The folks over at 8664.org put together a “By The Numbers” list of the bridges project. Here are a few highlights:
32,000—current average daily truck traffic through Spaghetti Junction
23—lanes of traffic in the proposed expanded Spaghetti Junction, years Mayor Abramson has successfully delayed the East End Bridge
75 feet—I-64 would be widened by this amount over the Great Lawn
1/2—the cost of 8664 versus the Ohio River Bridges Project (ORBP), the number of bridges 8664 requires compared to ORBP
$2,000,000,000—the cost for 23 lanes of Spaghetti Junction
Read the rest of the chart over at the 8664.org web site. They also brought to our attention a couple of videos the Build the Bridges coalition produced a couple months ago. There are a couple renderings of the the new bridges and PR piece with locals talking about their horror-story commutes. Many talk about crashes that shut down bridges, like the barge crash this morning. We wonder, though, how traffic will be any better if the new I-65 Bridge is shut down from a crash and everyone is still sitting in a huge Spaghetti Junction. Final note, the downtown bridge flyovers carefully avoid showing too much of the massive interchange behind, instead going for the green riverfront angles, instead.
Anyone still talking about putting big money into any kind of highway expansion project is living in a world divorced from the realities of this century…we're probably within months of a complete financial collapse, peak oil is here and we're long past the point where these kinds of discussions should even be given airtime. This country (and our political "leadership") needs to pull its head out of its ass and realize that large-scale automobile transport will soon go the way of the dinosaurs; you can't run cars and trucks on "hope," and there are no promising technologies that we have the time to implement before the oil/money/international goodwill runs out. They need to be talking about passenger rail, river and sail transport of goods, relocalization and retooling the "big three" to build bicycles. There's your "green economy!"
This is so frustrating. Everywhere I go I see constant expansion for increased car traffic and little if anything done to accommodate even the current level of bicycle and pedestrian traffic. It’s just maddening. There are so many examples in the world of cities lowering the level of car access and accommodations to the overall benefit to the businesses and people in and around them.
Why the hell should the general public consider public transportation or bicycle commuting when all the city does is give them more reasons to drive?
So much of this cash could/should be used for effective and well thought out transit lines – Lines that actually go from somwehere where people live to where they work (and beyond).
But it looks like this monstronsity is almosty a done deal. The problem as I ee it is how it overwhelms the park below. So much of this can be solved by stacking lanes on top of each other. Double decking it as it were, Shermin – Minton Bridge style. No doubt that it becomes a more serious engineering effort, but here is DC, we are rich with multiple level interchanges. They are intrinsically easier to naviate also.