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CommodoreBeta t1_jdyqw8w wrote

It wouldn’t have made it past those five stations if it had been first built today.


Yellowdog727 t1_jdyvt2o wrote

It would take them 12 years and billions of dollars over budget and they would only build a light rail system and brt


SandBoxJohn t1_je02nk6 wrote

The original date for the ground braking of the first segment of the system was to originally be on 10 01 1968. However the chairman (William Natcher (D 2D KY) of the DC Subcommittee of the House Appropriation Committee blocked funding in exchange for building the never built systems of freeway in DC. The impasse ended on 11 25 1969 when President Richard Nixon (R) told him to back down. Ground was broken on 12 09 1969 a week after the first construction contract was awarded.


madmoneymcgee t1_je1wias wrote

I read The Great Society Subway last year and a few things stood out:

  1. The relative lack of control the local governments had did help. It really was a federal project and local places either got in line or they got nothing. And no one really wanted to be left out so that's how we got all 5 (now 6) lines. You notice when the Feds had political leaders who liked metro things went better and when you had leaders who didn't then things slowed down a lot.
  2. Every time they tried to cut costs by rerouting or abandoning a line they ended up either not saving any money or finding out the original plan was probably the best all along.
  3. Bus service today suffers because it was forced to be part of metro after the fact and was never really integrated that well in terms of an overall service philosophy. They were promised as a better replacement for the city's streetcar system but never actually given a chance to do so.
  4. NPS has always been a villain when it comes to Metro. They fought hard against a "Smithsonian" station at all much less an entrance actually on the mall. Can you imagine?

keithsy t1_je11td4 wrote

That is your govt. that many people love.


RemoteGlobal335 t1_jdyv3a2 wrote

Any DC historians know why those locations were chosen to be the first stations?


Bendragonpants t1_jdyv9un wrote

My guess is that union station and Rhode Island Ave were included bc of preexisting tracks


blacksheepghost t1_je1hvxu wrote

Also metro has a train depot just south of RI Ave. I assume that's why it went there specifically.


SoonerLater85 t1_je2t2eb wrote

Yup, they wanted to have Union Station open first and they needed a rail yard. Dupont Circle was supposed to be included in the initial opening as well but was delayed because of flood damage.


OllieOllieOxenfry t1_je0bz2j wrote

I wonder how much progress we will make on expanding metro in the next 50 years.


gnocchicotti t1_je02v43 wrote

Blue Line looked a lot different back then


azureai t1_je04dlj wrote

Wow - it didn't even include Gallery Place/Chinatown...


TimAppleBurner OP t1_je07akv wrote

I watched a video on it last night after seeing this photo on Facebook. Gallery Place was under construction, but it was not finished. It would open later that year on December 16th. They did not want the rest of the system to be held up by this stop, so it did not open at the same time as the rest of them.


Cythrosi t1_je1eocp wrote

I believe WMATA wanted to open it, but the elevators weren't ready and they were forced to wait until they were operational to open the station.


Cooking_with_MREs t1_je4kdpz wrote

That's interesting, so did the red line run through and still being constructed Gallery Place? Like would passengers see it in the train.


damnatio_memoriae t1_je5ggv4 wrote

i believe they built a completely separate track to bypass the station altogether so as to not spoil the surprise.


FRSftw t1_je0r8p3 wrote

We overestimate how much we can do in the short term and underestimate what we can do over decades.


Baby_compost t1_je03em4 wrote

If only we kept expanding it at the same speed as before


CTVolvo t1_je2u8fj wrote

First rode Metro in 1977. It only ran on Monday - Friday. No weekend service.


pfdemp t1_je37794 wrote

I was a student at GWU at the time. Remember the streets around campus all dug up as they built the blue line.


orion2145 t1_je343o7 wrote

‘The primary purpose of transit is really to move people commuting from the burbs to the city center’ /s


keithsy t1_je11njv wrote

It is not in good hands.