50 years of Interstates

Today is the 50th anniversary of President Dwight D. Eisenhower signing the legislation that established the interstate highway system, the largest public works project of the 20th century. It reshaped America, sometimes for the better, sometimes for the worse. Overall, I will say the former more than the latter.

Recent articles:

  • The Superhighway to EverywhereThe Post
  • Traveling down a road of historyThe Sun
  • U.S. interstate system marks 50 years todayUSA Today
  • Highway System at 50NPR
  • Interstate Highway System at a Crossroads; A Crumbling LegacyABC News

    More on Interstate highways:

  • Celebrating 50 Years: Eisenhower Interstate System
  • International House of Zzyzx Interstate list – the original online interstate list. It appears to be rarely updated though.
  • Interstate-Guide.com – AA Roads, updated regularly
  • 3-digit Interstate Highways – Kurumi.com
  • dcroads.net, nycroads.com, phillyroads.com, bostonroads.com – Steve Anderson

    There are more sites linked from my Transportation section.

    For the record, my favorite mainline interstate is I-95, but you could probably guess that already. My favorite 3-digit interstate is probably I-295 in Delaware and New Jersey, though I have soft spots for I-287 (also Jersey) and . My feelings for our own I-495 are love-hate.

    My favorite on-ramp is from I-80 EAST to I-81 SOUTH, near the old school. If you hit it at the right speed, you get a nice slingshot effect.

    How I would do it

    Just for fun, additions I would make to the interstate system, if I could just draw them on the map and make it real

  • Eliminate I-97 in Maryland, since it is too precious a number for what should really be I-995.
  • Promote MD 32 to I-595
  • Stretch I-95 further south in Florida via the Florida Turnpike. Further north, finish the new connection at the Pennsylvania Turnpike quicker.
  • Make NJ 495 an interstate again. I know it is substandard, but a road as cool as the Lincoln Tunnel approach needs to have more recognition than a state highway number.
  • Bring DC 295 up to interstate standards (along with the I-66 extension) a rename it and the B/W Parkway I-295 all the way to Baltimore.
  • Extend I-93 down MA 3 to Cape Cod
  • Extend I-86 from Harriman to Rye along I-87 and I-287 in New York State, eliminating I-287 through NY State.
  • Extend I-83 from Harrisburg to Rochester, NY along the US 15 corridor. There would only need to be 40 or so miles of construction to pull this off.
  • Promote PA 581 to I-581.
  • Upgrade US 15 south of Harrisburg to I-181
  • Extend I-80 across the George Washington Bridge. The road should literally go from New York to San Francisco
  • Extend I-78 from Harrisburg to State College along US 322
  • Make the Leigh Valley Thruway I-278 between Allentown and PA 33.
  • Make PA 33 something like I-478
  • Extend I-76 along the Atlantic City Expressway. Also, make NJ 55 something like I-576 and extend to the Garden State Parkway in an environmentally sensitive way.
  • Create I-170 for US 340 near Frederick
  • Create I-570 along MD 100 (and the north end of US 29). Close by, MD becomes I-470.
  • Extend I-66 down VA 110, across the 14th Street Bridge, down the SW/SE Freeway across the Anacostia Freeway, up Kenilworth Ave. to join US 50 all the way to Delmarva peninsula. The Roosevelt Bridge portion of I-66 would be come I-166. Falling that idea, create Business I-66 along US 50 in the District and have it become regular I-66 when US 50 becomes limited access in NE.
  • Create I-366 along VA 267 (Dulles Toll Road) to Leesburg
  • Upgrade VA 28 to I-166 north of I-66 once the conversion to limited access is complete.
  • Fix the Hampton Road mess — Move the “eastern terminus” of I-64 to the VA Beach oceanfront, replacing I-264. Extend I-664 from Bowers Hill to the current I-64/I-264 interchange.

    And of course

    Rename i-99 to a more sensible number, like I-470. Del. 1 becomes the new I-99

    Lastly

    Bring back button copy signs!

    Here is fun comment that didn’t get migrated:

    “Can’t you people see? This man wants nothing less than utter control of the entire Federal Highway System!”

    – quote from the unwritten WFY biopic…or perhaps from the equally unwritten WFY/TWH film collaboration, “The Punxatwany Candidate”

    # posted by Blogger T William Harrison : Thursday, June 29, 2006 2:59:00 PM

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  • The Vienna Inn: Just about the same as it ever was

    mugs.jpg

    When I still lived in Vienna one of the places I would regularly take visiting family and friends was the Vienna Inn. They all loved the old tavern for the chili dogs, beer and unpretentious atmosphere. I did too, though they may have even loved it too much as it was frequently the only place they wanted to go. Thankfully, we have a much wider variety of happy hour spots right now, but it is always good to go back to our old haunt like we did last Thursday night.

    The Inn, opened in 1960 by the late Mike Abraham, is frequently described as a dive. Abraham himself called it a “crummy beer joint.” Until about 2000, the place was really a hole, with surly waitresses, a perpetually slamming screen door, old windows, and a ceiling blackened by cigarette smoke. I think this all got replaced after the health inspector informed new ownership, “we were letting Mike slide a little bit, but YOU are going to bring this place up to code.” Even now, following those renovations, the tables are unsteady. The cushions in the booths have needed to be re-stuffed since at least the Reagan administration and don’t count on your fries and dogs coming out the same time. Soda is self service too. The surly waitresses seemed to have disappeared — even the remaining mean one (regulars know who I mean) was no where to be found on Thursday.

    Generally, all of these things I have mentioned rarely make for an enjoyable meal, but it all works because there is an uncompromising authenticity to the Inn. It is a small town gathering place in suburbia, an oasis from the generic sprawl of TGI Fridays, Applebee’s, and fast food joints. The Inn helps set Vienna apart from other Fairfax County communities that are merely a series of intersections, strip malls and gas stations.

    Everything is really cheap too. The Inn’s signature chili dogs with everything (mustard, raw onions, chili, and cheese) go for $1.50. A burger is under $4. Drafts cost no more than $3 and come in frosty mugs. Hot and crispy fries will set you back $2. Budweiser, which the Inn has sold so much of over the years that Annhauser-Busch regularly sent the Clydesdales to the Vienna Halloween parade, will set you back about $1.75. Bud tastes better there than anywhere else too and the chili dogs are pretty special. I have been told the carrot cake is also quite tasty.

    Over the years, the Inn’s casual atmosphere has made it a favorite to people from all walks of life, from the laborer to the executive. It was so popular with CIA staff that Langley banned them from going there because the KGB had discovered it as well — or so the legend goes.

    The Vienna Inn is located at 120 Maple Ave. E (VA 123) in the central part of Vienna. Don’t forget to a designated driver!

    Retconned from Metroblogging DC

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    On top of the Nationals TV rights, does Peter Angelo$ control the weather, too?

    Nationals Prevail in a Washington MarathonThe Post
    When I went to turn on UPN 20 last night around 7:00 to watch one of the few Nats games that Peter Angelo$ allows us to watch in “his” territory, it didn’t even occur to me that the rainstorm I had seen, which was violently crossing Bethesda only a few hours beforehand, would factor into the night’s game. (So brilliant of me, I know.) And when I saw the rain delay announced, I thought, “Lovely! I finally get to watch a game on TV, and it rains! Does Peter Angelo$ control the weather now, too?”

    Thankfully the game got underway around 9ish, and I actually did stay up into the wee hours of the morning to see Robert Fick single into right-field, allowing Marlon Byrd to score the game-winning run (around 12:40 a.m.) that felt strangely reminiscent of Wesley Snipes scoring the game-winning run at the end of Major League. ‘Twas a sweet victory!

    More from The Wash. Times: Nationals win in 12 on single by Fick

    The Lerners’ ugly garagesThe Wash. Times
    Am I the only one who doesn’t care where the garages are placed? Underground, above ground–one way or another, people are still gonna be able to park at the new ballpark! I think the real issue should be whether or not there’s enough parking to accommodate all the fans, because I know from too much experience how hellish it is trying to find a parking spot anywhere in the District.

    Cordero welcomes manager’s challengeThe Wash. Times
    The first line says it all. Bobble-head or not; I, for my part, still haven’t forgiven the Chief for that one.


    Today’s postings brought to you by Deputy Editor Fritz Hamme, who is heralding the glorious return of “Evil” Fritz.

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    La Coupe Hauxer awarded

    Yesterday in Northern Virginia, the Board of Governors held their post-season meeting at the historic Vienna Inn. Five of the six governors were present, so there was a quorum.




    Item one of the agenda was to award La Coupe Hauxer to the New Jersey Devils. Brad Stratton accepted La Coupe Hauxer on behalf of the Devils, whose steady play throughout the season allowed them to sweep victory over the Flyers. Philly nearly led the standings wire-to-wire, but choked in true Philadelphia fashion. Flyers governor L.C.G Synder was surprisingly gracious in defeat, contrary to long-standing Philly tradition.

    Following the La Coupe Hauxer ceremony, the Stanley Screwdriver was awarded to the last-place Washington Capitals. The actually plaque is still in production, so Fritz Hamme accepted a unadorned Stanley screwdriver on behalf of the Caps. The Capitals delegation, including William F. Yurasko footed the bill per the LCH charter.

    Additionally, the Board of Governors voted to expand the tournament if suitable teams can be found. Initial indications point to Buffalo as an strong expansion candidate. Other eastern cities are also under consideration.




    Overall, the evening was excellent celebration of La Coupe Hauxer for the governors and their families. Only the poor participation of the Pittsburgh delegation marred the event. In addition to being without one member, the presiding member did not arrive in official colors. Otherwise, it was a delightful evening.
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    Nats pull ahead in season series with Philly

    Nats 5 Fleas 2

    Soriano Keeps Nats RunningThe Post
    I am sure that everyone, save the Ombudsman, is pleased that the Nats now lead the series series of Philadelphia. If they can hold on,

    But enough about my ongoing bet. LF Alfonso Soriano is having an incredible season, one of the ages if he can keep this up. If he keeps playing like this, he won’t need to move back to 2B to be the best at his position (at least at the plate). He had 4 runs last night in one official at bat, which was a solo HR late. Amazing.

    P Mike O’Connor pitched his standard six innings and gave up less than three runs to earn his third win of the year.

    More from The Wash. Times: Soriano sparks Nationals again

    BoxscoreESPN


    Johnson: A scout with a Series titleThe Wash. Times
    Denials all around about Davey Johnson being the next manager. I don’t buy them for a second.

    Majewski Has Overcome His Early StrugglesThe Post
    P Gary Majewski seems to have gotten over being in the World Baseball Classic and is generally pitching like he did last year.

    Nats’ ace Hernandez makes pitch for BrazilThe Wash. Times
    ¡LIVAN! is liking Brazil in the World Cup.



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    Nats take series in Atlanta, hire next year’s manager

    Cherry Blossoms 5 Peachtrees 2

    At Last, Nats Solve SmoltzThe Post
    P Ramon Oritz is on a roll. He won his fourth start in a row, over John Smoltz no less, to take two of three in Atlanta. Marlon Anderson homered in the sixth to put give the Nats an insurmountable lead. Daryle Ward doubled in two more in the ninth as well.

    More from The Wash. Times: Nats, Ortiz stay on a roll

    BoxscoreESPN


    Nats Add Former Orioles Manager as a ConsultantThe Post
    Frank Robinson’s caddies rejoice! Former Mets/Reds/Orioles/Dodgers manager Davey Johnson has been named “low-man on the totem pole” which apparently means he will help Jim Bowden at the trade deadline. What odds can I get that he finishes the season in the dugout?

    I am not sure how excited I am about Johnson taking over the reins. While he has won at 3 of 4 stops along the way, I think he seriously underachieved with the Mets. They should have been better than they were. I realize that he probably was not the guy saying, “Hey Daryl, check out this wicked nose candy” but still, they should have won more.

    More from The Wash. Times: Johnson hired as consultant


    Patterson Pleased by Rehab StartThe Post
    P John Patterson threw 55 pitches in a rehab start in Prince William County. He was happy. MissChatter celebrated her birthday there and took these photos. NFA has the coverage too.

    Bowden terms draft a successThe Wash. Times
    Jim Bowden says he is pleased with the draft, but what else would you expect him to say? The Wash. Examiner has Bowden in his own words

    Rick Snider: Nats appear to have future in focusThe Wash. Examiner
    Snider is pleased with the draft, but thinks Alfonso Soriano is untouchable. He also thinks that Montgomery County’s proposed ballpark ought to become the Nats AAA home. Um, no, but maybe AA. Here’s my idea, put AAA in Harrisburg and AA in Montgomery County.

    Nationals Say No to Underground ParkingThe Post
    No shocker here, the Lerners won’t bury the garages at the ballpark. I am disappointed, because this is pennywise-pound foolish, but them’s the breaks. The city is not happy either, but in the end, that is what they approved. Expecting the suburban mall developer to spend more money on underground garages might be just a little naive.

    PRESS RELEASEWashington Nationals Thanksgiving in June food collectionnationals.com
    If there is a Christmas In July, it only makes sense to have Thanksgiving in June. The Nats’ wives (and girlfriends?) are accepting canned goods during the Phillies series this weekend.

    Jim Williams: Mayor: MLB needs to up ante, get Nats on TVThe Wash. Examiner
    Williams interviews Williams — the 138th time Emmy winner has a Q&A with Mayor Tony Williams on the Nats TV situation.

    I can not help but post a few comments from yesterday’s Barry Svrluga chat (with emphasis added):
    20003: I believe you’ve commented in one of these chats that do you not frequently read any of the blogs that follow and comment on the team. Why not? There is some good writing and thinking about the team out there (junk too — but it’s not hard to sort out). While I realize you’re a reporter not a columnist, I would think the info and perspectives of these highly engaged writers would be useful to you.

    Barry Svrluga: You know, I have checked out a few of them, and there are a couple that are absolutely hysterical. These people obviously pay close attention to the team. I will say, though, that some of the dilligence of the writers seems to have lapsed recently. They don’t seem to be updated as much.

    And another one:

    Do you think they’ll label anyone untouchable outside of Dutch – if him? Would you?

    Barry Svrluga: Dutch Zimmerman? Still don’t get it.

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    Nats fall to Braves, 5-3; draft teenagers

    Soriano Dazzles, Baffles NationalsThe Post
    LF Alfonso Soriano made an error in the second that cost two runs and then hit a two run homer in the 5th. P Shawn Hill lost his second start of the year, giving up three earned runs over six innings.

    More from The Wash. Times: Nationals’ streak comes to an end

    BoxscoreESPN


    Nationals Seek Youth In Top PicksThe Post & Nats follow plan with draft picksThe Wash. Times
    The Nats drafted a bunch of kids yesterday. If you want more than the papers give you, go here and here for more.

    NATIONALS NOTEBOOKGuillen’s Road Back Takes TimeThe Post
    RF Jose Guillen admits he needed the time he spent on the DL. Manager Frank Robinson wonders when he will be game ready.
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    So, where is that commuter ferry?

    About a year ago The Post had an article about plans to have a commuter ferry on the Potomac by this spring. Having not heard anything as spring arrived, I tried to get some information out of the District Department of Transportation a few months ago. Here is the reply I recieved from them:

    Initially, the initiative was pulled back due to inadequacies in the initial request for the proposal, however the proposal is currently back in the contracting process. DDOT is currently working with the Anacostia Waterfront Administration, as well as the US Maritime Administration (MARAD) with the intent to get the service running by Summer 2006.

    The e-mail also included contact information for a DDOT employee involved with the project. I sent an e-mail to that person, but never heard back from him. Now, it is June 6 and nothing else has come out in the media, so don’t get you hopes up for taking a ferry ride into DC every morning anytime soon. If you have heard more, do let us know in the comments.

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