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Old 02 May 2012, 10:12 AM   #360707 / #1
lpetrich
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Default Removing Urban Highways

The latest wrinkle in urban planning? Removing urban highways or else burying them.

Urban Highways Offer Cities New Opportunities for Revitalization | TheCityFix
End of the Roads: When Highway Removal Works – Next American City
Urban Highway Removal: To Your Health – Next American City
Making cities more friendly to alternatives to cars lets people walk, bike, or use public transit more -- and get more exercise and become healthier than they otherwise would be.

Some successes in removing urban highways:
Seoul tears down an urban highway and the city can breathe again | Grist
San Francisco's Embarcadero | Congress for the New Urbanism
Portland's Harbor Drive | Congress for the New Urbanism
Milwaukee’s Park East Freeway | Congress for the New Urbanism

Boston's one was buried instead of being removed, but the great expense of doing so has overshadowed its positive outcomes:
Removing Urban Highways: Thank the Big Dig : Mike the Mad Biologist

Freeways Without Futures 2012 | Congress for the New Urbanism
lists some in various stages of planning:
Quote:
1. I-10/Claiborne Overpass, New Orleans
2. I-895/Sheridan Expressway, New York City (Bronx)
3. Route 34/Oak Street Connector, New Haven
4. Route 5/Skyway, Buffalo
5. I-395/Overtown Expressway, Miami
6. I-70, St. Louis
7. West Shoreway, Cleveland
8. I-490/Inner Loop, Rochester
9. I-81, Syracuse
10. Gardiner Expressway, Toronto
11. Aetna Viaduct, Hartford
12. Route 99/Alaskan Way Viaduct, Seattle
That's a nice idea, but I'm concerned that it may become of the victim of the US culture wars, as high-speed trains have (Trains: the latest culture war - Secular Café). Consider the US right wing's willingness to object to *anything* that their villains like, even when doing so is *totally* contrary to their most cherished principles. They've taken the side of employee rights and wasteful government spending (Bill Clinton's firing of those travel agents), pacifism (Clinton's wars), junk food (Michelle Obama on healthy food), etc. and denounced Romneycare when it became Obamacare. Given this track record, I wouldn't be surprised if "movement conservatives" start defending urban highways and denouncing plans to remove them.

Michele Bachmann, George Will, and Newt Gingrich have claimed that liberals want to force everybody onto trains, with the latter two adding that liberals want to force everybody out of cars. This seems like something out of a grove of John Birch trees, but that's what they said. It would be a small step from there to denouncing highway removal as a similar sort of conspiracy against cars and freedom of travel.
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Old 02 May 2012, 08:54 PM   #360921 / #2
Roo St. Gallus
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Balderdash.

I read the crap on Harbor Drive in Portland and it certainly contains a lot of bullshit.

First, Harbor Drive was never part of any 'freeway'. It was a section of US Highway 99W and had plenty of stoplights and intersections, which prevented it from being a 'freeway'.

Then, the article makes it clear how the drive could be vacated....
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As more freeways were built in the city during the 1960s--including Interstate 5 on the eastern bank of the Willamette and Interstate 405, a western bypass around downtown--Harbor Drive became less important as a long-haul freeway route.
Harbor Drive was vacated because it was near the river and could be vacated because the far side of the river from the new park was effectively destroyed by the multiple interchanges of the intersecting I-84 and I-5 freeways, lovingly known as 'the Morrison Mess', which created a permanent eyesore for all those enjoying the new park where Harbor Drive used to be, as well as a couple of transportation nightmares. Also, another freeway, I-405, besmirched a once bucolic watercourse through the edge of downtown a mere half mile to the west of where Harbor Drive used to be.

Because the amount of freeway surface was quadrupled in a few short years, the waterfront auto access could be abandoned and redeveloped as a park. It's a nice park, too...but for the hideous apparition across the river and the all too frequent 'civic happenings' which abuse the park space.

They don't even mention the real triumph...the stopping of a freeway before it ever came to fruition as a roadway reality. The planned "Mt. Hood Freeway" which was to connect I-5 where it crosses the Willamette River (in the center of the city) to I-205 some six miles to the east, where it destroyed a swath of homes and businesses in its march through the eastern regions of the city. The neighborhoods in the path organized to stop the freeway connector and the then mayor managed to convince the feds to allow the freeway construction dollars to be used for a light rail line from downtown to Gresham, the eastern suburb.

This stuff is basically propaganda for the new bicycle/fixed transit lobbies. These guys have been 'thinking outside the box' for too damned long...they mistake crap for something of value.

Beware of bollocks.
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Old 02 May 2012, 09:40 PM   #360960 / #3
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Yeah we are #9!

The highway literally splits the city. On one side is 3 colleges (Syracuse university, SUNY Upstate Medical, and my school SUNY Environmental Science and Forestry) 3 hospitals, upscale housing and on the other side is the oldest housing projects in the US.
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Old 02 May 2012, 09:42 PM   #360961 / #4
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This is a sure way to control the movement of the proles.
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Old 02 May 2012, 09:44 PM   #360963 / #5
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Originally Posted by nygreenguy View Post
Yeah we are #9!

The highway literally splits the city. On one side is 3 colleges (Syracuse university, SUNY Upstate Medical, and my school SUNY Environmental Science and Forestry) 3 hospitals, upscale housing and on the other side is the oldest housing projects in the US.
Do you think the housing projects will become richer or the upscale housing will become poorer?
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Old 03 May 2012, 01:30 AM   #361074 / #6
Roo St. Gallus
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jerome View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by nygreenguy View Post
Yeah we are #9!

The highway literally splits the city. On one side is 3 colleges (Syracuse university, SUNY Upstate Medical, and my school SUNY Environmental Science and Forestry) 3 hospitals, upscale housing and on the other side is the oldest housing projects in the US.
Do you think the housing projects will become richer or the upscale housing will become poorer?
I think the contractors who build the crap housing projects will grow richer while taxpayers will grow poorer subsidizing the contractors. This applies to both highway builders and fixed mass transit builders...or, for that matter, any scenario in between. I call it the "Friends and Family Program" of public subsidies. Who knows better the details of impending major publlic projects than local elected officials? They just make sure their family and friends 'know the score', as well as generate a plausible 'public demand' and the projects to fulfill them.
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Old 03 May 2012, 11:38 AM   #361231 / #7
nygreenguy
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jerome View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by nygreenguy View Post
Yeah we are #9!

The highway literally splits the city. On one side is 3 colleges (Syracuse university, SUNY Upstate Medical, and my school SUNY Environmental Science and Forestry) 3 hospitals, upscale housing and on the other side is the oldest housing projects in the US.
Do you think the housing projects will become richer or the upscale housing will become poorer?
I think it goes beyond just that. The highway acts very much as a divide between Syracuse the city and Syracuse the University. Some people think removing the highway will increase traffic and flow to the downtown area and increase business there. The city was built around the Erie canal, and you can still see that. I-81 runs perpendicular to that. Redirecting traffic moved people away from going through where the businesses "naturally" sprang up due to the canal. Since I-81 is an elevated highway, it cant substitute for that because the exits are so spread out.

the university area also has a lot of business that the people in the "projects" could use as opposed to just those in their area. I think it is a win-win for everyone.
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