Washington's unbuilt highways
This is a map of the Washington that almost was.
If mid-century planners, dedicated as they were to driving and the clearance of historic neighborhoods, had their way. It is a map of the highway network proposed for Washington during initial planning of the Eisenhower Interstate System, in 1958.
Map based on 1958 Basic Freeway Plan. Click to enlarge.
Each of these canceled highways, shown in red on the map, has its own story. Some were canceled due to civic activism, others because later proposals in the 70s preempted them, and others due to good old fashioned sanity.
Because they were never built, entire neighborhoods that might have been wiped out were saved, downtown was never physically cut off from its surroundings (except to the south), and millions of dollars were reallocated to construction of the Metro. Because these highways were canceled, Washington is the beautiful, walkable, vital city that we know and love today.
Cross-posted at BeyondDC.
- Think you know Metro? It's whichWMATA week 44
- Here's where Metro railcars go after they die
- Cities Skylines takes over SimCity's mantle as top city-builder
- WMATA needs to do better, says DC transportation head
- Check out these historic airline maps of Washington's airports
- Northern Virginia has $350 million to spend on transportation. Here's what officials want to build
- What it will take to get Metro out of crisis