to be covered.

Where the extra burden goes - DC 295 Anacostia Freeway

You would think these 'Powers-That-Be' that make these decisions would at least then do something to modernize and mitigate the area around Eastern Avenue and East Capitol Street of DC 295.

Rather than a 1940s design freeway built during the late 1950s with 3 narrow lanes and no shoulders in each direction, an all too short underpass beneath Eastern Avenue, and in a configuration around East Capitol Street utterly at architectural odds with what one would expect from the Nation's CapitAl, give it a set of cut and cover tunnels with the extra capacity and safety shoulders.  Then demolish existing elevated D.C. 295, and extend the cut and cover treatment through the interchange with Pennsylvania Avenue SE with either a circle or an oval

The authorities have given some lip service to this in planning documents as U.S.N.C.P.C.'s Extending the Legacy- Planning America's Capital for the 21st Century.

So far, D.C. officials plan to modernize its northern segment, though as an open trench and not a cut and cover tunnel.

Could not a legal case be made that Washington, D.C.'s cancellation of its north of the Anacostia River freeways places a disproportionate amount of the traffic burden to the less affluent areas to the south of the Anacostia River?

Washington D.C. The War On Freeways