Monday, December 27, 2010

Highway Hypocrisy?

Author Tom Vanderbilt has penned a reflection on the curious fact that Washington, D.C., the point of origin for the 1956 Highway Act, which spurred the construction of an interstate highway network that was to dissect so many urban areas, has the fewest highway miles within its urban core of any major city on the East Coast. 

Interestingly, it appears that Congress itself may have been the most significant, though certainly not the only, opponent of major highway building in Washington.  Perhaps it should not come as a complete surprise that the governing body which approved the concept of high-speed automobile arteries built through dense urban settings opposed the implementation of that concept when it came to the city in which many of its members lived and worked.  Instead, Washington was to receive a new metro system designed to serve suburban commuters to the city's business district with far less destructive impact to the urban fabric.

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