Saturday, March 03, 2007

What this was an outcome of: A Highly Suspiciously Illogical Generalized Anti-Highway Mentality to Push the Traffic Away and Ignore the Consequences

These year 2001 U.S. National Capital Planning Commission’s rubber stamp approval meetings on the chopping of the Washington Street Urban Deck were not the only N.C.P.C. events that I have attended, to provide an insight into N.C.P.C.

These other events have provided opportunities to hear the various members. The attitude of N.C.P.C. member Richard L. Friedman in favor of the government rescinding environmental mitigation after the end of the EIS process, juxtaposed with what I heard him say at another N.C.P.C. meeting about a proposed vehicular traffic tunnel near the White House (the U.S. Presidential residence), raised my eyebrows.

The question was over the selection of one of two main options for such a tunnel, brought about by the closing of the segment of Pennsylvania Avenue that passes along the White House’s north side. One option would place the tunnel there; the other option would place it to the White House’s south side, connecting with E Street, and the E Street Expressway which connects to the west with D.C. I-66.

Since the given reason for the tunnel is security, and that the south option was a bit further away from the White House then the north option, I figured that he would favor the south option.

However, his answer sidestepped that altogether; instead, if a tunnel were constructed it should be the north option, because that would serve fewer people coming in from outside Washington D.C.; Richard L. Freidman would oppose the south option for making it easier for those outside Washington D.C. to drive into Washington D.C. since this would serve as an easterly continuation of the route of the existing underground E Street Expressway.

Wow! Security and cost effectiveness less important than the Washington, D.C.-elitist (serving fewer people) attitude to push matters away and then to turn one’s back upon the consequences.

That’s the basic attitude that I have heard favoring highway truncations.

This is an interesting juxtaposition of attitudes. After all if it as really about protecting neighborhoods along highways, what about N.C.P.C. turning its back on Ed Ford and his neighborhood? And, since 1968-76, diverting I-95 around Washington, D.C on that Capital Beltway segment alongside Ed Ford’s neighborhood?

Talk about turning their backs to those they have pushed on a disproportionate burden! It was so typical of the elitism that passes for environmentalism, as typified by the doctrine of pushing the highways away from the cities - without regard to matters of environmental footprint - in situations that simply push traffic burdens disproportionately on less affluent areas.

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