Dec. 29-31 2010

Inside the first of 2 tunnels going southbound on I-395 in Washington, DC.

An exit to 3rd Street from I-395.

The BGS on the right speaks of the Capitol, but like I said, we didn't get many views of the building.

Now we're under the landscaping for the United States Tax Court, but up ahead is the second full-tilt tunnel on I-395: the 3rd Street Tunnel. You can see the 3rd Street Tunnel going under D Street and the Department of Labor building.

The 3rd Street Tunnel also goes under the National Mall, and one side of it even goes under the Capitol Reflecting Pool. (Why is it called the National Mall when it doesn't have a Waldenbooks?)

Continuing on I-395.

A look back on I-395 near the Southeast Freeway (unsigned I-695) interchange.

I-395 approaching the Maine Avenue exit. I-395 here is the Southwest Freeway.

Crossing Washington Channel on the Francis Case Memorial Bridge, the bridge in the foreground is the 14th Street span that carries US 1. The cityscape though is of Arlington, VA - specifically, the Rosslyn area of central Arlington. Arlington has over 200,000 people - but it's not a city. You know that? Arlington is actually Arlington County: It can't incorporate as a city because of an arcane Virginia law that bans forming cities from counties with a high population density. (Nearby Fairfax County has considered becoming a city even though it's far less urban.) I don't know what the purpose of this law is, but there's some speculation that the law stays in place to keep Arlington from doing much about high housing costs.

Arlington was once part of the District of Columbia. It was returned to Virginia in 1847.

We're still in the District, and here we zipped by the beautiful Thomas Jefferson Memorial.

"Well..." They're talking about the Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport here, folks.

Crossing the Potomac River to Arlington's Crystal City section. Arlington has at least 2 major clusters of skyscrapers - but it's not a city. We're on I-395's George Mason Bridge, which opened in 1962. This span has a pedestrian path on the right, and in 1989, DC tried using this path to march alleged prostitutes out of the city.

Entering Arlington. But it's not a city.

As we cross into Virginia, we're always faced with the "Virginia lecture" - which usually includes the pointless "RADAR DETECTORS ILLEGAL" Allowed Cloud.

A view of the Pentagon. It looks like it still has some scaffolding following 9/11 damage.

Peep this unusual left-hand exit from I-395 in Arlington. But it still ain't a city! That ramp goes to US 1 south - which in the 1970s was slated to become I-595. But that project wasn't built as planned, because of public opposition that resulted in a lawsuit.

This website celebrates not just roads but also public art. This tusk-like sculpture along I-395 near VA 27 in Arlington is the United States Air Force Memorial.

VA 27 (Washington Boulevard) in Arlington. VA 27 right here is nearly a freeway - if not fully a freeway.

VA 27 goes under US 50. The ramp ahead goes to US 50 west.

US 50 is Arlington Boulevard in Arlington. Much of it is a surface street, though it does have a freeway-style interchange here to VA 120 - the dreaded Glebe Road.

VA 7 (Broad Street) in Falls Church, VA, which has been an independent city since 1948.

VA 7 at US 29 in Falls Church. Note the old VA 7 cutout. Virginia still used cutouts relatively late, but they've become uncommon even in the Old Dominion.

Northeast on US 29 (Washington Street) in Falls Church.

Continuing on US 29.

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