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Author Topic: District of Columbia  (Read 267025 times)

1995hoo

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Re: District of Columbia
« Reply #1025 on: December 20, 2020, 09:06:10 AM »

^^^^

In case it’s unclear, in the third-to-last picture, the Volvo SUV waiting at the stop sign is coming from Washington Boulevard and passing to the left of the new pork chop island using the new lane that goes to Memorial Avenue and the cemetery. The other SUV in that picture is in a thru lane that heads to the bridge without stopping or yielding.

Similarly, in the next-to-last picture, the Toyota sedan is passing to the left of the new pork chop island coming from the bridge and is about to encounter the stop sign seen in the picture; after stopping, he’ll enter what is now the single-lane circle and proceed towards Memorial Avenue.

In the last picture, someone who is coming from the cemetery who wants to head to US-50, the GW Parkway, or possibly I-395* would bear to the right via that lane that ends immediately. While you can’t see it here, the area is set up to discourage people coming from the bridge from cutting left at this point to bypass the stop sign the Toyota sedan was approaching. (*”Possibly I-395” denotes that from what I’ve observed, a lot of drivers exiting the cemetery who want I-395 or US-1 through Crystal City will simply cut a left turn right after the security checkpoint onto the loop ramp to southbound Route 110. It doesn’t look like that maneuver should be allowed, but nobody ever stops anyone from doing it. I’ve done it myself when exiting the cemetery.)

One big improvement is that traffic on the circle no longer has yield signs due to the new pork chop islands. Somewhat disappointing that traffic entering the circle via the new lanes has stop signs instead of yield signs, I suppose, but it seems like it ought to be less chaotic overall in the future. On the other hand, the stop sign in the fourth picture from the top with the red Dodge van struck me as utterly pointless because typically the volume of traffic coming around the circle at that spot is extremely low compared to the volume of traffic coming from Memorial Avenue (due to the exit ramp from Route 110)—the stop sign there seems like overkill to me.
« Last Edit: December 20, 2020, 09:08:48 AM by 1995hoo »
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"You know, you never have a guaranteed spot until you have a spot guaranteed."
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"That sounded stupid, didn't it?"—Kolzig, to the same reporter a few seconds later.

mrsman

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Re: District of Columbia
« Reply #1026 on: December 21, 2020, 12:08:07 PM »

It seems like a lot of very good improvements to safety in the area of Memorial Circle.

One pet peeve of mine for this area is the poor signage to guide people around to make sure that people are using the proper lanes to go around this mess.  The brown signs on the parkway are generally bad, but especially around this area where there are a lot of choices to be made between movments for Washington Blvd, GW Pkwy, US 50, Memorial Bridge, Arlington Cemertery and other points.
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Re: District of Columbia
« Reply #1027 on: December 22, 2020, 10:00:24 AM »

NPS is not exactly known for adequate signage.
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1995hoo

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Re: District of Columbia
« Reply #1028 on: December 22, 2020, 10:19:13 AM »

NPS is not exactly known for adequate signage.

Absolutely, and they've also made comments over the years about how the roads in that particular area "are not intended as commuter roads." That's nice, but they are commuter roads, like it or not.

One aesthetic positive: The new changes to the circle should hopefully eliminate the need for the NPS to have police officers out there moving sawhorses every day, though of course they'll still have to do that at the other end of the bridge at the bottom of the loop ramp and the connection to Rock Creek Parkway.
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"You know, you never have a guaranteed spot until you have a spot guaranteed."
—Olaf Kolzig, as quoted in the Washington Times on March 28, 2003,
commenting on the Capitals clinching a playoff spot.

"That sounded stupid, didn't it?"—Kolzig, to the same reporter a few seconds later.

NJRoadfan

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Re: District of Columbia
« Reply #1029 on: December 22, 2020, 11:41:17 AM »

Quite a few tourists drive through that circle. Having good signage is a must for them too. Speaking of roads that NPS claims aren't commuter roads, did they ever repave their part of the BW Parkway?
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jakeroot

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Re: District of Columbia
« Reply #1030 on: December 27, 2020, 10:39:32 PM »

My mother used to live in Court House, and she drove to work (issues with motion sickness on the metro). Her commute took her US-50 to the GW Pkwy, then the loop onto Memorial Ave, through the circle and over the bridge, around the Lincoln Memorial to Independence, where she turned left and headed into the District. Really a gorgeous commute that rarely had any traffic (mostly along Independence after passing the memorials, IIRC). It's funny to think the NPS doesn't consider these routes "commuter routes" when they definitely have commuters! Although as a route, yes, it maybe wasn't as crammed as the 395 bridges.
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1995hoo

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Re: District of Columbia
« Reply #1031 on: December 29, 2020, 07:38:07 AM »

Dave Dildine reports that the District has restriped inbound I-395 to eliminate the abrupt blind merge coming down the ramp from the Ninth Street Tunnel. The article also mentions various changes around Memorial Circle. No photos included.

I hated that merge out of the tunnel. Maybe this weekend I can check it out, although I’m not optimistic due in part to the bad weather forecast for Friday.
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"You know, you never have a guaranteed spot until you have a spot guaranteed."
—Olaf Kolzig, as quoted in the Washington Times on March 28, 2003,
commenting on the Capitals clinching a playoff spot.

"That sounded stupid, didn't it?"—Kolzig, to the same reporter a few seconds later.

froggie

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Re: District of Columbia
« Reply #1032 on: December 29, 2020, 10:22:37 AM »

The WTOP article has a nighttime photo where you can kinda see it.  Looks like the Maine Ave on-ramp merges, and then the 9th St Tunnel ramp gets its own lane.
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1995hoo

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Re: District of Columbia
« Reply #1033 on: December 29, 2020, 01:27:12 PM »

The WTOP article has a nighttime photo where you can kinda see it.  Looks like the Maine Ave on-ramp merges, and then the 9th St Tunnel ramp gets its own lane.


Yeah, I’d like to see it from road level.
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"You know, you never have a guaranteed spot until you have a spot guaranteed."
—Olaf Kolzig, as quoted in the Washington Times on March 28, 2003,
commenting on the Capitals clinching a playoff spot.

"That sounded stupid, didn't it?"—Kolzig, to the same reporter a few seconds later.

jakeroot

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Re: District of Columbia
« Reply #1034 on: December 29, 2020, 02:06:49 PM »

I wouldn't mind seeing the on-ramp from Independence onto the 9th St Tunnel restriped. Total blind merge with a massive wall to block your view. It's literally a stop-and-floor-it situation, or hit it full speed and hope for the best.
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davewiecking

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Re: District of Columbia
« Reply #1035 on: January 11, 2021, 04:45:33 PM »

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1995hoo

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Re: District of Columbia
« Reply #1036 on: January 11, 2021, 04:48:05 PM »

Center Leg Tunnel to become I-195:

https://wtop.com/dc-transit/2021/01/move-over-i-395-southeast-freeway-3rd-street-tunnel-to-be-renumbered/

I had some old maps from 40 years ago or so that listed the tunnel as I-195. Guess they'll finally be accurate, though I have no idea whether I still have any of them.
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"You know, you never have a guaranteed spot until you have a spot guaranteed."
—Olaf Kolzig, as quoted in the Washington Times on March 28, 2003,
commenting on the Capitals clinching a playoff spot.

"That sounded stupid, didn't it?"—Kolzig, to the same reporter a few seconds later.

cpzilliacus

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Re: District of Columbia
« Reply #1037 on: January 11, 2021, 07:14:42 PM »

Center Leg Tunnel to become I-195:

https://wtop.com/dc-transit/2021/01/move-over-i-395-southeast-freeway-3rd-street-tunnel-to-be-renumbered/

I had some old maps from 40 years ago or so that listed the tunnel as I-195. Guess they'll finally be accurate, though I have no idea whether I still have any of them.

I have never seen a sign reading I-195 in D.C.
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1995hoo

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Re: District of Columbia
« Reply #1038 on: January 12, 2021, 07:44:23 AM »

Center Leg Tunnel to become I-195:

https://wtop.com/dc-transit/2021/01/move-over-i-395-southeast-freeway-3rd-street-tunnel-to-be-renumbered/

I had some old maps from 40 years ago or so that listed the tunnel as I-195. Guess they'll finally be accurate, though I have no idea whether I still have any of them.

I have never seen a sign reading I-195 in D.C.

I haven’t either, but I’ve absolutely seen it on maps. Dave Dildine said he’s heard the same from other people.

Of course, then you have the people (Bob Marbourg being the most vocal until he retired) who insist—wrongly, IMO—that having I-695 in DC is just too confusing because of the Baltimore Beltway. So those people should surely object to I-195 as well since another route of that name serves BWI. (There’s also an I-395 in Baltimore, of course, but there were no complaints about that.) Can't use I-495 because of the Capital Beltway (that would indeed be confusing for people, IMO). Can’t use I-595 because of the possibility that the unsigned one in Maryland is someday signed, like DC's I-695. Can’t use I-795 or 895 since those are used near Baltimore.

Clearly, then, the tunnel must be numbered I-995.


Edited to add: I stand by the comment I made in response to Dr. Gridlock's 2012 column about the posting of I-695, which is linked in the Wikipedia article about DC's I-695. It's probably paywalled, so I'll post some excerpts:

Quote
Dear Dr. Gridlock:

I am in town visiting family and am very familiar with the area. There is a sign [nearing the 11th Street bridge] labeled “I-695 to I-395.” The last time I checked, Interstate 695 is the Baltimore Beltway, which most certainly does not connect to Interstate 395. I know the sign should say Interstate 295, but a tourist or out-of-towner might not.

Donella Oleston, Seattle

Ms. Oleston's letter made me think she is a pompous moron.

Dr. Gridlock's response talked about the history of the I-695 number in DC and then concluded with the following:

Quote
Even knowledgeable drivers such as Oleston might think they’ve discovered some interstate wormhole that’s about to deposit them on the Baltimore Beltway, another I-695 that’s 35 miles to the north.

A driver from New York might look at the I-695 sign and think of a highway spur in the Bronx. The Federal Highway Administration uses the three digits to mark spurs or loops that connect with the main route. I-95’s route is so long that three-digit numbers repeat themselves. Southbound drivers looping around Boston via Interstate 495 might think they’ve saved a lot of time and gas reaching the Capital Beltway.

And don’t think those unsigned interstates are so weird, either. A driver leaving 295 for eastbound Route 50 in Prince George’s County might be aware that it’s also known as the John Hanson Highway but might not know its stealth designation: Interstate 595.

Some of those points struck me as ludicrous because 3di numbers have been duplicated across jurisdictions for many years, certainly since before I was born. I posted the following comment:

Quote
Dr. Gridlock, I have to say this time I find your analysis a little lacking when you suggest that the duplicate three-digit Interstate numbers in different states/cities might confuse people. First, I think if someone's confused between I-495 in Massachusetts and the DC Beltway that person probably isn't intelligent enough to have a driver's license. Second and more importantly, we've had I-395 in Virginia/DC (the major commuter route) and Baltimore (the spur route leading to Camden Yards) for years with no problem. Same for I-195 in Richmond and near BWI Airport. Same with I-295 in DC/Maryland, Delaware/New Jersey, New York...... etc.
 
The most important point with respect to DC's I-695, however, is that the vast majority of the people who will encounter the sign are local drivers who know where they're going regardless of what the sign says. (Consider that even the person who wrote the letter you printed admits that she knew where she was going and was merely taken aback by the sign.) The long-distance drivers who either seldom drive in this area or who drive through DC and Baltimore once or twice a year at Thanksgiving time and maybe on a summer vacation are unlikely ever to encounter DC's I-695 because they'll be swinging around DC on the Beltway (either because their sat-navs take them that way or because it's the only way they know). The chances of any real confusion are thus seriously minimized. I'd also suggest that when the overhead sign says "I-695 to I-395/Capitol Hill" it's simply not reasonable for a driver to think he's suddenly in Baltimore in defiance of all common sense. Capitol Hill is not in Baltimore!
« Last Edit: January 12, 2021, 09:28:15 AM by 1995hoo »
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"You know, you never have a guaranteed spot until you have a spot guaranteed."
—Olaf Kolzig, as quoted in the Washington Times on March 28, 2003,
commenting on the Capitals clinching a playoff spot.

"That sounded stupid, didn't it?"—Kolzig, to the same reporter a few seconds later.

Henry

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Re: District of Columbia
« Reply #1039 on: January 12, 2021, 10:56:40 AM »

This comes just ten years after I-695 signs went up for the first time...I agree that DC just missed its opportunity to sign the first-ever I-995.
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jmacswimmer

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Re: District of Columbia
« Reply #1040 on: January 12, 2021, 11:15:00 AM »

Of course, then you have the people (Bob Marbourg being the most vocal until he retired) who insist—wrongly, IMO—that having I-695 in DC is just too confusing because of the Baltimore Beltway. So those people should surely object to I-195 as well since another route of that name serves BWI. (There’s also an I-395 in Baltimore, of course, but there were no complaints about that.)
Those people could even make the case that I-195 is more confusing since unlike I-695, there's also another I-195 down in Richmond in addition to the Baltimore one!   :pan:

This comes just ten years after I-695 signs went up for the first time...I agree that DC just missed its opportunity to sign the first-ever I-995.
Clearly, then, the tunnel must be numbered I-995.
Agreed...what a missed opportunity to give I-95 a complete set of children (and most importantly, allow my avatar to finally see the light of day  :bigass:)
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1995hoo

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Re: District of Columbia
« Reply #1041 on: January 12, 2021, 11:19:14 AM »

Of course, then you have the people (Bob Marbourg being the most vocal until he retired) who insist—wrongly, IMO—that having I-695 in DC is just too confusing because of the Baltimore Beltway. So those people should surely object to I-195 as well since another route of that name serves BWI. (There’s also an I-395 in Baltimore, of course, but there were no complaints about that.)
Those people could even make the case that I-195 is more confusing since unlike I-695, there's also another I-195 down in Richmond in addition to the Baltimore one!   :pan:

....

Definitely true. I would say that to Dave Dildine except that 240 characters isn't enough space and I don't want to be bothered with a string of tweets cataloguing the various x95s.
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"You know, you never have a guaranteed spot until you have a spot guaranteed."
—Olaf Kolzig, as quoted in the Washington Times on March 28, 2003,
commenting on the Capitals clinching a playoff spot.

"That sounded stupid, didn't it?"—Kolzig, to the same reporter a few seconds later.

mrsman

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Re: District of Columbia
« Reply #1042 on: January 12, 2021, 01:18:10 PM »

I welcome the changes proposed in the article.  DC's 695 will be no more and will instead become part of 395 that will now end at DC 295/I-295.  The spur route through the 3rd street tunnel is now its own number, I-195, and is meant for local traffic.

The trick to making all of this work is through good signage and hopefully proper use of control cities.

1) See this sign at what will be the future end of I-395:

https://www.google.com/maps/@38.8721785,-76.9900146,3a,75y,150.74h,90.31t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1sLSYeU6V5jiYrYE8Y8aAUXA!2e0!7i16384!8i8192

It would be helpful if all of the shields are on one line at the top and then leaving room for control cities.

I-295 SOUTH to 95 495                   DC-295 NORTH to 50
National Harbor                               Baltimore
Alexandria                                       Annapolis

2) This sign at the future southern end of I-195, the left sign should be changed to repace 695 with 395 and to add in the control cities of Anacostia and Baltimore.

https://www.google.com/maps/@38.8848448,-77.0127492,3a,75y,202.17h,90t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1sNiv-cDjs_VczvyrL__UX9Q!2e0!7i16384!8i8192

3) And, of course, probably the worst sign bridge with regards to confusion:

https://www.google.com/maps/@38.8823739,-77.0186257,3a,75y,102.85h,88.45t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1si9ozz-x0Enr5-VeQ0Ws5Iw!2e0!7i16384!8i8192

This needs a total redo.  There is just too much information for out of town drivers to understand at high speed.  Information overload.  I would do this:

                                              EXIT ???                  Vertical Clearance HM
395 NORTH to 295  295           C Street S.W.*           195 NORTH
Anacostia                                US Capitol                 US Senate
Baltimore                                The House                 Union Station
v        v                v                 EXIT v  ONLY                 v

<I'd get rid of the sign for S Capitol Street, but leave it at the next sign bridge.  The information for all of the different train services at Union Station should either be removed completely or put on a roadside sign, not on the sign bridge.  I'd remove the reference to D St NW as that is now an exit for 195 north on the other side of the tunnel.  The Union Station wording on this sign is helpful to guide people to the train station and will allow total removal of the sign with all of the train services from the sign bridge.>

*  I am not a fan of signing C Street here, as the C street by this exit is closed to traffic (except House members and staff).  IMO Washington Ave SW would be better here, as well as any exit for D street SW that exists for those traveling along the SW freeway in the westbound direction.  It would mean that both exits would have the same name and it would lessen confusion for those heading to the exits for C street NW or D street NW to reach the Senate office bulidings.   I rarely drive by it, but I'm sure the following sign bridge is also confusing:

https://www.google.com/maps/@38.883712,-77.0120596,3a,75y,0.08h,90t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1sLS40AMcFoCuFj2j6YhK26Q!2e0!7i16384!8i8192
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Jmiles32

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Re: District of Columbia
« Reply #1043 on: January 12, 2021, 01:23:15 PM »

Of course, then you have the people (Bob Marbourg being the most vocal until he retired) who insist—wrongly, IMO—that having I-695 in DC is just too confusing because of the Baltimore Beltway. So those people should surely object to I-195 as well since another route of that name serves BWI. (There’s also an I-395 in Baltimore, of course, but there were no complaints about that.)
Those people could even make the case that I-195 is more confusing since unlike I-695, there's also another I-195 down in Richmond in addition to the Baltimore one!   :pan:

Furthermore, the distance between these I-195s will actually be a few miles closer than the I-695s are currently.
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Re: District of Columbia
« Reply #1044 on: January 12, 2021, 03:20:48 PM »

I remember some maps showing the Interstate 395 designation following the Southeast Freeway, despite the fact that it has always been Interstate 695 (even if it was unsigned until 2011). I'm not sure if the renumbering will make much of a difference. Perhaps when the Southwest and the Southeast Freeways were constructed, the freeways could have been built so that Interstate 395 (then 95) seamlessly transitioned from the Southwest Freeway into the Center Leg Freeway (and vice versa), and that one had to exit to continue to and from the Southeast Freeway; the opposite of how it was constructed. Personally, I would leave the existing numbers as-is.
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1995hoo

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Re: District of Columbia
« Reply #1045 on: January 12, 2021, 04:34:17 PM »

With the redesigned 11th Street Bridge, they could almost do away with I-395 altogether and have I-295 run from where it currently does up over the bridge and then back down what is now I-395 to the Springfield Interchange. But the I-395 number is so entrenched that it would be a radical change, whereas getting rid of I-695 would not be.
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"You know, you never have a guaranteed spot until you have a spot guaranteed."
—Olaf Kolzig, as quoted in the Washington Times on March 28, 2003,
commenting on the Capitals clinching a playoff spot.

"That sounded stupid, didn't it?"—Kolzig, to the same reporter a few seconds later.

Roadsguy

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Re: District of Columbia
« Reply #1046 on: January 12, 2021, 05:27:33 PM »

With the redesigned 11th Street Bridge, they could almost do away with I-395 altogether and have I-295 run from where it currently does up over the bridge and then back down what is now I-395 to the Springfield Interchange. But the I-395 number is so entrenched that it would be a radical change, whereas getting rid of I-695 would not be.

I'd leave 295 alone since I-295 and DC 295 function as a single route as-is. A better option would be replacing 395 in VA with 695, leaving 395 on just the spur through the 3rd Street Tunnel.

What they're doing is probably less confusing for the public, though, and doesn't require VDOT's involvement. I do agree that they should've gone with 995 though. :)
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Re: District of Columbia
« Reply #1047 on: January 12, 2021, 05:38:29 PM »

Plus Virginia already uses I-295, so you can't just extend that number along I-695 and I-395.
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1995hoo

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Re: District of Columbia
« Reply #1048 on: January 12, 2021, 06:36:56 PM »

Plus Virginia already uses I-295, so you can't just extend that number along I-695 and I-395.

An excellent point. How the heck did I overlook that?  :spin:

I suppose there’s a valid question whether the tunnel even needs an Interstate number.
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"You know, you never have a guaranteed spot until you have a spot guaranteed."
—Olaf Kolzig, as quoted in the Washington Times on March 28, 2003,
commenting on the Capitals clinching a playoff spot.

"That sounded stupid, didn't it?"—Kolzig, to the same reporter a few seconds later.

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Re: District of Columbia
« Reply #1049 on: January 12, 2021, 08:08:56 PM »

With the redesigned 11th Street Bridge, they could almost do away with I-395 altogether and have I-295 run from where it currently does up over the bridge and then back down what is now I-395 to the Springfield Interchange. But the I-395 number is so entrenched that it would be a radical change, whereas getting rid of I-695 would not be.

I'd leave 295 alone since I-295 and DC 295 function as a single route as-is.

This is true and another improvement that was enabled when 695 was first signed over the SE Fwy.  I always thought if confusing that based on the original construction DC-295 was a spur off of I-295.  It is much easier to view the Anacostia Fwy - Kenilworth Ave expy - and BW Pkwy as one roadway, ideally with one number.

And we do come close to that.  From National Harbor, you have I-295 that then defaults onto DC-295 north of the I-695 interchange, then for a short bit, once you cross the MD line, you are on MD-201, and then onto unnumbered BW Pkwy run by the National Park Service, and then once you are north of MD-175, you are on MD-295 until you hit Russell Street as the gateway to Downtown Baltimore.

Of course, it would be far better if the whole road were simply 295, and the NPS route were also numbered as NPS-295.  That would really tie the whole corridor together.
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