"We need to stop letting the Masters of Catholic University of America be the tail that wags the dog, and build the I-270/I-95 Grand Arc Mall Tunnel"
Ray LaHood to Demolish Takoma, D.C. developments built too damn close to the B&O Metro Branch Corridor
Developments all built after 2001, inexplicably after 911 reminded us about the importance of transportation evacuation routes, under the mania of "Transit Oriented Development" based upon premise that people could not walk more than 100 feet away to the Takoma WMATA station.
The to be demolished projects are: Elevation 314 (opened 2004), Cedar Crossing (opened 2007) and Spring Place (started later)
The projects are too damn close, being within the footprint of a potential RR car derailment, including the relatively lightweight aluminum WMATA cars, and the far heavier CSX freight cars. Earlier derailments along this RR corridor, just to the south in 1976, and about a mile to the north near 16th Street, resulted in relatively little loss of life due to the buildings being setback respectively by Blair Avenue and a parking lot, compared with what would happen to Cedar Crossing or Elevation 314 which are not only too close, but also LOWER than then this locally environmentally preferred mode of transportation. Additionally, Cedar Crossing and Elevation 314 were constructed with wood framing, as this was deemed cheaper and irrelevant to safety because no freeway was constructed along this railroad, and we know there will never be any more de-railments ever.
The lands they were built upon were industrial with some of it cleared for the WMATA Red Line, which had been anticipated with a tightly routed parallel North Central Freeway first endorsed by the White House in November 1962 and shown in 1966-71 planning, though seriously politically subverted by the perversion of the planning starting in late 1963 with the released in October 1964 J.E. Greiner initial study with 37 routes (all far more imp-active than the apparently non-controversial JFK plan) all over the map and a recommended route #11 veering 1/3 from the RR on a longer route through Takoma Park, MD, taking 471 houses instead of only about 30, and than with officials waffling towards the infamous 1964 plan as late as 1968 to ensure an official reversal at USNCPC upon the erroneous notion that a freeway is simply another arterial- like Wisconsin, Connecticut or Georgia Avenues.
USNCPC Reverses Itself- 1968
District of Columbia Interstate System, by DeLeuw, Cather Associates and Harry Wesse & Associates, LTD, 1971, prepared for the District of Columbia Department of Highways and Traffic, in cooperation with the U.S. Department of Transportation, Federal Highway Administration.
This represents the last past formal planning study design for the B&O Low Level Route I-70S Low Level North Central Freeway. As if planned to create opposition, it is entirely routed to the railroad's east, thus forcing the removal of the architecturally more significance along Takoma Avenue, plus the landmark Cady-Lee mansion previously spared.
A look at this railroad corridor during the 1990s revealed the geometric potential to re-craft it with the highway in an infinitely more socially sensible configuration placing highway and railway underground with the surface as a new linear park: that there was sufficient space to widen the corridor without conflict with landmark structures, and minimum displacement; for instance the tunnel would go beneath Takoma Avenue and avoid Cady Lee (which has an 85 foot setback); and since we were removing that railway berm, relocating the WMATA into a part cut and cover tunnel while retaining use of the existing overpass of Georgia Avenue and the CSX and MARC into a drilled tunnel owing to the grade requirements of 1% versus 5%, opening up the area laterally and lineally. Have you seen the M30 through Madrid, Spain?
This was being written about on the internet at newsgroups as misc.transport.road in 1997, and was that year published in the Takoma Voice:
Nonetheless, planning officials began looking in earnest at cramming real estate development blocking this corridor, with the first such project, the "Elevation 314" residential apartment building approved after 911 (and the brief lip service to evacuation routes). Yes, one year after 911, the Federal government would turn its back upon this route's security by allowing such limited benefit real estate development situated to subvert the greater good. Like a enclave run by a government somewhat invisible, yet omnipresent to effect a clear wobble effect of political power gravity pulling the strings.
2012 - April 1 - South Mall Blogger