Tuesday, July 29, 2008

NY Times Perspective on People's Priorities


Overpriced hand bag advertisement
from the above-shown July 27, 2008 NY Times Styles

From transport-policy@yahoogroups.com

In a message dated 7/28/2008 3:56:16 P.M. Eastern Daylight Time, tarubin@earthlink. net writes:

10. Finally, we need to be careful in determining how the public resolve responds to planners’ visions of future travel options. The increase in energy costs is and will continue to change behaviors but we need to use caution in estimating how quickly travelers will trade off time and convenience for energy cost savings.

This is the most important part of his arguments for me. At any foreseeable cost structure, the answer for me is likely to be .......... never.

If energy costs get really painful, I would make other trade-offs first, before abandoning the convenience of point-to-point travel ... where I want .... when I want .... with almost no need for prior scheduling. I suspect there are a LOT of people with similar opinions.

Jim Walker

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Westway Pay Back: Billions in Wall Street CEO Executives for Revived Westway, 2nd Avenue Subway, etc

Naming Rights For Infrastructure Funders?!

$2.5 billion (1980s estimated cost) Westway Project
$38 billion (2007 alone) Wall Street executive bonuses

Shining Light in Dark Corners

Everyone agrees Wall Street is having a bad year. Why are bonuses still in over the top? Someone must be profiting from the disaster of our economy, someone beyond the invest bank brokers. Someone is making billions selling stocks and equities short. And they are making sure the brokers who help them are rewarded for a job well done. Joe Kennedy did it in the Depression. There have to be hundreds profiting now from our misfortune.

They don’t just make deals on Wall Street. They make myths. And last week Wall Street's myth-making machine was roaring at full throttle — after the news broke that America’s five biggest investment banks will this year shell out a record $38 billion in bonus pay.

These men got these bonuses at a time when their companies lost $74 billion. N.Y. has given much to attract money firms.

How about some organizing for put the public infrastructure back within the mark of architects?

Wall Street could make its mark positively by paying for a revived Westway project in some form or another of an underground park covered West Side Highway.

Some far thinking CEO could be a rightful candidate for having it named after him/her.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Homeland Security Goal would be better served by reviving Interstate 70 South through northwest Washington

excerpt from comments of Mark Robinowitz for the DEIS of the ICC, a circumferential highway miles outside northern Washington, D.C.


(excerpt- at page 15)

If the ICC is truly intended to boast "Homeland Security", then additional analysis (in a SDEIS) is needed to determine the feasibility and need for reviving the 1950s era proposal for extending Interstate 70 South (the original name or I-270) inside the Beltway to downtown DC. This proposed road would run through Northwest Washington, near the new headquarters of the Department of Homeland Security (at the former Naval Security Station, next to American University).

1959 Friendship Heights

That was the radial highway that would have passed through Washington's wealthiest, whitest area, taking fewer homes than either the corresponding NCF or NE Freeway as shown in the 1959 Mass Transportation Plan, about 74 from the Maryland line at Friendship Heights to the north head of Glover Archibold Park to continue there south as a parkway, with the 1959 plan featuring a split to an I-70 continuation that would have displaced a few dwellings at the northern edge of the Cleveland Park neighborhood before crossing Rock Cree Park to a continuation through the Mt Pleasant neighborhood that would have displaced far more dwellings to an interchange with the I-66 North Leg of the Inner Loop.

1959 Cleveland Park
(dashed lines indicate tunnel segments)

1959 Mt. Pleasant
(no tunnel segments in less affluent areas)


The cancellation of the NW Freeway led to the 1962 JFK Administration proposal of replacing the 1959 plan for three separate northern radial freeways with a 2 into 1 "Y" Route upon the B&O Metro Branch RR-industrial corridor that runs next to the campus of Catholic University of America. This was to occur with essentially the rail transit network that was built for WMATA.


That plan would be effectively undermined politically via the subsequent 1964 North Central Freeway reports' failure to follow the JFK plan with up to 37 studied routes largely nowhere near this rr and with a recommendation running along the rr in some areas only to deviate significantly directly through old neighborhoods with far far higher local impacts -- 471 free standing dwellings for the 1 mile segment through Takoma Park, Maryland upon a route not only far more destructive but longer and less direct then JFK's B&O "Y" route.


Veers about 1/2 mile away from the B&O railroad on new swath through old neighborhoods in Takoma Park, Maryland, taking 471 houses for the 1.1 mile segment, before rejoining the railroad immediately north of New Hampshire Avenue.

This route was longer and less direct.

Route #11 at New Hampshire Avenue, veering away from the B&O railroad into Takoma Park



It was not until 1966 that a "supplementary" North Central Freeway study with the JFK B&O route appeared; it eliminated the separate swath in Takoma Park by "hugging" the railroad's flanks at the edge of Takoma Park, with various sort tunnels to swing the highway to one side or the other railroad, such as alongside Montgomery Community College, with a proposal to effectively do the same alongside Catholic University and Brookland via "air rights" development.



The 1971 plan extends the highway cover southward to Rhode Island Avenue, yet inexplicitly deletes the northern segment alongside the main campus of Catholic University of America, continuing its traditional isolation from the east .

All of this was undermined by various politician's suggestions as late as 1968 in favor of the earlier route from 1964 as "less expensive".

So would a change in the route in the vicinity of Fort Totten to use more parkland, creating a new objection in the 1966-71 plan absent from the 1964 plan.

1964 plan which follows the railroad at Fort Totten

1966 plan which veers to the west at Fort Totten

So conceivably did the 1971 plan's to bury the highway segment through Takoma, D.C., but with a catch: whereas the 1966 plan flanked the railroad -- that is a 3/RR/RR/3 configuration -- the 1971 plan placed both directions of the highway along the railroad's eastern side, thus placing it in direct conflict with the landmark Cady-Lee mansion on the corner of Eastern Avenue and Piney Branch, necessitating its removal, whereas the 1966 plan avoided this.

1966 I-70S
Cut and cover tunnels
Silver Spring, Maryland
alongside Blair Park/Montgomery Community College

1966 I-70S North Central Freeway
flanks the railroad
in Takoma, D.C.

1971 I-70S North Central Freeway
all on the eastern side of the railroad

No plan was drawn up via the authorities to tunnelize this segment of highway with highway carriageways flanking the railroad to preserve the Cady Lee mansion as well as the houses to the north facing Takoma Avenue. The Cady Lee mansion, built cir 1884, is the northernmost house within D.C. along the railroad's eastern side.

Why add objections lacking in earlier plans?

Doing so would only continue to undermine this highway's political support, doing so pretty much by the time of the final re-routing with the change of the I-95 Northeast Freeway's route from Northwest Branch Park/Fort Drive, to the PEPCO power line/New Hampshire Avenue route.

D.C. I-95 Northeast Freeway routes

1960 report has I-95 in Maryland via Northwest Branch and entering D.C. passing alongside Catholic Sisters College; that route is openly opposed by the Roman Catholic Church and the adjoining residential areas, leading to its re-routing within D.C. via the Fort Drive right of ay between Galatin and Galloway Streets NE. The subsequent PEPCO Power Line right of route was developed in the 1971 report, replacing the Northwest Branch-Fort Drive route in order to preserve parkland and re-utilize n existing 250 foot clear cut power line right of way extending from outside the I-495 Capital Beltway to some 1,600 or so feet from the Maryland D.C. line alongside New Hampshire Avenue, to then travel about another 1,600 feet to join the B&O railroad corridor.

PEPCO/New Hampshire Avenue
1971- dropped by Maryland July 16, 1973

In my studies of numerous historical information sources regarding this highway planning, I have yet to encounter anything on the Order of the Eastern Star's opinions- for instance did they ever request making the depressed segment through their property as a tunnel to preserve the home's sanctity?

Likewise with that of Catholic University of America- did they for instance object to the proposed highway lid's shortening in the 1971 plan versus the 1966 plan which extended further north alongside the CUA main campus to Taylor Street?

The Washington Post would completely misrepresent this route
in its November, 2000 article "Lost Highways" by Bob and Jane Levey, with this map turning the I-95 Northeast route away from its New Hampshire Avenue routing through the field of the Order of the Eastern Star Masonic home, and upon a highly destructive and fictitious route that appears in no planning documents

No northern D.C. radial highway appears in official planning documents after 1973.

A Future Washington, D.C. Big Dig

North Central Freeway- A Trip Within The Beltway
Northeast Freeway- A Trip Within The Beltway
Northwest Freeway- A Trip Within The Beltway
Evacuation Routes- A Trip Within The Beltway

The Washington Post Lies About D.C. I-95

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Washingon, D.C. Evacation Route Subversion

Government and private planners to subvert road evacuation routes.

- 11th Street Bridge ramps to and from RFK Stadium to be demolished: Planned by DDOT
- I-395 segment to be closed, tunnel extension canceled: proposed by NCPC and DDOT
- historic north central route to be chocked at Catholic University area: proposed
- South Capitol Street underpass to be closed; tunnel thwarted by rush for real estate development: proposed
- SW Freeway bottleneck chock via row of townhouses 16' from retaining wall: done

Lip service after 911 was given to the idea of additional evacuation routes to serve the masses particularly in the event of an emergency as a security measure.

Yet all levels of government are going along with a pied piper's song of new medievalism to chock if not eliminate routes.

What can we call a government that has civil defense languish while government efforts are most heavily weighted towards warrantless domestic surveillance?

Homeland Security Goal Better Served by Reviving I-70S through NW Washington DC- Mark Robinowitz

Washington, D.C. Parochialism Emanating From All Levels Of Government

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Westway Manhattan

Westway Project (1974-1985)

West Side Viaduct
The Wasted Waterfront
How New York Fell- An Exchange
The Road Not Taken
West Side Highway
How The Striped Bass Stopped A Highway- Striper Wars

Marcy Benstock- How Could We Ever Tear Down A Building?

Fishes to Birds- Unknown if she ever noticed if her thoughts below were ever applied to anything else.



Ms. Benstock said she opposes the project because of the destruction of critical nursery habitat for striped bass and "dozens" of other species. She said approval of another waterfront project is part of a larger trend.

Found within the website of Jesuitical "Transportation Alternatives"

Jesuitical "Transportation Alternatives"


New Medievalist "Streetsblogs"


Sunday, July 6, 2008

Jesuitical Tri State Transportation Campaign Against Extending NJ Tpke Truck/Car Lanes

- Assumes that slowed growth is permanent;
- Argues that project to extend separate car/car-truck lanes southward to I-276/future I-95 a 'dinosaur'
- Says nothing of improved safety of extension, nor new technologies that would stem gas price increase induced decreases in traffic growth.


Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Jesuitical New Medievalist/Neo Feudalist "Environmentalism"

Ignores the differences in types of biofuels, as if the inefficiencies of corn based fuel negates the entire concept of biofuels

Ignores electric propulsion
untethered to a 3rd rail; Assumes everyone can just live closer together

Dismisses innovation; Presumes massive population depopulation

A letter to the editor in The Washington [a]Post[ate]


"A Better Route Than Biofuels"

Wednesday, June 18, 2008; Page A14

Vinod Khosla ["All Biofuels Are Not the Same," op-ed, June 16] missed a critical point in defending biofuels. Instead of trying to find "good" biofuels, we should be asking "why biofuels at all?"

Investment in biofuels yields fewer returns than investment in transportation alternatives. The renewable fuels standard that Congress passed in December, in combination with generous tax credits, provides $188 billion for biofuels. This will reduce U.S. petroleum use by less than 10 percent and could potentially offer little to no reduction in greenhouse gas emissions, because 13 billion gallons of corn ethanol are exempt from the law's greenhouse gas standards.

Devoting these subsidies to public transportation and smarter growth would do much more to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, fuel use and costs to consumers. But big oil companies have thwarted such solutions. It is time to take control of mobility out of the hands of wealthy corporations and entrepreneurs and put it into the hands of the people.


Energy and Transportation Policy Campaigner

Friends of the Earth


"Friends of the Earth" is one of the many Jesuit Order run "environmentalist" organizations that reflexively oppose roads without traffic lights, and which apparently omit any support for linear parks, such as Washington, D.C.'s aborted South Capitol Mall.

The Washington [a]Post[ate] closed this letter's comments after receiving only three.

The writer is right - corn is not a proper source for bio fuels. But ethanol from cellulose may work. let the market decide. The predicted cost for cellulose ethanol is under $1.50 a gallon. If this is true, it will be a natural. But themarket should decide. It is compatible with the modern IC motor and not as much of a hazard as hydrogen. True, it makes CO2. But that has yet to be proven a bad element in our air.

6/18/2008 7:52:22 PM

Look at the construction of cities throughout the world. Only in America do we have far flung suburbs making walking or mass transportation impractical. we need to rethink the way we grow our cities and towns. These alternative fuels etc will do us little good unless we rethink the way we live.

6/18/2008 6:11:35 PM

TwoEvils wrote:

Ethanol is a ridiculously poor fuel, requiring huge amounts of energy to create and returning much less energy (mpg) than an equivalent amount of petroleum-based gas.

Biodiesel, on the other hand, does not require nearly the energy input to create and has much more energy per gallon. It can be used in any diesel vehicle often with only minor modification, and will be especially valuable to the trucking industry which is suffering extremely high fuel costs.

There's a reason Europe stuck with diesel instead of gasoline. There's a lot more energy (mpg) in a gallon of diesel than in a gallon of gas.

6/18/2008 11:16:44 AM