Sunday, November 29, 2009

Say it ain't so...

The editor of Greater Greater Washington pulled up a proposal for the future of the Washington Metro. The map came from the mid-'90's from a community politician. Most notably, "it envisioned a rich white person's subway", says the website's editor, noting the fact that the two new lines, the Beltway and a line from Annandale through the Northwest (and this politician's grounds) to Wheaton, which serves said demographic. Remember, these are demographics from 15 years ago.

This is in start contrast to the 'dreamer' maps of today, which focus on new lines to the 'underserved' esat side of town and mid-city. Of course, 15 years ago, a riot may have been around the corner...
Naturally, the 1968 riots caused many to flee the inner city, if not the city writ large. Development in the city, other than the construction of 'projects' for the displaced, was focused on downtown areas soon to be served by the multibillion dollar Metro. Most guys like Foulger and Pollin made their fortune in developing the northwestern suburbs, which yielded way to Washington's silicon valleys on the Dulles Corridor in Virginia and the I-270 Corridor in Maryland. Long story short, biotech and computer firms held more promise in the '80's and '90's than an arts district in a gritty neighborhood. If you build office space, will they move into the nieghborhood? No. 1992 riots. Put off hope of repopulating your inner city. And that was when this politician made the map.

Ranked by seriousness, it was only a practice activity for the consulting firm which probably drew it up pro bono.

The politician endorses big development projects but does not endorse the map.

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