The Baltimore-Washington Parkway is a 32.52-mile limited access highway partially signed as Mary Route 295. The Baltimore-Washington Parkway as the name infers connects the cities of Baltimore and Washington. The Baltimore-Washington Parkway opened in stages between 1950 through 1954 and does not conform to Interstate standards. The Baltimore-Washington Parkway between Baltimore south to Maryland Route 175 is maintained by the Maryland Department of Transportation. From Maryland Route 175 south to US Route 50 the Baltimore-Washington Parkway is maintained by the National Park Service. Featured as the blog cover is southbound Baltimore-Washington Parkway approaching the beginning of the National Park Service maintained segment south of Maryland Route 175.
Part 1; the history of Baltimore-Washington Parkway
Plans for a parkway between the cities of Baltimore and Washington date back to the 1920s. Future Maryland Governor Harry Nice during 1924 would actively campaign for a parkway connecting Baltimore and Washington to be constructed. Increasing traffic on US Route 1 through the 1930s led to increased interest and momentum towards building a parkway between Baltimore and Washington.
During 1942 the Bureau of Public Roads began the process of designing the layout of the Baltimore-Washington Parkway. Design plans on the Baltimore-Washington Parkway would ultimately be finalized by 1945. The final scale of the Baltimore-Washington Parkway would connect from US Route 301 Alternate in Baltimore south to New York Avenue and the proposed Anacostia Freeway at the boundary of the District of Columbia.
During 1947 construction of the northern segment of the Baltimore-Washington Parkway began. Baltimore-Washington Parkway would be formally established by Congress by Public Law 81-643 on August 3, 1950, which formalize the onset of construction of the National Park Service maintained segment. The state-maintained portion Baltimore-Washington Parkway between Hollins Ferry Road in Baltimore to Maryland Route 46 opened during December 1950. The remaining portion of Baltimore-Washington Parkway opened during 1951 which was followed by the segment between Maryland Route 46 south to Maryland Route 175 opening during 1952. The National Park Service segment of Baltimore-Washington Parkway from Maryland Route 175 south to New York Avenue opened during October 1954. As originally opened the Maryland maintained segment was known as Baltimore-Washington Expressway whereas the National Park Service segment was known as Baltimore-Washington Parkway.
A series of November 1952 communications between the Maryland State Highway Engineer and the Bureau of Public Roads Executive Secretary conveyed a desire by the State of Maryland to sign Baltimore-Washington Parkway as US Route 1. Given the then incomplete 19 miles of the National Park Service maintained Baltimore-Washington Parkway was not open to freight traffic a secondary suggestion regarding attempting to petition the American Association of State Highway Officials to assign it as US Route 1 Alternate is brought up. No submission to add US Route 1 or US Route 1 Alternate to the American Association of State Highway Officials seemingly came of the communications.
The southern terminus of Baltimore-Parkway Expressway can be seen on the 1956 Gousha Highway Map of Washington, D.C.
Baltimore-Washington Parkway and Baltimore-Washington Expressway can be seen connecting Baltimore and Washington on the 1956 Gousha Highway Map of Maryland.