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Proposed Southside Freeway in Arlington: What Could Have Been

This post explores the proposed Southside Freeway in Arlington which never came to be. Learn about the 1960 proposal, the public opinion, and why the highway never came to fruition in this post.
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Here’s an interesting proposal for the Southside Freeway in Arlington, which never came to be. This graphic is from The Washington Post printed on October 7th, 1960. That date, by the way, is when the famous Kennedy/Nixon presidential debate happened, being held at the WRC-TV NBC studios off of Nebraska Avenue.

Proposed highway in Arlington
Proposed highway in Arlington in 1960

Below is an excerpt from an article a couple days later about the Arlington County Board rejecting the proposed highway.

The unanimous vote ended a 3-hour public hearing which produced evidence that most Board members and many citizens questioned the practice of building more highways to handle mounting traffic problems. Strong sentiment was voiced that a mass transit system, with buses and rails replacing individual automobiles, may be the better long-run answer.

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Rather than spend $7 million on a freeway which might simply generate more traffic, the Board decided to wait and see what the new National Capital Transportation Agency can do and push for fast improvements on Columbia Pike and Shirley highway as alternate routes.

It would have required condemnation of several homes in the Rolfe st. area and would have sliced off an 80-acre segment of the Army-Navy Country Club.

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Ghosts of DC stories.