Join

Morning Poll: Should Route 1 Go Underground Instead?

Our reporting yesterday about plans to eliminate Route 1 overpasses in Crystal City and replace them with more urban-style, at-grade intersections was greeted with some skepticism.

Though the idea of making Route 1 — also known as Richmond Highway — more of an “urban boulevard” as Amazon moves in may seem appealing at first glance, the prospect of crossing the busy commuter route to get to and from the Crystal City Metro Station, as opposed to just walking underneath as one can currently on 18th Street, elicited some strong opinions.

https://twitter.com/janefgreen/status/1179021430450802688

There is, as some have suggested, another option, though it would be considerably more expensive: send Route 1 underground instead and build something pedestrian-oriented on top.

As seen in the illustration above, the original 2010 Crystal City Sector Plan actually presented a vision of Route 1 below grade, with roundabouts and some green space on top, at least at one intersection. It’s not an outdated concept — sending highways below ground and putting parks on top is a noted, recent urban design trend.

And it doesn’t need to be a park. Perhaps a pedestrian promenade surrounded by retail, restaurants and entertainment options — like the popular Third Street in Santa Monica — would work as the area grows. It could extend all the way from 12th Street to after 23rd Street, becoming a hub rather than a hindrance between the Crystal City and Pentagon City neighborhoods.

Undoubtedly, such a project would be expensive. And it would be disruptive in the short term. But would it be worth it, in your opinion?

Recent Stories

If you’re thinking about purchasing an Electric Vehicle or would like to know more, stop by the Arlington Drive Electric event September 25 at Kenmore Middle School.

A group of Marines in their dress blue uniforms braved floodwaters along Columbia Pike to help a stranded motorist. Video of the rescue has gone viral on TikTok, racking up…

A nice late summer weekend is on tap as we start to dry out tonight after a soggy couple of days. Autumn officially begins on Wednesday, and the forecast currently…

The past, present, and future of Columbia Pike is rather easy to see.

×

Subscribe to our mailing list