Talk:Interstate 495 (Capital Beltway)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
WikiProject U.S. Roads (Rated C-class, High-importance)
U.S. Roads WikiProject icon This article is within the scope of the U.S. Roads WikiProject, an attempt to build a comprehensive and detailed guide to state highways and other major roads in the United States. If you would like to participate, you can edit the article attached to this page, or visit the project page, where you can join the project and/or contribute to the discussion.
C-Class article C  This article has been rated as C-Class on the quality scale.
 High  This article has been rated as High-importance on the importance scale.
This article has a map. If the map has an error, please work with the maps task force to correct it.
This article has a KML file. If the file has an error, please work with the maps task force to correct it.

What's in a Name?[edit]

There appear to be a variety of disparate methods for referring to spur or loop Interstate routes.

  1. A single article titled with the Interstate route number with sections about each of the tertiary routes (e.g., Interstate 205, Interstate 235). This appears to be the most common at this time.
  2. In cases where there is a particularly notable segment, or which may be known by a different name, the article may contain a link to a separate article on that segment (e.g., Interstate 110 and California State Route 110).
  3. There are articles that are titles with the route number but are disambiguation pages (e.g., Interstate 495).
  4. Coupled with the preceding are articles that are titles with either disambiguated route numbers (e.g., Interstate 295 (Florida)) or with unique non-Interstate names (e.g., Capital Beltway).

Personally, I prefer #1 (coupled with #2 to allow development of additional information where warrented). I do not like having articles like Capital Beltway or Interstate 295 (Florida) appearing in Category:U.S. Interstate Highway system--it disrupts the otherwise uniformity of the numbering. That's not to say the Capital Beltway article should be moved. I suggest that the Interstate 495 article be formatted more like #1 with a link to the Capital Beltway article. The Capital Beltway article would NOT be in Category:U.S. Interstate Highway system. I'd prefer it not be in the various Category:Interstate highways in STATE, although it should be in Category:Transportation in STATE.

This question is more general than just this article, but I could locate a more appropriate forum at this point. Perhaps there is a wikiproject about Interstates. olderwiser 13:36, 20 Jul 2004 (UTC)

For the record, I've created Category:Three-digit Interstate Highways to keep the main category from getting too big as I split the Interstates into separate articles. --SPUI (talk) 20:48, 21 Feb 2005 (UTC)

Capital Beltway, not I-495[edit]

Yesterday I moved Interstate 495 back to Capital Beltway. There are numerous "Interstate 495s." Please discuss moves like this before carrying them out. I'm restoring this page -- Interstate 495 (Capital Beltway) -- again, since this is an unusual and nonstandard page title. Thanks, BCorr|Брайен 11:56, 20 Jul 2004 (UTC)

Interstate 495 (Washington, D.C.)[edit]

The move to this title was a poor decision as it gives the impression that the highway is in the District. Even though a small, less then even a mile, portion is in the district the majority of the highways lies in Maryland and Virginia. I am going to change the name back to Capital Beltway or maybe Interstate 495 (Capital Beltway), which it should have stayed as in the first place. --User:Boothy443 | comhrÚ 20:20, 21 Feb 2005 (UTC)

However, it's a bypass of Washington, D.C., so that's the primary state/district it's grouped with. Putting it anywhere other than Interstate 495 (Virginia), Interstate 495 (Maryland) or Interstate 495 (Washington, D.C.) makes it differently named than other Interstates (and thus it looks weird in the categories). Though I'd also support Interstate 495 (Capital Beltway), given that this is somewhat of a special case. --SPUI (talk) 20:42, 21 Feb 2005 (UTC)

Bridge dates[edit]

  • 1964 under ramp from MD 650 north
  • 1963 over MD 650
  • 1967 over Northwest Branch
  • 1958 under MD 193
  • 1959 under US 29
  • 1959 over Brunett Avenue
  • 1959 over Sligo Creek Parkway
  • 1960 over Sligo Creek
  • 2002 over Sligo Creek Trail
  • 1958 over MD 97
  • 1964 under MD 391
  • 1959 under railroad
  • 1964 under Linden Lane
  • 1964 over Stoneybrook Drive
  • 1964 over Kensington Parkway
  • 1964 over MD 185
  • 1964 over Cedar Lane
  • 1958 over branch of Rock Creek
  • 1960 under MD 355
  • 1990 under I-270
  • 1962 over MD 187
  • 1962 under Fernwood Road
  • 1962 under Greentree Road
  • 1996 over I-270 Spur
  • 1962 under MD 191
  • 1962 under MD 190
  • 1962-1964 over Cabin John Parkway
  • 1964 over Cabin John Creek
  • 1962 over Seven Locks Road
  • 1962 under MD 191
  • 1963 over MacArthur Boulevard
  • 1963 over Clara Barton Parkway
  • 1963 over Potomac River


  • South/west at I-95 [1][2] (may have been different before I-495 was removed and re-added on I-95)
  • East/south on I-270 [3] - no idea how MD 187 is handled
  • North/east at I-95/I-395 [4][5] (probably not different before I-495 was removed and re-added on I-95)
  • West/north at Woodrow Wilson Bridge [6][7] (may have been different before I-495 was removed and re-added on I-95)
The Outer Loop is West from I-95 in Virginia to the Woodrow Wilson Bridge. It's North 95/East 495. After the bridge, it's North 95/495 until the I-95 split. Then it's West 495 until MD 187. There, it becomes 495 South (The signage on 187 says "East 495: Baltimore/Silver Spring; South 495: Northern Virginia/Fairfax"). It's South 495 until I-95 in Virginia.
The Inner Loop is North 495 from I-95 in Virginia to MD 187 in Bethesda. West 495 to I-95 in Maryland, South 95/495 to the Woodrow Wilson Bridge, and South 95/West 495 (if I remember correctly) from the Woodrow Wilson Bridge to the Springfield Interchange. If you want pictures, I drove the whole darn thing today. Well, the Outer Loop at least. --MPD01605 (T / C) 06:38, 19 December 2006 (UTC)

Non-compliance flag[edit]

How precisely is this article outside of project compliance? The only thing that comes to mind is the article's name, which is discussed below; what else could be wrong with it? Is it the exit list? -TheOneKEA

I'm not sure. I'm working on the exit list right now, I'll have that done by later today. I'm not sure what else. --MPD T / C 17:38, 29 January 2007 (UTC)
I can do the exit list if need be; I've been busily reformatting exit lists all over the place and have a good routine for it now. It would be nice though if someone would say what else is wrong with this article, other than the absence of a route description. -TheOneKEA
The article has sections not specified by WP:IH. The sections, specifically the traffic and trivia sections, should be incorporated into other areas of the article. Other than those two sections and the exit list, as MPD mentioned above, the article looks fine. --TMF Let's Go Mets - Stats 21:13, 30 January 2007 (UTC)
OK. I've rearranged the article structure as part of the addition of a few other sections, and provisionally removed the marker. Hopefully it is compliant now. EDIT: This of course is based upon the fact that the exit list will be updated soon - technically the article is still noncompliant until MPD fixes it. -TheOneKEA
The cities/towns section should be renamed "Major cities" to comply with WP:IH and the counties section should be removed once the counties are added into the new exit list. --TMF Let's Go Mets - Stats 21:55, 30 January 2007 (UTC)
Understood. The way I did it is the way that the Roads in Maryland WikiProject does it - I'll check the U.S. Interstate Highways WikiProject to find the differences. -TheOneKEA

Done with the exit list. Phew, my arm hurts. --MPD T / C 23:58, 30 January 2007 (UTC)

Future Aspirations[edit]

Why is there a warning at the beginning of this section saying that it may be of a speculative nature? Everything that is says is completely incontrovertible truth and merely reflects construction that is mostly finished already. This warning label should be removed. Furthermore, there are more future aspirations for this road such as possible interchange reconfiguration and HOV and/or HOT lanes to be added. Even those are not truly of a speculative nature as those can be referenced on the VDOT website. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by BHolmberg (talkcontribs) 04:17, 7 February 2007 (UTC).

I agree: it's not very speculative anymore; and there's certainly more speculative information that deserves to be added. I am not too familiar with any Beltway projects other than the pending upgrade to the FedEx interchange to full 24/7 access, consideration for HOT lanes and/or ETL, and the extremely unlikely Beltway widening in Maryland. If I get a chance, I'll see if I can scrounge together some info, but it's not among my priorities at the moment, so I'd say that this section definitely fits the be bold ideal -- have at it! :) --Thisisbossi 04:53, 7 February 2007 (UTC)
If you want to beef up this section with more information, this site will do nicely. -TheOneKEA

Fair use rationale for Image:WMATA Metro Logo.svg[edit]

Nuvola apps important.svg

Image:WMATA Metro Logo.svg is being used on this article. I notice the image page specifies that the image is being used under fair use but there is no explanation or rationale as to why its use in this Wikipedia article constitutes fair use. In addition to the boilerplate fair use template, you must also write out on the image description page a specific explanation or rationale for why using this image in each article is consistent with fair use.

Please go to the image description page and edit it to include a fair use rationale. Using one of the templates at Wikipedia:Fair use rationale guideline is an easy way to insure that your image is in compliance with Wikipedia policy, but remember that you must complete the template. Do not simply insert a blank template on an image page.

If there is other fair use media, consider checking that you have specified the fair use rationale on the other images used on this page. Note that any fair use images uploaded after 4 May, 2006, and lacking such an explanation will be deleted one week after they have been uploaded, as described on criteria for speedy deletion. If you have any questions please ask them at the Media copyright questions page. Thank you.

BetacommandBot 01:31, 24 July 2007 (UTC)

Rationalized. I mean, rationale added for this use and for Interstate 95 in Maryland. —C.Fred (talk) 03:12, 24 July 2007 (UTC)


I looked and searched for a few terms, but couldn't find:

  • length
  • traffic volume

Did I miss them? —EncMstr 00:34, 25 August 2007 (UTC)

Length is in the infobox, although it should be in the article somewhere. Traffic volume...the only references to traffic volume are probably around the Wilson Bridge section. This article probably needs to be cleaned up and re-written a little bit. I'll get on that this weekend. --MPD T / C 00:38, 25 August 2007 (UTC)
Ah! Thanks. I overlooked the length because: a) I searched for "miles" and "km", b) The intense colors didn't let me easily see "Length". Thanks again. —EncMstr 00:42, 25 August 2007 (UTC)

WikiProject class rating[edit]

This article was automatically assessed because at least one WikiProject had rated the article as start, and the rating on other projects was brought up to start class. BetacommandBot 15:36, 9 November 2007 (UTC)

Exit List[edit]

In the table of exits, I believe the column heading Old is incorrectly positioned above the New exit numbers. Dgorsline (talk) 20:56, 20 November 2007 (UTC)

Nope, it is correct as it stands. --MPD T / C 02:57, 21 November 2007 (UTC)

Mileage of Entire Beltway[edit]

The cite on this page does not support the total mileage provided since FHWA does not recognize the eastern "half" of the Beltway as I-495. If you look at the FHWA Log provided in the citation, the total mileages provided are only for the western half, from the I-95/I-495/I-395 intersection in Virginia, westward to the northern I-95/I-495 interchange (via the I-270 interchange). Dnrothx (talk) 14:51, 11 February 2008 (UTC)

I added a source to the mileage. Thank you for pointing that out. --MPD T / C 22:22, 11 February 2008 (UTC)

See also[edit]

What is the point of including so many highways outside of Maryland? Is there some particular relevance specifically to the Capital Beltway, and if so why don't we include it in the main article? --Bossi (talkgallerycontrib) 04:03, 19 June 2008 (UTC)

"numerous widening projects?" I think not![edit]

There have not been that many Capital Beltway widening projects!

From memory, they were:

Maryland, PRIOR TO completion of entire Beltway: Section between present-day I-270 and Md. 185 (to six lanes) Section between Md. 97 and Md. 193 (to six lanes)

Maryland, early 1970's: Section between Wilson Bridge and (roughly) Seminary Road (near Mormon Temple) in Silver Spring (six lanes to eight lanes)

Virginia, mid 1970's: Section between Springfield Interchange and American Legion Bridge (four lanes to eight lanes) Section between Wilson Bridge and Springfield (six lanes to eight lanes)

Maryland, late 1980's Section between Seminary Road and I-270 (six lanes to eight lanes)

Maryland, early 1990's American Legion Bridge (six lanes to ten lanes)

Maryland, early 1990's Section between American Legion Bridge and I-270Y (I-270 Spur) (six lanes to eight or ten lanes)

Maryland/Virginia (2000 through 2010) Section between Md. 210 and Va. 243 (Six or eight lanes to ten lanes) Cpzilliacus (talk) 04:09, 19 June 2008 (UTC)

If citations can be found, it would be nice to include more detail on these projects in a "remodelling" section of the article. --StuffOfInterest (talk) 13:03, 15 September 2009 (UTC)

I-270/I-66 HOV-ramp claim[edit]

There are no "dedicated ramps" at either I-270 interchange to or from the Beltway. The HOV lanes to and from 495 west end prior to the interchange, and the HOV lanes on the spur begin at the point where 495 splits from 270, on the inside of the interchange. There's nothing special about those. Excluding the ramps to and from Washington on I-66 (due to its special HOV status), the only thing notable about the ramps there are that there are two to 66 west from 495 north (left and right entrances and exits), and technically two to 495 north, one from the left and right of 66, both merging on the left to 495 north (the left exit serves 495 south). Any traffic can use the left exit to 66 west, but has to vacate the left lane upon merging with I-66 during HOV times unless they can use HOV. Likewise, any traffic can use the left exit to 495 south (which involves entering the HOV lane). So that said, as soon as I get some free time, I'll be cleaning up those instances in the article, which will be within the next few days. --MPD T / C 05:05, 9 July 2008 (UTC)

Fork HOT lanes to new article?[edit]

I'd like to get a sense of the community regarding splitting off discussion of the HOT lanes into a new article, perhaps Virginia I-495 high-occupancy toll lanes. This project is huge in scope as to what it is doing to the Virginia side of the Capital Beltway. Driving through 90% of the extent of the project every day (both ways) has given me a very strong appreciation of the work involved. Between the news stories and dedicated sites such as Virginia HOT Lanes and Virginia Megaprojects there are lots of verifiable primary sources to call on.

To create such an article, I propose reworking the current roadworks section of the main article and undertaking a major expansion. That section currently discusses three projects. The Springfield Interchange is done. Work going on there now is related to the HOT lanes. The Wilson Bridge still needs some discussion as it is a couple of years from finishing up. With that, the HOT lanes can be split into a sub-section and material can start to be added. Once the section reaches a large enough size it can then be split into its own article.

Why do this? The HOT lanes are essential a parallel road to the beltway. Except for the northern and southern terminus, access to the HOT lanes are not from the beltway. For all other interchanges, the HOT lanes have separate on and off ramps leading to surface roads. In a number of cases, these ramps are not concurrent with beltway ramps. Treating the HOT lanes as a separate road allows for discussion of this ramp structure to the same detail given the existing beltway ramps without confusing the topics.

I'd like to get some opinions on this before starting work. It would be a shame to start such an expansion just to have someone come along, cry "undue weight!", and chop back the new material. --StuffOfInterest (talk) 12:31, 15 September 2009 (UTC)

CapitOl vs. CapitAl[edit]

I'm going to be a good Samaritan and head off anyone who is tempted to change the spelling of CapitAl to CapitOl throughout the article. Call me a Californian, but I simply never knew until I double-checked myself that "capitOl" is only used for a specific building or complex of buildings, and the city said building resides in is a "capitAl" city. (See this Wiktionary article.) So don't make that change! --Mrcolj (talk) 21:06, 21 September 2010 (UTC)

I-95/I-495 concurrency in Maryland[edit]

One of the early sentences in this section talks about how I-295 connects with I-395 in D.C. No, it doesn't. I-395 leaves the Southeast/Southwest Freeway and ends at Mass. Ave. near Union Station. The rest of the SE/SW freeway is unsigned I-695. THIS is what connects with I-295.

This sentence is very confusing, anyway. When I first read it I thought it was saying that the Beltway in MD connects with I-395, and I thought, "That interchange is in Virginia!". Unless there are objections, I'll work on this section. --Tim Sabin (talk) 14:03, 3 March 2011 (UTC)

Metaphoric usage[edit]

I've just edited a political article by adding a quotation that refers to the Beltway, using it as a metaphor for the political-media conglomerate in Washington, D.C. I linked the term to this article. The problem is that doing so arguably spreads more confusion than light. I'm thinking of non-U.S. readers, who aren't familiar with this meaning of "Beltway". Certainly the article should continue to be about the highway, as a highway, but perhaps there could be a section on how the term is used more broadly? JamesMLane t c 06:15, 27 July 2011 (UTC)

Just entered a comment on I-69 (Michigan) page[edit]

For THAT page, I have just suggested reference to I-94 in the last two exit numbers on that article's exit list, because those exit numbers are from a different highway (I-94). The exit number references in the table in THIS (I-495 beltway in Md./Va./DC) article are not affected, and it's explained in the text that the high exit numbers going counterclockwise from I-395 to the Woodrow Wilson Bridge are taken from the mileposts of I-95 in Virginia. OK? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:11, 31 August 2011 (UTC)

Grammar in 2nd sentence[edit]

"I-495 is widely known as the Capital Beltway or simply the Beltway, especially when the context of Washington, D.C., is clear." aka " I-495 is widely known as the Capital Beltway or simply the Beltway is clear."

I don't normally do wiki corrections or anything but I just noticed this and thought I'd leave it here for someone.

The current sentence is much clearer than the one you propose. I say leave it as is. --Tim Sabin (talk) 19:58, 11 July 2012 (UTC)