Records of the Emergency Committee on the Transportation Crisis, ca. 1960-1978
Collection No. 36 (42.5 Linear ft.)
D.C. Community Archives
HistoryFrom the 1950s through the 1970s, various plans were devised by local and federal agencies to build a comprehensive urban expressway system to link D.C. to the national interstate highway system. The Emergency Committee on the Transportation Crisis (ECTC) grew out of the efforts of residents in northeast Washington, D.C. and Maryland who in the 1960s began working to prevent government confiscation of homes in their neighborhoods in the path of the freeway.
ECTC was particularly active in lobbying public officials and testifying at hearings to prevent the building of the North Central Freeway through the District and before Congress to curtail funding for highway construction. Through its local organizing efforts, ECTC eventually spurred the formation of the National Coalition on the Transportation Crisis, which coordinated similar grassroots movements throughout the nation.
As a grassroots organization, ECTC relied heavily on public demonstrations, rallies and meetings to gain support for its cause in the late 1960s. In particular, ECTC was involved in a prolonged demonstration and sit-in at the construction site of the Three Sisters Bridge, held rallies to protest confiscation of homes in Brookland, and picketed Mayor Walter Washington's home in opposition to support of freeway construction. ECTC was interested in a number of related issues such as urban planning, environmental issues, home rule, D.C. statehood, and good race relations. It also strongly supported a metrorail system as an alternative to freeways.
Eventually the Southwest/Southeast Freeway, the 14th Street Bridge, and Anacostia Freeway were the only highways built in D.C. that directly linked to I-95. The Capital Beltway and Metrorail rather than freeways have became the primary mode of transportation for most D.C. metro area residents.
ProvenanceAngela Rooney donated the records to the D.C. Community Archives in the 1990s. Mrs. Rooney along with her husband, Thomas Rooney, were key leaders in ECTC in the late 1960s.
Processing ProceduresGeneral processing procedures consisted of discarding unnecessary binders and routine transmittals. Duplicates of more than three have been removed. Oversized documents and photographs were removed from the original location in their assigned series and placed in separate containers. A list of oversized documents appears separately in the finding aid. Separation sheets were inserted in the original location within the folder to indicate the new location of any records placed elsewhere.
Preservation copying of newspaper clippings was performed whenever feasible (photocopying of clippings is still in progress). Records in folders were arranged, unless otherwise indicated, in forward chronological order, with undated records appearing at the end of the folder.
Scope and Content NoteThe records consists of 42.5 linear feet of correspondence, clippings, government reports, legislative testimony, hearing transcripts, litigation, flyers, posters, cartographic materials, picket signs, press releases, and printed matter. Significant topics covered in the records include the fight to stop the construction of the Seven Sisters Bridge, I-66, I-95, the North Central Freeway, and the fight to save 69 government-confiscated homes in Northeast Washington, D.C.
The records contain a substantial volume of cartographic materials and because of the activist nature of ECTC, the records also include a large quantity of picket signs and flyers created by its members, particularly the artistic Sam Abbott. Information about or from other local and national grassroots organizations involved in efforts to halt freeway construction appears in the records. A sample of these organizations include: the National Committee on the Transportation Crisis, the Upper North East Coordinating Council, Brookland Civic Association, and the Catholic Interracial Council.
Clippings cover D.C. and other urban areas working to block the constructions of freeways. Articles and other writings in the records are about not only the interstate highway system and urban transportation but also such issues as civil rights, urban renewal, and the environment.
- Subseries 1: Rooney Files, 2.5 linear ft. (1965-1975) The files contain address lists, correspondence, publications, flyers, notes, and correspondence related to civic organizations in northeast Washington such as the Brookland Civic Association, Brookland Area Coordinating Council, and the Catholic Interracial Council. Reports from various governmental agencies, including the D.C. Office of Planning and Management, the National Capital Planning Commission, and the D.C. Department of Transportation appear in the files. Other file topics include parking in D.C., pollution, D.C. buses, home rule, housing, and zoning. Interfiled among the records are also a number of news clippings on the topics.
- Subseries 2: Huette Files, 5.5 linear ft. (1968-1978) This series includes correspondence, memoranda, reports, meeting minutes, clippings, and press releases related to the activities of ECTC and similar local organizations throughout the country. Of particular significance are records of the National Committee on the Transportation Crisis, the national organization that grew out of local freeway fights. Files cover the work of organizations in cities such as Boston, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Nashville, and Phoenix. Other topics and organizations found in the series include the Citizens Planning Coalition of D.C., the Brookland Area Coordinating Council, the Washington Planning Council, the Washington Lay Association, and the Upper Northeast Coordinating Council.
- Address Lists, 1966-1968 through Capitol East Gazette Newsnotes, 1969
- Catholic Interracial Council, Addresses, n.d. through D.C. Government, Buses, 1968
- D.C. Highway Department, Transportation Plan, Nov. 25, 1968 through Freeways Correspondence, 1964-1969
- Freeway literature, 1965 through National TB and Respiratory Diseases Association, 1971
- Nader, Ralph, Playboy Interview through Scientists Committee for Public Information, 1968
- Sister's College Property, July 14, 1960 through Zoning, 1975
- Air Quality (3 folders), 1968-1975 through Brookland, 12th Street
- Brookland, 69 vacant homes through Brookland metro station, parking, 1969-1971
- Brookland Urban Design, May 1981 through Conference, June 1968
- Citizens for City Living, Article 75, 1973 through Environmental, 1969-1970
- Environmental education, 1978 through Freeway fight, 1968-1970
- Hamburger Verkehsverbund, 1971 through Metro, General, 1969-1971
- Metro, General, 1972 through National Committee on the Transportation Crisis, Boston Area, 1969
- National Committee on the Transportation Crisis (NCTC), Clippings, 1969-1971 (3 folders) through NCTC, 1970
- NCTC, 1971-1972 through Newsletter, August 1968
- New York, 1968-1975 through Pittsburgh, October 1968
- Planning (2 folders), 1969-1975 through Statehood Party
- Testimony, 1967-1970 through Upper Northeast Coordinating Council, (UNECC), urban design study, ca. 1981
- UNECC, 1973 through Washington, D.C., 1968
- Washington, D.C., 1970 through Zoning, 1970
- Correspondence, 1964 through 1970
- Correspondence 1971 through 1980
- 1965 through February 1969
- March 1969 through December 1971
- January 1972 through 1974
- Congressional Record, 1968 through 1973 (4 folders)
- D.C. Freeway hearings, 1967 through 1968 (3 folders)
- Federal highway legislation, 1965 through 1970 (2 folders)
- Federal Register, Federal Highway Administration Public Hearings Notice, Oct. 23, 1968
- Hearings, House Committee on D.C., 1965 through 1971 (4 folders)
- Hearings, House Committee on Public Works, "Major Highway Problems in D.C.", Dec. 5-6, 1967
- Hearing Report, House Subcommittee on Appropriations for Highways, 1970
- Hearings, Senate Committee on D.C., 1965-1969 (3 folders)
- Hearings, Senate Committee on the Interior, Alternative Long-
- Range Energy Strategies, 1976
- North-Central Freeway in D.C., and Montgomery and Prince Georges counties, Maryland, Feb. 4, 1965 (3 folders)
- Testimony, Freeways, 1965-1967
- Testimony, Freeways, 1967 through 1973 (3 folders)
- Testimony, Freeway, undated
- Americans for Democratic Action, Greater Washington Chapter, "20th Annual Roosevelt Day Dinner," ca. 1970
- "An Evening to Honor Julius Hobson," Nov. 14, 1972
- Argus,"Freeway Pollution: Capital Punishment," May 1970
- Army Corps of Engineers, "Metropolitan Washington Area Water Supply Study for the Potomac Water Users," August 1979
- "Atlanta Votes Yes on Rapid Transit," 1972
- Autofacts Publications, "People vs. Cars: The Rising Resentment of Against the Automobile," 1970
- Citizens' Advisory Committee on Environmental Quality, "Report to the President and to the Council on Environmental Quality," April 1972
- Citizens' Advisory Committee on Transportation Quality, "A Report to the Secretary of Transportation," September 1970
- Commonweal Papers 1, "God," Feb. 10, 1967
- Commonweal Papers 2, "Jesus," 1967
- Committee on Urban Transportation, "Freeways and Our City," ca. 1965
- Committee to Save Long Island Council Petition, 1971
- D.C. Government [publications], 1970 through 1981 (4 folders)
- D.C. Government [publications], 6 folders, 1968 through 1981
- Engineering Opportunities," Are we Beginning to End Pollution?" 1969
- Environmental Action, "Freeways-Tearing Up Cities," October 1970
- Environmental Science and Technology, "Environmental Problems Have Little Respect for Political Boundaries," May 2, 1968
- Environmental Protection Agency, "Environmental Directory: Region III," 1970
- Envoy, "Students Design for Community," September 1981
- Federal-Aid Highway Act of 1966 (P.L. 89-574), September 13, 1966
- Federal Water Pollution Control Administration, 1966 through 1969 (3 folders)
- Greater Stockholm, 1972
- GW Times, "Images of Brookland," by Libby Hoffman
- Hard Times, "Screeching Halt: U.S. Pulls Out of Pollution War," by James Ridgway
- Hobson, Julius, "The Damned Information," 1971
- Kennan, Robert, "A Brief History of the Freeway Crisis," June 12, 1967
- Konstnarigutsmyckning i Stockholms, 1965
- Maryland National Capital Park and Planning Commission, Preliminary and Master Plans of Highways," 1967 (2 folders)
- Metromedia TV, "1985: A News Dramatization," 1985
- Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments [publications], 1970-1974 (2 folders)
- Muskegon County Wastewater Management System, 1971
- National Air Pollution Control Administration, "Community Support Bulletins," 1970
- National Capital Planning Commission [publications], 1967-1968 and 1975-1976 (5 folders)
- National Capitol Redevelopment Agency, "Ft. Lincoln Urban Renewal Area," August 30, 1967
- Natural Resources Defense Council, Inc. Newsletters, Spring, 1971
- National Sciences Foundation, "Information, Perception and Regional Policy," 1975
- The New Republic, "Black Control of Cities," September 30, 1967
- ----------------, "Washington: The Lost City"
- ----------------, "Washington: The Lost Colony," April 1966
- Penchey, Paul, et al, Catholic University, "Community Perceptions and Metropolitan Dynamics in an Urban Locality," 1971
- Pennsylvania Department of Transportation, "A New Highway is Born," n.d.
- Preliminary Operating Assumptions and Design Criteria for the Downtown Design and Development Study," September, 1970
- "Public Transportation in Highway Decisions," Congressional Record, May 25, 1972
- Railroad Electrification, Vol. 3, 1970
- Rooney, Angela, "Freeways Urban Invaders,” October 1971
- Scientific American, Letters to the editor, September 1969
- Smithsonian, To stop highways some citizens take to the streets, April 1972
- Tekniska Hogskolan, 1973
- Transportation Planning in D.C., 1955-1965, March 1966
- Urban Design and Development Corporation, "Georgetown Waterfront Feasibility Study," December 1970
- Urbanaction, "Urban Transportation Crisis," Spring, 1970
- U.S. Catholic & Jubilee, January 1969
- U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, "The Civil Rights Implications of Suburban Freeway Construction," August, 1970
- U.S. Comptroller General "Problems Associated With Location and Design of Segments of the Interstate Highway System in Major Metropolitan Areas," August, 1967
- U.S. Congress, "Our American Government," 1969
- U.S. Department of Health, Education, and Welfare, "Report for Consultation on the D.C. National Capital Interstate Air Quality Control Region," July 1968
- Victor Gruen Associates, "Anacostia Urban Code," October 1967
- Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority, "Metro Memo," 1971-1975 (3 folders)
- ------------, "Notice of Metrobus Public Hearing," Nos. 32-38, 1974-1975
- Printed Materials, General, 1960-1970 (2 folders)
- Clippings (7 folders)
- Clippings (3 folders)
- Clippings (4 folders)
- Loose Clippings
- Press releases and legislative materials, 1965-1971 (14 folders)
- Flyers, 1969-1973 (6 folders)
- Flyers, n.d.
- Flyers, Statehood, 1987-1989
- Attendance lists, n.d.
- Blank Brookland Neighborhood Association membership cards, 1967
- Organizational information cards [n.d.]
- Negative for “White Men’s Roads Thru Black Man’s Homes” poster
- Photographs, ca. 1968-1979 (5 folders)
- Photographs, [n.d.]
- Kenneth Kennedy memorial program, 1974
- Bumper stickers, n.d.
- Letterhead, n.d.
- Martin Luther King Memorial Arts Festival pin, n.d.
- Statehood flag, n.d.
- Oversized documents (removed from other series)
- "Arlington Coalition on Transportation," February 1972
- "Arlington Freeway and Parkway Routes, n.d.
- "Initiative Measure No. 274 blank petition: Reduce [Washington] State Gas Tax," July 1972
- "Transportation Alternative Study," n.d.
- Fortune, "How the Interstate Changed The Fact of the Nation" by Juan Cameron," July 1971
- National Capital Planning Commission, "Shoreline Acquisition and Development Policies and Programs," February, 1976
Box 46, Map Case & Shelf
- No. 36: Brookland Area Coordinating Council, 1985 proposal - 1967
- No. 11: Brookland Station sketch (by WMATA) - 1972
- No. 23: Brookland Station, scaled drawing - n.d.
- No. 31: Brookland Station, General Plans, "Working Paper" (by H. Weese, et al.); Brookland Station, General Plans, Preliminary (by H. Weese, et al.) - 1972
- No. 17: Brookland & Ft. Totten Metro Area Site Plan (by Kronstadt, et al.) - n.d.
- No. 32: Brookland Station, Redesign Concept - 1972
- No. 33: Brookland Station, Redesign Study-System 4 - n.d.
- No. 37: Catholic University area scaled drawing - n.d.
- No. 6: Comprehensive Plan for the National Capitol area, General Land Use Objectives: 1970/1985 - 1970
- No. 65: Daily Traffic Flow on Selected Hwys. in Maryland & Washington Regional District map - 1965
- No. 38: D.C. freeway parking routes - n.d
- No. 29: D.C. Dept. of Hwys Major Hwy. projects map - 1967
- No. 52: D.C. Dept. of Hwys., Restudy of Freeway System - 1971
- No. 63: Poster-Freeway Cancer Hits D.C. North Central Freeway - n.d.
- No. 45: D.C. Hospital Center & Veterans Hospital, utility, water & sewer plans - n.d.
- No. 51: D.C. Office of Planning, plat Map w/freeway construction outline - 1973
- No. 7: Ft. Totten area drawing - n.d.
- No. 10: Ft. Totten Metro sketch - n.d.
- No. 61: Ft. Totten Metro scaled drawing - 1971
- No. 63: “Freeway Cancer Hits D.C.” Poster - n.d.
- No. 13: General Land Use Objectives Map 1967/1985 - 1967
- No. 47: The Heights, Floor Plans - 1978
- No. 44: The Heights, Varnum & Taylor Streets - n.d.
- No. 3: Major Transportation Plan - 1968
- No. 55: Marist Seminary, Prelim. grading & topographic survey (2 drawings) - 1974
- No. 1: Mass Transportation Plan - 1968
- No. 8: Michigan Ave. Station sketch (by METRO) - n.d.
- No. 24: Michigan Ave. Station scaled drawing (by D.C. DOT) - n.d.
- No. 25: Michigan Ave. Station scaled drawing(by D.C. DOT) - n.d.
- No. 9: Michigan Ave. Station, "Working Plan," (by Metro) - 1969
- No. 48: Michigan Avenue Metro depressed tracks (1 of 2) - 1971
- No. 49: Michigan Avenue Metro depressed tracks (2 of 2) - 1971
- No. 39: Metro system map - 1970
- No. 15: "Metro minutes station to station" chart - n.d.
- No. 59: NCPC freeway map - n.d.
- No. 40: North central freeway plat map - n.d.
- No. 30: North central freeway D.C. and Montgomery counties - 1967
- No. 62: North central freeway Supp. Study, D.C. and Montgomery Counties - n.d.
- No. 54: Preliminary Master Plan, Washington Metro Area - 1967
- No. 60: Preliminary Master Plan of Hwys, Montgomery Cty. - 1967
- No. 56: Preliminary Master Plan of Hwys., P.G. County - 1967
- No. 12: Problem objectives diagram 1, 1967/1985, w/public involvement program priorities key - 1967
- No. 27: Rapid rail transit map, modified (by NCTA, Office of Planning) - n.d.
- No. 28: Rapid rail transit map, proposed (by WMATA) - 1967
- No. 2: Recommended Freeway and Parkway - 1968
- No. 49: R.I. Avenue Station - 1971
- No. 26: R.I. Ave. Station, Central Freeway - n.d.
- No. 5: R.I. Ave. Station, scaled drawing - 1971
- No. 58: R.I. Ave. Station, scaled drawing - 1971
- No. 35: R.I. Ave. Station diagram - 1971
- No. 34: R.I. Ave. Station diagram - n.d.
- No. 20: Scaled drawing of roads - n.d.
- No. 41: Summary comparison of alternatives - 1971
- No. 42: Summary of Recommended Corridor Design Concepts - 1971
- No. 22: Takoma Park Metro sketch - 1971
- No. 22a: Takoma Park Metro sketch (with colored markings) - 1971
- No. 53: Takoma Park Metro scaled drawing - 1971
- No. 4: Takoma Park Metro area sketch - n.d.
- No. 18: Taylor and Hawaii Sts. commercial study (for Horning Brothers) - 1978
- No. 19: Taylor and Hawaii Sts. drawing of convenience stores (for Horning Brothers) - n.d.
- No. 57: Taylor tract site plan - 1974
- No. 14: Transportation diagram 2: 1967/1985 - 1967
- No. 43: Trinity College Plans - n.d.
- No. 21: Trinity College Phasing Plan - 1978
- No. 16: UNECC map of homes & road construction - n.d.
- No. 66: White Men’s Roads Thru Black Men’s Homes Poster with map - 1969
- No. 64: WMATA, regional metro system adopted - 1968
- Map Case
- Posters, 3 folders, n.d.
- Picket signs, 8 folders, n.d.
- #1 in map case
- Flip chart sheets and picket signs, 4 containers, n.d.