Monday, January 05, 2015

Developers' BOGUS Argument For Purple Line Prioritization- that inside the Beltway roads are 'built out'

a better argument would be for developers to pay a greater share of Purple Line costs rather than lying about the inside the Beltway road network
“My priority is building roads,” Hogan told the Post. “The priorities are out of whack. Less than 10 percent of the people use mass transit. Most people in the state want the roads fixed.”
In what appeared to be an effort to respond to such arguments, the business coalition closed its letter by telling Hogan, “The existing road network inside Maryland’s Capital Beltway is essentially ‘built out,’ so even if we wished to expand it significantly we would be unable to do so—which means that our innermost suburbs cannot continue to grow or compete with Virginia unless we expand our transit capacity.”
Maryland Governor Hogan

Governor Hogan ought to take the initiative: scrap MD statute 8-601 (b) passed promoted by the late Idamae Garrott in the wake of the 1970s highway de-mapping craze.

 Idamae Garrott b December 24, 1916 - d June 13, 1999
Member of Senate, 1987-94; Economic and Environmental Affairs Committee, Subcommittees on the Environment and Health; Joint Committees on Federal Relations and Federal-State-Local Relations. Senate Member, Coordination Council on Alzheimer's Disease and Related Disorders; Early Childhood Development Council; State Advisory Council for Handicapped Individuals.
Member, House of Delegates, 1979-87.

Montgomery County Council, 1966-74, President, 1971, Chair, Planning Committee, 1970-74; Board Member, Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority, 1972-74; Washington Suburban Transit Commission, 1971-74, Chair, 1972; Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments, President, 1974, Chair, Land Use Committee, 1969-74; Chair, Solid Waste Management Agency of Metropolitan Washington, 1969-74. Past President, Montgomery County League of Women Voters and Montgomery County Humane Society, Honorary Member, Wheaton Rescue Squad, Board Member, 1982-84; Honorary Doctor of Laws, Western Maryland College; John Dewey Award, 1982; Humanitarian Award, Montgomery County Education Association, 1985. Maryland NARFE Federation Award, 1988. Author, Paying Our Way, Maryland State Taxes and You.!fetch.action?id=296c2fec-2e06-478d-bc87-fbfdea0bb112
The statute in question:

§ 8-601. Responsibility for construction and maintenance of State highways.

(a)  Powers and duties in general.- The Administration shall construct, reconstruct, and repair State highways as necessary and shall maintain them in good condition.

(b)  I-95 in Prince George's County; right-of-way for Rockville Facility in Montgomery County.- The Department may not spend any further funds for the construction of I-95 through Prince George's County that will involve a new or reconstructed segment connecting it to any other highway in Prince George's County. The Department may not spend any further funds for the construction of a new highway, arterial, freeway, or expressway in the lands between Viers Mill Road and Northwest Branch described in the 1980 highway needs inventory as the right-of-way reserved for the Rockville Facility in Montgomery County, including the area designated as the Matthew Henson State Park under § 5-1004 of the Natural Resources Article.

(c)  Limitations on prohibition.- This prohibition does not preclude construction in the right-of-way designated as the Rockville Facility of:

(1) Roadway crossings to facilitate traffic flow and highway safety; or 
(2) A hiker/biker trail in the lands between Viers Mill Road and Northwest Branch. 

[An. Code 1957, art. 89B, § 211S; 1977, ch. 13, § 2; 1984, ch. 447; 2003, ch. 294.] 
Since the statute defines the prohibition as upon "I-95", the inside the Beltway extension could be given a different name, particularly if not (yet) connecting to I-395 in the District.  However the 'A Trip Within The Beltway' preference would be a straightforward repeal of the statute.

Maryland needs to begin encouraging Washington, D.C authorities and the Feds to re-map the planned freeways in D.C. - stop pretending that the 1970s 'de-mappings' are sacrosanct, particularly given the specious underlying reasons:
- the world shall run out of fuel by the 1990s somehow rendering the every concept of private automobiles obsolete- Peter S, Craig Committee of 100 letter November 13, 1973

- that the most significant east-west road addition and the one with the least environmental footprint and the greatest potential for encourage brown-field real development, the I-66 K Street Tunnel should be de-mapped because Virginia was not going to build its segment of I-66 inside the Capital Beltway- WRONG- Virginia DID built that I-66 segment.- Peter S. Craig statement November 12, 1975
- that the continuation from the Center Leg to the northeast should not be built because an interstate highway should simply dump out its traffic upon surface New York Avenue making that surface road a de-facto highway

- that the New York Avenue Industrial Freeway highly useful for supporting new brown-field development should be 'de-mapped' for "not [being] even on the interstate system"

- that the SE Freeway should simply end at Pennsylvania Avenue because its extension the East Leg had nothing to connect to- aka the I-395 extension and the I-66 K Street Tunnel both de-mapped for the above stated bogus reasons: a position for a few on Capitol Hill to keep the area a semi-private preserve for a few people to walk their dogs rather than a properly designed interstate highway beneath a box tunnel and surface boulevard with a terracing down to the waterfront- which was missing from the planning of the 1960s and 1970s.
 - that the I-95 and I-70S JFK B&O segments be canceled because Maryland canceled their connecting segments; yet that was done in response to the politicization of the DC segments owing to the crafted controversy of the scuttling of the JFK B&O vision.

Note that the U.S. FHWA page concerning the 1970s de-mapping weirdly shows maps with the earlier 1955 and 1964 planning.

It must be unequivocally stated that the re-mappings are to be based upon a continued design evolution from the later planning- to avoid the waffling done by US FHWA in 1967 to scuttle the freeways by undermining public confidence and support by suggesting that the freeways would be built via the earlier planning that was rightfully opposed and rejected by the general public.

1959 I-66 North Leg Proposal

1971 I-66 North Leg Tunnel Under K Street Proposal

See and compare the plans from 1955 and later:

In particular, planning for the revived Washington, D.C. freeways would depart from the 1971 planning with a re-design of the center section of the North Leg eastward of the area of Mt Vernon Square, the addition of a box tunnel beneath a new waterfront boulevard for the East Leg essentially extending the structure of the Barbey Circle structure, and a further evolution of the JFK low level B&O Route into a new northern Mall- the Grand Arc.  A focus must be made about asking why official planning has been surrendering this opportunity to extend the monumental beauty of Washington D.c. for the sake of developers making a quick buck to keep D.C. locally divided by surface-elevated railroads along with the existing non-tunneled SW Freeway hemmed in by mis-placed development, such as that by EYA, which was allowed to create problems for the Virginia Avenue railroad tunnel reconstruction.

Maryland should get the ball rolling by re-mapping its segments of the I-70S (or I-270E) B&O and I-95 PEPCO-New Hampshire Avenue corridor I-95, and initiate a new design study for these routes, inviting Washington, D.C. and Federal officials to take part.

Maryland should then begin the extension from the I-95 stubs via the PEPCO right of way in a depressed configuration, with 2-3 lanes in each direction expandable to 4 per direction flanking a wide median permitting future flexibility, with retaining walls and overpasses permitting adding decking to create some cut and cover segments- perhaps calling it I-195.

This PEPCO route should be started to at least to an underpass at Adelphi Road- as already considered by official planning as a "Terrapin Connector" for improving access to University of Maryland.   Improve Adelphi Road with a 3rd two lane roadway to shift it away from the houses along its southern side, converting the roadway nearest to these houses for local access, with the new roadway on the opposite side (where there are no houses) to shift Adelphi Road away from these houses.

Better yet, extend this I-195 PEPCO route highway beneath overpasses for University Avenue and Riggs Road, with a temporary ending there, and construct some DuPont Circle underpass scaled 2x2 lane existing right of way cut and cover projects, including at the intersection of Riggs Road and East West Highway to funnel traffic there from Riggs Road to the Prince Georges Shopping Mall area, with perhaps a southbound lane to Ager Rd.

The PEPCO extension could be 6 lanes from the I-95 stubs at the Capital Beltway to Adelphi Road or University Boulevard, and 4 lanes to Riggs Road.

 PEPCO I-95 extension to Riggs Road

1973 PEPCO I-95 study off ramps for Adelphi Road, 
adaptable for such aligned to Riggs Road
Should be aligned as center loader configuration to keep express traffic towards the center of Adelphi and Riggs Road

Design the overpasses atop this depressed grade PEPCO freeway to permit adding deck sections to convert portions to cut and cover tunnel segments over time, such as at University Avenue, allowing new buildings alongside that Avenue atop the new freeway.

Build some other Dupont Circle scaled underpasses-short tunnels - slightly wider to permit right hand shoulders within at various congested intersections of various 4 lane surface arteries - similar to that now being done for the Randolph Road crossing beneath Georgia Avenue, though somewhat longer to improve pedestrian crossings.  Such should be done for some of the intersections of East West Highway, such as crossing beneath Grubb Road and Connecticut Avenue, and further east crossing beneath Baltimore Avenue, for portions of University Avenue, and alongside neighborhoods in closer proximity.

The various underpass projects should include bus stations perhaps in the style of the circular tunnels beneath DuPont Circle- to help explode the myth that freeway design can't be pedestrian-urban friendly.

After all it has been a half century since the region was asked to "urge the deferral of all road expansion plans until a balanced mass transit rail and subway system has been given a fair trial"; and some 40 years since the un-built freeways were de-mapped.

Why are we building a Purple Line yet, when the highway network has been so truncated and neglected?


Tim Winslow said...

So, what you're saying is that people who live inside the beltway should be displaced so that people who live outside the beltway can get inside the beltway faster?

How about if it's so important for people to get inside the beltway, they move inside the beltway? Or maybe just accept that a long commute is the price you pay for living a long distance from work.

Don't make me pay the price for your choices.

Douglas Andrew Willinger said...

Are you that ignorant of the area?

The projects I advocate are existing right of ways. Are you that unaware of the basic area to be ignorant of the 250 foot wide PEPCO alignment for the I-95 extension?

The grade separation that I propose would be likewise almost entirely existing right of way in the DuPont Circle underpass model.

Very few would be displaced for a complete connected system if I-95 were extended through the District- except for some despicably placed developments to hold the region hostage.

Are you really that unaware? Or is your unjustified and dishonest position a Freudian slip for the dishonesty behind the WMATA siphoning of the freeway funds? It exemplifies a major problem in NY where they keep raising the bridge and tunnel tolls while only 5% is retained merely for maintenance- the rest siphoned to questionably run transit agencies.

WMATA is exceptionally dishonest for stealing the highway funds. The 1962 JFK plan had both freeways and WMATA- there was no reason to fund WMATA via transferring highway funds for a nation as rich as the USA.

Perhaps WMATA should be better audited.

It is long overdue for WMATA to pay back the funds which should have instead come from the evil drug war- which was started in part by the man who started the law firm that popularized the nonsense that transit could only thrive by stealing the highways.

Did not WMATA displace some with its construction? Or would you have us believe that it displaced no one?

Thanks for the comment. It is a textbook example of the intellectual dishonesty that plagues the region.

Tim Winslow said...

I am very much aware of this right of way. It is currently occupied by power lines that would have to be relocated under your plan.

Also, being familiar with the way Maryland designs highways, I can assure you that a not-insignificant amount of property would need to be taken, especially if interchanges are to be constructed.

If I-95 were continued THROUGH the District, an exceptional amount of land would need to be taken and many neighborhoods would be destroyed (the PEPCO ROW ends in MD, so additional land would be needed to continue the highway THROUGH DC). More fundamentally, these neighborhoods would not be beneficially served by a highway.

Moreover, where would all of these cars park downtown? There isn't parking infrastructure to handle many more cars. There are already several routes that avoid the area for long-distance travel.

I live in one of these communities. Such a highway would provide me no benefit. It could only benefit those who do not live in the District. These highways were canceled because they only served the interests of those who don't live in the District AND would have sufficiently destroyed many, many neighborhoods. Metrorail surely has displaced a few people (though most lines are either underground or in existing rail/road ROWs). Furthermore, Metro has served to increased residential and business density and property values around transit lines.

WMATA has served the District of Columbia far better than a 6 lane freeway on Connecticut Ave or 95 Extended would have. Also, to be pedantic, the diversion of canceled highway funds for transit projects was an act of Congress- WMATA is the result of diverted funding, not the cause of it.

Finally, what you are proposing (thinking of the Dupont underpass) does not meet AASHTO guidlines and could not be included in the interstate highway system. I take it you don't current real world transportation planning experience, particularly not in this region.

Thanks for your thoughts on my community.

Douglas Andrew Willinger said...

Washington DC does not live in a vacuum.

Your goods and services are delivered by people via roads through their areas. When you travel outside the District you likely travel on highways that displaced some people- a small percentage of the number of people served by these roads.

I never said that the DuPont Circle underpass would be parts of the interstate highway system. Those would be projects akin to the current Randolph Road underpass construct crossing beneath Georgia Avenue, though could and should have right hand shoulders, which could still be accomplished within existing right of way.

You are grossly over simplifying the impacts of the highways to the degree that you are being intellectually dishonest. The 1971 plans would have displaced a small fraction of the 1955-1964 planning; and my alternative for the I-395 Center Leg extension to bring it to the railyards reduces that an upwards of a further 95% from 600+ to about 33. The PEPCO interchange is 250 feet wide while an 8 lane interstate is 148 feet; the 1973 MD study had the proposal with 0 displaced residences with narrow footprint interchanges. Meanwhile 27 would be displaced to connect the PEPCO and B&O corridors, plus 34 at the western edge of Brookland- plus whatever is being placed in now to create conflicts.

How does that compare with the numbers displaced by WMATA?

What Congress did was the result of CONvincing people that canceling highways was the only way to fund WMATA after the assassination of JFK and his planning vision. The whole idea of funding WMATA via transferring the highway monies was popularized by those with a vested interest in distracting people from how we are bilked by overpriced drugs and health care anyway. The people were played during the 1960s with simplistic sloganeering while the planning was botched to keep I-95 away from a selfish property owner with too much influence.

The roads benefit the broad array of society, and what I propose would be largely cut and cover tunnel. Yet the roads that DC residents use when they go outside the district are not. YOU benefit from highways that had and have far greater impacts than what I propose for Washington, D.C.

Stop blurring the issues, and stop pretending to live in a vacuum with lying to yourselves about the highways having no benefit because they are used by outsiders; you display a parochialism that has NO place in society.

Washington, D.C. must stop being the haven of medievalism.

Tim Winslow said...

How am I confusing the issue? I am telling you that your plan is unfeasible and unwanted. You brought transit into the discussion.

DC does not need a new highway through Northeast to deliver goods and services. I get groceries just fine (without a car, even).

Also, the cost of this project would be prohibitive, especially since Maryland has greatly reduced bonding capability from building the ICC.

Fundamentally, though, I ask you what the purpose of this project is. What major need does it address? Who does it serve. I don't see a net benefit to the District of Columbia and I can't see Maryland being interested in spending billions for what would essentially be accomplished with adding a lane to 295.

I'm really not sure what you mean about medievalism. DC has highly diverse transportation options.

Highways have tremendous benefit to society. Roads and rails drive our national economy. In fact, I think the current state of our infrastructure puts our economy at great risk. I think we'd be far better off rebuilding our bridges than building a maintenance heavy highway that offers little benefit to anyone.

Douglas Andrew Willinger said...

The area's traffic either uses surface streets with less safety and taking more time for many people than an expressway, or is diverted out of the way through less affluent areas on an Anacostia Freeway through D.C.'s least affluent areas.

Medievalism is what you are spouting with your lying to yourself about the new highways having benefit only to outsiders, and that people in DC never drive or ride upon highways outside the District.

Medievalism is also the attitude that those outside the beltway don't matter- that they can have highways with greater impacts than what I proposed for Washington that would be largely park covered ct and covered tunnels- see my article "Grand Arc" dated January 1, 2015. Building new development located too close to corridors to lock in existing elevated railways and highways to block ultimately creating linear parks atop roadway tunnels- whether with the Red Line or the SW freeway as recently done is insane- and is another form of medievalism.

I have published much upon the feasibility of the freeways in numerous articles within this blog; you meanwhile simply say the opposite like some WMATA protectionist apologist with nothing to back that up. I guess that when you travel that you avoid freeways whether if you drive or take buses because time is not valuable.

Medievalism is also the attitude of a certain largest property holder in NE that enjoys being separated from the east by the surface railways which trisect NE.

There is plenty of money for these projects, particularly if we ended the despicable war on drugs- please see my other blog "Freedom of Medicine and Diet".

Tim Winslow said...

I am not saying most of the things you say I am saying. I am saying that your idea is a bad idea. The engineering and right of way concepts are poorly considered, not much thought it put into cost and maintenance, and there is absolutely no demonstration of need.

I like to drive, and strongly dislike having to sit in traffic. I just don't see how this would help anything, especially since added capacity always results in a long term increase in demand.

Again, what's the specific problem that would be solved?

Surface streets are not necessarily less safe due to lower speeds.

I don't dislike people who live outside the beltway, but I don't have much regard for those who do and insist on knowing what's best for The District. I don't want covered linear parks, I want intact neighborhoods.

The drug war is stupid, for sure.

Douglas Andrew Willinger said...

What are you saying?

That a wheel should be missing all of its spokes between 10:30 and 2:45.

That people should have to go out of their way or otherwise waste time and involve classist injustice via keeping the traffic on surface streets or diverted through the poorest areas.
That you don't want linear parks

I guess you want to keep the Anacostia freeway as is as surface and elevated rather than a cut and cover tunnel to improve the access for the locals- who do not matter to the powers that be in the District.

That since you do not want linear parks just railroads and railyards and some trench and elevated freeways that cut up the District locally. At least not linear parks for NE: Let NW have the monopoly on linear parks, keep NE which is less affluent, and keep the arrangement that keeps CUA in its splendid isolation.

Everything I have written is based upon years of thought and consideration of the right of ways, the impacts, the geometric and the surroundings. You claim that "The engineering and right of way concepts are poorly considered" - something that I have pointed out specifically with the 1996 Ron Linton I-395 tunnel routing that wraps behind the rear of Bibleway Church. Yet in all of this thread you are unwilling or unable to provide a single example support of such a position? You pretend the studies of 1971 and 1973 did not endorse the idea of routing I-95 within the PEPCO corridor, which has the space and which provides superior geometrics in conjunction with the B&O corridor.

Yes I like intact neighborhoods- which is why I oppose earlier pans as the 1955 North Leg along U Street and Florida Avenue, the North Central along Georgia Avenue, and the 1964 perversion of the B&O route. You act as if oblivious to the extra lightly developed space along the B&O which makes it a splendid corridor to so judiciously widen and construct as a linear park covered cut and cover tunnel and while we are at it underground the railroad too- oh but for the CUA opposition to covering the railroad- note that they did not object to the deletion of the NCF deck between the 1966 and 1971 plans. Neighborhoods are more pleasant with a linear park rather than a surface or elevated railway or highway.

You completely neglect the history as much as you ignore the facts on the ground with such baseless assertions that such a system is infeasible, as I am sick of our nation's Capital being treated like some medievalist fiefdom by some large selfish entity that treated Europe as its fiefdom.

Yes the drug war is a waste- if we had addressed it during the 1960s with the fervor of pushing the freeways away from the wealthier areas, many more urban freeways could have been properly enclosed in linear park covered box tunnels to benefit the neighborhood alongside- something ignored by groups as ECTC and to this day with the Committee of 100 that seeks to divert freight rail from a tunnel in a wealthier area to a surface railway in a poorer area.

In my studies of Washington DC planning "feasibility is not defined by the facts on the ground, which you have demonstrated that you lac, but rather the whims of he wealthiest in getting over upon society at large, as with the scuttling of JFK's B&O route I-95 to push it away from CUA and with the abortion of the US NCPC South Capital Mall because the Roman Catholic Church objected to moving its st Vincent de Paul Church a few hundred feet.

Are you affiliated with the Roman Catholic Church and or with WMATA?

Douglas Andrew Willinger said...

The 1973 study:

The deliberate botching of the JFK B&O freeway:

The superior alternative for the connection to the Center Leg- reducing displacement from 600+ to as few as 33:

Tim Winslow said...

The only thing that hasn't changed in the last 40 years in the corridor in question is that nobody wants this highway.

Seriously, I wouldn't both citing 40 year old studies. Nothing in them is valid anymore.

Also, completing an unwanted plan is pretty much the worst justification for a project ever. I am completely aware of what these old studies were advocating. They were widely rejected for a host of reasons.

I ask yet again, what travel demand would this project satisfy? That couldn't be addressed with widening 295? Where will all these cars park? Why should thriving neighborhoods be destroyed to save a guy from Columbia a few minutes commuting time?

I don't understand the hostility you have for the neighborhoods and institutions that have been in place for over 100 years. Why should anyone consider displacing CUA for a highway?

Do you have any idea what it would cost to put a highway and a railroad underground through DC? My offhand guess is that rebuilding the corridor in the manner you describe would cost upward of $20 billion. Likely more.

I also take it that you've not been to NE any time recently. Do you live in DC? Or the region, at least? If not, I have nothing more to say to you than the following:

1. I certainly agree that DC being treated as a fiefdom (by Congress) is tiring. Maybe you should refocus your blog to advocating for DC Statehood so the District has true homerule. Or maybe you should just refocus your fantasies on wherever it is that you live. DC doesn't need you.

2. Whatever you do, don't quit your day job to become a highway engineer or transportation planner. You wouldn't last long, at least not in this century. I'm glad your hobby keeps you busy, though.


Anandakos said...

This post is comedy, right? It's a satire of Robert Moses being reincarnated in Montgomery County, no?

If not, you need a long session with the Physicians Desk Reference.

Douglas Andrew Willinger said...


Is yours? Robert Moses did not route highways by existing corridors, nor did he advocate tunnels, which he in fact generally opposed- read up on the history of the Brooklyn battery Tunnel and Westway.

And not a syllable of a specific critics.

I'll recommend your suggestion to anyone blurring the history of the freeways and so confusing earlier planning that was rightfully opposed via doctrinaire opposition designed to divert the traffic burden to less affluent areas so as to keep the burden away from a key property with an overly influential owner.

Douglas Andrew Willinger said...


You subscribe to a doctrinaire stance against freeways-- at least those in urban areas yet you support a $4 @ gallon gasoline tax!

And apparently nothing about an open fuel standard.


Douglas Andrew Willinger said...


Douglas Andrew Willinger said...

See this:

"Attended St. John's College"

And this:

Tim Winslow

Washington D.C. Metro Area
Government Administration


Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority,
Maryland Department of Transportation


St. John's College


Company Website
Personal Website


I am a State and Local Government financial professional with experience in management and development of multi-billion dollar capital improvement programs as well as creation and day-to-day control of multi-million dollar operating budgets. I also have extensive knowledge of the transportation planning process at the state and local levels. My goal is to take this experience and provide the highest quality of public service possible. I am a passionate advocate for public transportation and smart growth.

Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA)
Senior Financial Officer
Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA)
December 2014 – Present (2 months)

Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority
Financial Officer
Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority
October 2010 – December 2014 (4 years 3 months)

Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA)
Senior Financial Analyst
Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA)
November 2008 – October 2010 (2 years)

Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority
Budget Analyst
Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority
September 2006 – November 2008 (2 years 3 months)

Capital Program Administrator
Maryland Department of Transportation
July 1998 – August 2006 (8 years 2 months)

Douglas Andrew Willinger said...