Friday, January 09, 2009

Obaminaugeration Changes Attitudes on D.C. Radial Freeways?

Bridges from, and particularly the inside the Beltway radial freeway closures within Virginia, on Barack Obama's inauguration, reveal attitudes of disconnect from the denial of freeways into Washington, D.C. from Maryland.

As found at Sam Smith's:

Dorothy Brazil, DC Watch - The Secret Service released its plans for street closings in DC on inauguration day, January 20, and they're wildly disproportionate to any past inaugural closing plans. They're not just meant to clear the area around the Capitol ceremony and the Pennsylvania Avenue parade, as they always have been in the past. Instead, they're designed to paralyze the city as a whole and to overburden Metro so much that it will be unusable on that day. Not only will three and a half square miles of downtown DC be closed to car traffic, but, in addition, all bridges and major roads linking the District to northern Virginia will be closed to vehicular traffic. These plans will inconvenience DC residents and workers, and they'll make it difficult for all the visitors to DC to get to the inaugural events they came to see. As these plans have been made by the Secret Service and the Obama Presidential Inauguration Committee over the past few weeks, it has become increasingly clear that neither group cares in the least about accommodating DC residents, commuters, and visitors. It has also become clear that neither Mayor Fenty nor any DC government representative has played an independent role as a spokesman for our interests, and that nobody representing the city has tried to introduce common sense into the overblown, grandiose "security" schemes that will shut down our city unnecessarily.

Washington Times - The Secret Service announced unprecedented security measures for the presidential inauguration, saying it will shut down all bridge crossings from Virginia into the District and establish a security perimeter that closes or limits vehicular access on 100 city streets. AAA Mid-Atlantic spokesman John B. Townsend II predicted the bridge closings will overburden entry points to the city through Maryland and create gridlock throughout the metropolitan area.

"It's overkill," he said. "It totally cuts off access from Virginia. This is the most ridiculous thing I've heard of in my life. It just doesn't make sense.". .
On January 20, 2009, the date of Barack Obama's inauguration, the bridges into Washington, D.C. from Virginia and the radial freeways within the Beltway in Virginia will be closed, and critics of this fail to see the similarities to the same regarding the lack of radial freeways from Maryland!

One can enter Washington, D.C. from Virginia by diverting to the Capital Beltway and entering from the Maryland side of the Potomac, via I-295 from the south, Route 50 from the east, or any of the surface streets: a situation decried by those that say nothing, or have actively opposed any radial freeways in the entire within D.C. arc from the Potomac River clock-wise to Route 50!

As a scholar of the planning of the Washington, D.C. freeways who was part of the panel Freeways in Washington (a review by Mark Bentley) at the 1998 annual conference of the D.C. Historical Society, and did a presentation on behalf of NE D.C. Historical Society in 2005, who has perused numerous documents at the D.C. Martin Luther King Public Library Washingtonia Division, as well as at the George Washington University Gelman Library Special Collections, my recollection is that Sam Smith took a strongly derisive attitude towards the North Central Freeway, including its far less intrusive 1971 design.

And So Does The U.S. National Capital Planning Commission

A Sampling Of Attitudes Towards D.C. I-95

North Central Freeway Routing Mystery

See the tag "Highway Routing Mysteries"


soul searcher said...

there are numerous surface street entry points from maryland into DC: rhode island ave (route 1), georgia ave, new hampshire avenue, connecticut avenue, wisconsin avenue and 16th street. with all of these points of entry available to maryland commuters, alongside a plethora of public transportation options, is the expense of building radial freeways to enter dc from maryland particularly necessary, particularly in light of the fact that virginia is largely separated from DC by the Potomac River, differentiating it sharply from a planning standpoint from the mostly land-accessible DC/Maryland border?

Douglas A. Willinger said...

Which is why I have the word 'particularly' in from of the term 'inside the Beltway radial freeway closures.'

People in Virginia were protesting these as well as the bridge closures, which were more acute.