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Upcoming Meetings on Road and Transit Issues

Those of you who either drive the Whitehurst Freeway in the District or are affected by its presence in your neighborhood should be interested in the District Department of Transportation's plan to hold public meetings tonight and Wednesday night on the study into whether the Whitehurst should be taken down.

Tonight's session is at Francis Jr. High School, 2425 N St. NW, in the Dupont Circle area. Wednesday's is at St. John's Georgetown Episcopal Church, 3240 O St. NW in Georgetown. Both sessions are from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.

You can find a lot of information about the study on the DDOT Web site. I've heard from some commuters who are very upset about the possibility of removing the freeway.

For transit riders, there's a town hall meeting Wednesday night in the District moderated by Metro Board Chairman Gladys Mack and Riders Advisory Council Chairman Dennis Jaffe. Tell them what's on your mind. You can also look at some exhibits and talk to transit officials about the changes in bus service, security issues, the new rail cars, and the redesign that removes some of the poles near the forward and back doors of the cars.

An open house begins at 6:30 p.m., followed by the town hall session from 7 to 9 p.m. at St. Luke's Center, 4923 East Capitol Street SE. That's four blocks east of the Benning Road Metro station on the Blue Line. You can also take the 96, 97, U5, U6, W4 or W54 Metrobus routes to get there.

By Robert Thomson  |  September 26, 2006; 2:34 PM ET
Categories:  Commuting  
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Wouldn't it be novel if the Metro planners actually used transit to get to these meetings>

Posted by: cb | September 27, 2006 7:16 AM | Report abuse

Eugh, I work near the Whitehurst Freeway and it's just so awful down there on K Street with the freeway overhead. Dark, trafficky, so very unpleasant. Losing the open parking lot on K street will be an inconvenience, but it's not particularly attractive either - I hope the whole park/boulevard plan goes through.

Posted by: m3 | September 27, 2006 10:51 AM | Report abuse

and m3 is precisely the 1% of people in the region that tearing down the Whitehurst Freeway appeals to. Unfortunately, to the rest of the city and the region, taking it down with no plausible alternative (M Street is gridlocked as it is, and a ground level boulevard is too many vertical feet below the Key Bridge to make any sort of connection (would you want to drive that ramp in the snow???)) would be a sellout to a few already wealthy developers at the expense of any functional roads that are left in DC.

Posted by: Joe | September 28, 2006 12:56 AM | Report abuse

They need to leave the Whitehurst alone.

For a city that refused to complete its planned highway system (thanks to the 1% Joe mentioned) to be considering tearing down one of the few freeways that got built is absurd.

I realize the useless idiots who run DC "government" has a fetishist's fixation on Metro (for everyone ELSE that is, considering their cars with special plates that can park anywhere); everything is about "Take Metro!". Only problem is, Metro doesn't go to Georgetown.

I wonder if the meetings will include a discussion on where to relocate the lucrative speed cameras.

First, DC wants to pretend they are New York. Now they want want to be another Portland, OR.

What's next? Tearing down the SE Freeway for a bike path and dog run?

Posted by: CEEAF | September 28, 2006 11:35 AM | Report abuse

Keep the Whitehurst! Just improve access to it from both the key bridge and M st. Making it a boulevard with traffic lights is a horrendous idea..

Posted by: Noggin | September 28, 2006 12:52 PM | Report abuse

Given DC's track record, I'm willing to bet which "alternative " the DC "government" will implement:

An inadequate surface road with traffic lights, pedestrian crossings, and speed cameras just like the sick joke called New York Avenue which is DC's excuse for a through route between I-395, the B-W Parkway, and Route 50.

What else should we expect from a deliberately driver-unfriendly city that is openly hostile to commuters?

Posted by: CEEAF | September 28, 2006 1:20 PM | Report abuse

The elimination of the Whitehurst smacks of the tearing-down of the Embarcadero Freeway in San Francisco: one more eliminated roadway in a system lacking effective ingress/egress, just to appease the minority who want a better view of the water.

Here's a new question: What happens in the event of a disaster, where DC needs to be evacuated? Our national obsession with the Freeway Revolt can turn to tragedy if we can't leave our cities during an emergency. As CEEAF mentioned, can you imagine a mid-day evacuation depending on M St and NY Ave?

Posted by: Dan | September 28, 2006 1:48 PM | Report abuse

"Here's a new question: What happens in the event of a disaster, where DC needs to be evacuated? Our national obsession with the Freeway Revolt can turn to tragedy if we can't leave our cities during an emergency"

We're supposed to "Take Metro!".

Don't laugh. DC Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton actually stated in a WAMU radio interview last year that DC's emergency evacuation plan included "encouraging the use of mass transit".

"Take the Orange Line to Vienna or New Carrollton. After that, you're on your own".

Posted by: CEEAF | September 29, 2006 12:57 PM | Report abuse

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