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Meetings on Traffic and Transit Concerns

There are two meetings coming up today and tomorrow I thought many of you would like to know about, because they concern issues we've talked about here: Today, it's the Whitehurst Freeway and whether it should be torn down. Tomorrow, it's Metro's budget for the year that starts on July 1.

This afternoon at 3 o'clock, D.C. Councilmember Jim Graham, chairman of the Council's Committee on Public Works and the Environment, will convene a public oversight roundtable on "The Future of the Whitehurst Freeway." (That's encouraging. I hope the Whitehurst has a future.)

The session will be held in Room 412 at the Wilson Building, 1350 Pennsylvania Ave. NW. If you're not already signed up to testify, written statements still can be made part of the official record. Copies of such statements should be submitted to LaDorsa Willis, Committee on Public Works and the Environment, Room 116, 1350 Pennsylvania Ave. NW, Washington, D.C. 20004 , or electronically at, by 5 p.m. on Friday,

On Wednesday at 5:30 p.m., Metro and the Rider's Advisory Council Budget Subcommittee will conduct a budget workshop at Metro's downtown headquarters. The advisory council is a citizens panel formed by Metro to advise the transit board.

The purpose of the session is to give riders and the public the opportunity to comment on the proposed budget for fiscal year 2008 and to talk to Metro about it's budget process by providing their comments and opinions. A drawback is that we're not yet sure whether we face fare hikes and service cutbacks. Metro managers proposed such budget-balancing plans in December, but the new general manager, John Catoe, said he wants to review Metro's spending before coming back the board with his own plan.

Wednesday's meeting will begin at 5:30 p.m. with a public comment period and end with a "Budget 101" session in Metro's Lobby Meeting Room, at 600 5th Street, N.W., Washington, D.C. Metro also will host two workshops on the fiscal year 2008 budget on Saturdays, March 3 and 10, from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

By Robert Thomson  |  February 27, 2007; 6:20 AM ET
Categories:  Transportation Politics  
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It will be interesting to see what comes out of this public oversight meeting on the future of the Whitehurst. To me, it seems like the District has already made up its mind to tear down the freeway. The roadway is one of the few useful freeways in D.C., and while I'm not necessarily advocating for the construction of more freeways in the District, I think its extremely short-sighted to remove the ones we already have here. With a re-vamp of the underside of the freeway, they could probably make it look halfway decent by adding some lighting, artwork, and other features. This could enhance the value of the area while still providing a decent bypass of one of the most congested areas in this city. I really just cannot understand how the traffic numbers work out without the freeway. The powers that be say that the freeway doesn't save any time during rush hours because it is congested...but they overlook the fact that Georgetown is most congested on weekends and during the evenings, when the Whitehurst flows freely. My guess is that without this roadway, a good chunk of the traffic that uses it would divert to Virginia via the Roosevelt and Key Brides, as if Rosslyn or that short segment of I-66 needs any more traffic on it. So once again, DC is trying to dump its traffic problems into the "suburbs" (I suppose in the most technical of senses, Rosslyn is part of suburban Virginia).

Posted by: Mike | February 27, 2007 12:02 PM | Report abuse

From Dr. Gridlock: Mike, I agree with you that the traffic numbers don't support tearing down the Whitehurst. The only strategy that does more good than harm is putting the Whitehurst in a tunnel, and that's just too expensive.

But, you know, I get as many complaints about the teardown idea from city dwellers as I do from suburbanites. That's another reason I can't buy into the teardown idea. I don't see the advantage from any traveler's point of view.

Posted by: Robert Thomson | February 27, 2007 12:47 PM | Report abuse

A revamped K Street with access from I-66 to the Key Bridge and Canal Road could really open up that part of Georgetown and provide a bypass of the congested M Street corridor. But there's that nasty drop in elevation to deal with.

Posted by: College Park | February 27, 2007 12:51 PM | Report abuse

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