On Tuesday at the inaugural parade, our new president and vice-president walked by the new sign by the Wilson Building tabulating the total federal taxes paid by District residents without representation. On top of this (likely futile) attempt to educate the country, the Council proposed last year to change the name of South Capitol St. to Taxation Without Representation St.
So long as we’re making a political issue out of our street names, why not address the representation issue head on?
One argument sometimes put forward to deny the District statehood is that with two senators and our small population, we’d be “over-representated” in the Senate. But aren’t we already extending a lot of the states a similar overrepresentation? Not in the legislative sense of the word, but in the geographic sense? In other words, what states get more asphalt on our streets than their populations deserve? Find out after the jump:
Every state has a street named after it in the District (some stretching well into Maryland). The longest is Pennsylvania Ave. at 27.8 miles while the shortest is a four way tie between North Dakota, Oklahoma, Washington, and Louisiana Avenues at .4 miles. So who gets more miles then they deserve? Here are the results:
Most Miles Per Million Residents
- New Hampshire – 18.92
- Rhode Island – 6.09
- South Dakota – 4.48
- Connecticut – 4.08
- Vermont – 2.41
- Georgia – 2.31
- Pennsylvania – 2.23
- Nebraska – 1.85
- Massachusetts – 1.63
- Wyoming – 1.50
If the state avenues were approtioned by population, New Hampshire would lose it’s precious marathon-lengthed road and have to be happy with that pathetic stretch of road we call California St. (it doesn’t even merit an Ave!)
So how about we make these ten overrepresented states a deal; you vote for our statehood and we won’t hand over your asphalt to a more deserving state. Deal?
For the record, here’s how all the avenues would be renamed (oddly enough, Hawaii Ave. is perfectly named.):
North Dakota Ave. to Wyoming Ave.
Oklahoma Ave. to Vermont Ave.
Louisiana Ave. to North Dakota Ave.
Washington Ave. to Alaska Ave.
Indiana Ave. to South Dakota Ave.
Iowa Ave. to Delaware Ave.
Tennessee Ave. to Montana Ave.
Delaware Ave. to Rhode Island Ave.
Hawaii Ave. to Hawaii Ave.
California St. to New Hampshire St.
Wyoming Ave. to Maine Ave.
Alaska Ave. to Idaho Ave.
Idaho Ave. to Nebraska Ave.
New Mexico Ave. to West Virginia Ave.
Kentucky Ave. to New Mexico Ave.
Arizona Ave. to Nevada Ave.
Texas Ave. to Utah Ave.
Montana Ave. to Kansas Ave.
Utah Ave. to Arkansas Ave.
Arkansas Ave. to Mississippi Ave.
Virginia Ave. to Iowa Ave.
Nevada Ave. to Connecticut Ave.
South Carolina Ave. to Oklahoma Ave.
Maine Ave. to Oregon Ave.
West Virginia Ave. to Kentucky Ave.
Vermont Ave. to Louisiana Ave.
Colorado Ave. to South Carolina Ave.
Illinois Ave. to Alabama Ave.
Missouri Ave. to Colorado Ave.
North Carolina Ave. to Minnesota Ave.
Oregon Ave. to Wisconsin Ave.
Mississippi Ave. to Maryland Ave.
New Jersey Ave. to Missouri Ave.
Maryland Ave. to Tennessee Ave.
Kansas Ave. to Indiana Ave.
Michigan Ave. to Massachusetts Ave.
Nebraska Ave. to Arizona Ave.
South Dakota Ave. to Washington Ave.
Minnesota Ave. to Virginia Ave.
Ohio Drive to New Jersey Drive
Florida Ave. to North Carolina Ave.
Alabama Ave. to Georgia Ave.
New York Ave. to Michigan Ave.
Rhode Island Ave. to Ohio Ave.
Wisconsin Ave. to Pennsylvania Ave.
Massachusetts Ave. to Illinois Ave.
Connecticut Ave. to Florida Ave.
Georgia Ave. to New York Ave.
New Hampshire Ave. to Texas Ave.
Pennsylvania Ave. to California Ave.
Some avenues disapear for a block or two, the straight route through those jumps was counted for these purposes (e.g. New Hampshire Ave. through Dupont) but where an avenue stops completely for a while (e.g. New Hampshire from U St. to Petworth) the gap is thrown out.
5 responses to “No Transportation Without Representation”
Actually, you may be onto something but not exactly as you describe it.
One power the District apparently has is the ability to name its own streets. What if the District, in protest to not getting consideration for Statehood just renames ALL these streets with State names as a protest.
I suspect this will prick the pride of the states spurring Congress into trying to take away even the right of the city to name their streets. Imagine the reaction of Arlen Specter when Pennsylvania avenue gets renamed to, I don’t know, Marion Barry Blvd.
The resulting fight will draw attention to the issue and also show how lopsided the battle has been.
how do you get 27.8 miles for pennsylvania avenue? the district, at its longest, (if you go from the northernmost tip to the southernmost) is about 14 miles. since these roads run in a straight line, that’s the longest state street you could have in the city.
something’s not right…
I counted their continuations into Maryland. Both Penn and NH avenues go pretty deeply into MD. A few others go just a little bit into MD. Presumably had we named those street differently in DC they would’ve been different in MD too.
Of course if we changed PA Ave. in DC it would be unlikely that MD would follow suit. If you’d rather see “dc only” stats, I could probably do that. But either way, ther point remains the same.
Pingback: The Morning Metropolitan | The Georgetown Metropolitan
Your proposed list of name changes makes perfect sense. Where do I go to vote for it?