« PreviousContinue »
MATERIAL SUBMITTED FOR THE RECORD
National Capital Transportation Agency, Hon. Walter J. McCarter, Ad-
Columbia Heights Citizens Association, Mrs. Lillian Howard, president,
AMEND THE NATIONAL CAPITAL TRANSPORTATION
ACT OF 1965
WEDNESDAY, JULY 26, 1967
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES,
COMMITTEE ON THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA,
SUBCOMMITTEE No. 4,
The subcommittee met, pursuant to call, at 10 a.m., in room 1310 Longworth House Office Building, Hon. Basil L. Whitener (chairman of the subcommittee) presiding.
Present: Representatives Whitener, Gude, and Steiger.
Also present: James T. Clark, clerk; Sara Watson, assistant counsel; Donald Tubridy, minority clerk, and Leonard O. Hilder, investigator. Mr. WHITENER. The subcommittee will come to order. We will proceed with the hearing on the bill, H.R. 11395, to amend the National Capital Transportation Act of 1965.
(H.R. 11395 follows:)
[H.R. 11395, 90th Cong., 1st sess., by Mr. Whitener on July 12, 1967]
A BILL To amend the National Capital Transportation Act of 1965 authorizing the prosecution of a transit development program for the National Capital region and to further the objectives of the Act of July 14, 1960
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That, in accordance with section 204(c) of the Act of July 14, 1960 (40 U.S.C. 664(c); 74 Stat. 540), section 3(b) of the National Capital Transportation Act of 1965 (40 U.S.C. 681; 79 Stat. 664) is hereby amended to read as follows:
"SEC. 3. (b) The work authorized by this section shall be subject to the provisions of the National Capital Transportation Act of 1960, shall be carried out substantially in accordance with the plans and schedules contained in the aforesaid report, as modified in the report of the Agency entitled 'Revised Transit Development Program for the Nation's Capital, 1967', and shall be subject to the following:"
Mr. WHITENER. As I understand it, we have as our sole witness today Hon. Walter J. McCarter, Administrator of the National Capital Transportation Agency.
Mr. McCarter, please come around. As you know, the House goes into session at 11:00 a.m. today. If you do not complete your testimony, we will hear you another day. Also, at that time if there are other witnesses who want to be heard, we shall hear them.
STATEMENT OF HON. WALTER J. MCCARTER, ADMINISTRATOR, NATIONAL CAPITAL TRANSPORTATION AGENCY
Mr. MCCARTER. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. Chairman and Members of the committee, I am Walter J. McCarter, Administrator of the National Capital Transportation
Agency. I appear today in support of H.R. 11395, proposed legislation "to amend the National Capital Transportation Act of 1965 authorizing the prosecution of a transit development program for the National Capital region and to further the objectives of the Act of July 14, 1960."
In addition, I would like to report to you on the progress which has been made to date on the authorized program.
The National Capital Transportation Act of 1965-Public Law 89-173, approved Sept. 8, 1965, 79 Stat. 663-authorized the National Capital Transportation System to provide for the establishment of the system of rail rapid transit lines and related facilities described in the Agency's report entitled "Rail Rapid Transit for the Nation's Capital, January 1965."
H.R. 11395 would modify that system in two material respects: (1) by adding a line to serve the new and rapidly growing concentration of Federal employment in Southwest Washington, and (2) by deleting the presently authorized Columbia Heights route. The modifications are described in detail in a report entitled "Revised Transit Development Program for the Nation's Capital, 1967" which was transmitted to the Congress by the Agency on July 12, 1967. It is requested that the report be made a part of the hearing record. Copies of the report have been furnished to each Member of the Committee and to the Committee staff.
With your permission, I should like first to report to you on the status of the authorized system, before urging the changes which I feel should be made. My background and experience of more than 45 years in the transit business, additional information not available when the 1965 plan was formulated, and some rather startling changes within the city of Washington, have all combined to produce my recommendations for changes in that plan. I feel that you should have this report, and I believe that my report will be of assistance to you in reaching a decision about the changes.
I was appointed Administrator of NCTA in May 1965, not long after this committee had approved NCTA's Transit Development Program 1965. The legislation passed the House in July, the Senate in August, and on September 8, 1965, it was approved by the President (P.L. 89-173). Shortly thereafter, in October, Congress appropriated funds to permit the start of engineering and other work along the long path to actual construction.
In the course of reviewing our request for funds for 1966, the Chairman and Members of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Interior and Related Agencies expressed concern whether or not certain traffic or patronage estimates of the Agency were sufficiently current or had been established by adequately sophisticated techniques. I was directed to arrange for an independent, professional study of probable patronage. This was welcome direction inasmuch as I felt that the results of the study would be of assistance to me in the review of the 1965 plan which I knew I must make. I had doubts about some elements of the 1965 plan. Pursuant to this direction from the Appropriations Subcommittee, I arranged for a study by an outstanding firm of traffic engineers.
At about the same time contracts were negotiated with highly competent general engineering consultants and with equally able architects to press ahead with the work to be done before detailed design and actual construction could be undertaken. A contract was negotiated for a comprehensive program of soils testing to obtain information about subsurface conditions essential to subway design.
I am pleased to report that we have completed, in a span of only 18 months, the aerial mapping, the base line control surveys, and the general plans--with the definitive calculated alignments and profilesfor those routes scheduled for early construction. In addition, directive drawings, design criteria, and standard construction specifications are complete.
Just last week our soils consultant completed our current drilling program with respect to all elements of the system not involved in the proposed changes which are before you today. You will be interested to learn that subsurface conditions in Washington are not nearly as bad as rumor and speculation might have us believe. With 440 test holes drilled, and with a test pit deep beneath Lafayette Park, we have found acceptable water conditions, generally an alluvial soil, and in some part of the city excellent rock which will be of advantage during construction. I have samples of some of that rock here if anyone wants to see it. Previous assumptions, based upon less extensive testing, have been validated.
Approvals in varying stages involving nine separate stations have been obtained from the National Capital Planning Commission. Appropriate presentations have been made to the Commission of Fine Arts, and definitive architectural drawings are virtually complete for those stations which are to be the subject of our first final design contract. We will announce the award of such a contract within 30 days. The first contract for design will cover design of the stations. in Judiciary Square and on G Street between 7th and 9th Streets, together with the tunnel connecting the two.
Even as engineering and soil testing and many other matters have been pressed forward, I have found it advisable to review critically the physical concepts for station design which were the basis of the 1965 plan. By a letter to me on February 22, 1966, President Johnson directed that "[This system] should be designed so as to set an example for the Nation, and to take its place among the most attractive in the world."
Along with Agency personnel and with our engineering and architectural consultants, I have made a careful examination of a number of transit systems here and abroad and I am convinced that there must be some changes in our design of stations. The Agency's 1965 designs were functional, but I feel that there must be space enough for both physical and psychological comfort and design which is in good taste and of enduring acceptability.
These are our accomplishments and, to some extent, our decisions. It is always difficult to launch a program of such size, but I feel that many of our most difficult tasks are now behind us.