That would be Delegate and Republican senatorial candidate Bob Marshall of Prince William County. Today, on WTOP’s Politics Program With Mark Plotkin, Marshall was a guest, and Plotkin asked what he, as the junior senator from Virginia, could do to help Virginia’s notorious transportation problems.
Volunteered Marshall, I’d build I-95 through D.C.
Let’s set aside for a moment that Marshall is proposing building a potentially six-or-more lane freeway through a jurisdiction he would not have been elected to represent. And let’s ignore the billions of dollars it would cost. Maybe even we can forget that such a road would, if not destroy their homes and parkland, disrupt the lives of hundreds of District and Maryland residents for years. And we’ll even forget this would have unproven effects of Virginia traffic. How ’bout the fact the people stopped this more than three decades ago and no credible proposal for an inner-city highway has been proposed in D.C.—-or virtually anywhere else in America—-since.
The way portrayed it, Marshall said it would simply be a matter of dusting off plans prepared in the early 1970s, and in fact proposed doing so to former Maryland Gov. Parris Glendening and former Mayor Marion Barry some years ago. The excellent Web site Roads to the Future describes what those plans entailed:
If I-95 had been completed according to the original plans, it would have continued from the Center Leg to north of New York Avenue, and it would have junctioned the North Leg of the Inner Loop, turned east, and followed the North Leg, which would have paralleled the New York Avenue corridor, about a block to the north of it. At the B&O Railroad corridor (today’s CSX Transportation), I-95 would have turned northward as the North Central Freeway, following the railroad corridor to beyond the Brookland area, being tunneled (cut and cover) for 3/4 mile from south of Rhode Island Avenue to north of Michigan Avenue, then leaving the railroad corridor at Fort Totten Park, heading northeast into Maryland as the Northeast Freeway, passing west of Hyattsville and College Park before junctioning I-495 at the I-95/I-495 interchange that was completed in 1971. I-95 would have had 10 lanes on the North Leg and North Central Freeway, and 8 lanes on the Northeast Freeway.
Plotkin seemed as taken aback at the idea as LL, and he asked Marshall to confirm that he was in fact proposing pushing a freeway through the middle of residential Washington.
Marshall confirmed he was, “along with a corridor for light rail, correct,” he said.
Oh, light rail (along a corridor already served by Metro’s Red and Green lines)—-it’s all good, then, Bob.