The District of Columbia is considering
tearing down one of the city’s major highways. Their reasoning? It’s ugly.
The District Department of Transportation has
launched a feasibility study to evaluate the effects of demolishing the
Whitehurst Freeway, which carries more than 40,000 vehicles a day, in order to
add bus-only lanes to nearby K Street, The
Associated Press reported. It would cost an estimated $58 million to
tear down the roadway.
According to the DOT’s Web site, the study is
examining a number of factors that would be affected by the roadway, including
an increased traffic-handling ability and improved pedestrian access to nearby
Georgetown University. However, one of the key elements outlined is to “improve
urban design and visual environment by minimizing the presence of visual
barriers at the waterfront.”
The DOT has partnered with several interest groups in the area, who say
the roadway is an eyesore, and that tearing it down would better serve the
community. However, others claim an “ugly” roadway isn’t top priority in a city
with other socio-economic problems.
“Ugly maybe, but broken no,” Mark Blumenthal, a Georgetown employee and
nearby resident, told The AP. “For me, it isn’t worth the cost in a city that can’t fix its schools.”