Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Extending the Legacy; Truncating the Legacy:
The failure of NCPC's "Extending the Legacy" to accommodate regional transportation

Whereas the earlier plans accommodated the main modes of transportation, with the L'Enfant Plan including canals, the McMillan Commission with RRs, and with more recent planning including today's D.C. National Airport, "Extending the Legacy" marks a retreat, itself marked by an ideological decision to respond to a particular need with substitutes that assumes that such substitutes would simply suffice.

To its credit it persues the McMillan plan idea of humanizing existinng RRs and
freeways in stating:

The basic strategy is to replace obsolete structures with improvements that benefit large areas of the District, coordinating these efforts whenever possible to coincide with the District's plans for rebuilding neighborhoods or reclaiming the waterfront.
For the RR, this means furthering its undergrounding via a new replacement tunnel at a deeper elevation permitting a due south alignment from 2nd Street NE/SE that passes south of the Anacostia River before turning west into Virgina just south of Reagan National Airport.

For I-66 by the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts this means covering this West Leg Freeway, along with portions of the Anacostia Freeway.

For today's I-395/ 14th Street Bridge [s] this means a new singular and prettier span.

But it falls flat on its face by failing to fails to provide for the SW/SE Freeway, leaving the I-395 Center Leg (3rd Street Tunnel) stranded from the Interstate highway system. Under this plan, the new 14th Street Bridge would connect to the I-395 Shirley Highway in Virginia, much as the existing spans do. But at the D.C. side, this bridge would connect to an at grade (traffic light) intersection at 14th Street NW and a new F Street SW. Traffic heading to or from the existing north-south I-395 Center Leg (3rd Street Tunnel) would take F Street SW to a set of ramps between 1st and 2nd Streets SW. Some of the traffic from Virginia would be diverted to a new 4 lane cross Potomac Tunnel from I-395 in Virginia to a portal onto M Street, but without a land tunnel continuation.

Likewise, the north end of the 11th Street Bridge[s] would connect to 11th Street but no SE Freeway.

The Barney Circle Connector project, which was declared politically dead by D.C. non-voting U.S. Represenative Eleanor Holms Norton in March 1996, is not shown.

Nor does it show anything regarding the two unsightly large RR corridors that tri-sect NE.

Nor does it say anything about the future of the Whitehurst Freeway or the K Street corridor

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