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I-66--a case study
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  • Abstract:
    The Arlington-Fairfax County section of 1-66 is similar to many

    urban highway projects, yet in many ways this project represents a

    milestone in urban transportation planning. 1-66, not unlike many

    others, required non-technical political groups to make difficult,

    technically complex decisions. These decisions took place over a

    long period of time, 1959-1979, during which the information base, as

    well as public attitudes reflected by local governmental poiicies•

    shifted. The decision process encompassed a large number of political

    jurisdictions from the federal level to the community civic associations,

    as well as a wide range of special interest groups varying in

    size from federal departm, ents to environmental action groups. Finally,

    the poliical process when faced with a very controversial decision•

    tried to hide behind its trusted friends; delay, debate and study.

    In spite of all of this, the project and its history are

    The final 1-66 facility, marked by litigation, build and no-build

    decisions and intense adversarial debate, would not be recognized

    by the 1959 highway planner. Some of the many individuals and groups

    which opposed the project claimed that they did not have an impact on

    the final result. Granted, these groups did not stop the project;

    however, the final design was altered dramatically by their opposition.

    1-66 was conceived and born during the 1950's highway era

    characterized by domestic preoccupation with congestion, the decay

    of the central city and flight to Zhe suburbs, it survived the late

    1960's and 1970's rebirth of transit age including citizen involvement,

    concern for the environment and the ener• crisis. The project

    survived by adapting and changing its role from a Los Angeles freeway

    to a multi-modal, •traffic managed facility.

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