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View Poll Results: Do larger/busier freeways make a city feel larger in general?
Yes, it makes a difference 107 75.35%
No, it doesn't make any difference whatsoever 35 24.65%
Voters: 142. You may not vote on this poll

 
 
Old 11-19-2010, 08:59 AM
 
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I don't think freeways make a city feel big.
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Old 11-19-2010, 09:10 AM
 
Location: Charlotte, NC (in my mind)
7,946 posts, read 15,046,774 times
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Yes and no. In my opinion the larger a city is, the less impact its freeway appearance has on the overall feel of the city. That means freeways have a much bigger impact in the smaller cities. For instance, Little Rock, AR (pop ca. 180,000) has a very limited urban freeway network, only a few exits and only three lanes going each direction and even that only lasts a couple of miles. This could make Little Rock feel much smaller than it is to somebody passing through. On the otherhand, Knoxville, TN, which is the same size as Little Rock, has a much more extensive freeway network with up to 5 lanes going in each direction on I-40 in some places, and is urbanized for 20+ miles. This makes the city feel larger than 180,000 to somebody passing through. Large cities are a lot more tricky, as ones like Los Angeles wouldn't be the same without their freeways, but New York, Chicago, and DC would not be affected.
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Old 11-19-2010, 03:52 PM
 
Location: Upper East Side of Texas
12,521 posts, read 23,111,625 times
Reputation: 4890
Quote:
Originally Posted by ATL_Aficionado View Post
Hello C-D

I requested the deletion of my previous thread with the same topic as I wasn't able to make the proper changes, so bear with me.

Do larger busier freeways make a city feel larger in general?

In order to accurately gauge any city's true size, you must explore it in its entirety, but I am curious to know if freeway size/traffic make a difference to anyone else besides me. This should be interesting because I think it truly depends on what each individual is most accustomed to, and whatever they associate with feeling large but we will see.

All feedback is good feedback BTW.
Yes, without question they do.

Just look at Houston, Los Angeles, Dallas, & Atlanta.

The newly constructed Katy Freeway (I-10) in Houston is THE widest freeway in America, if not the World!

All lanes including toll lanes & feeders add up to an average of 24 lanes or over 500 feet wide.
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Old 11-19-2010, 05:14 PM
 
Location: Silverthorne, Colorado
884 posts, read 1,524,079 times
Reputation: 737
I say yes.

I think I-40 through Amarillo, though only 3 lanes on each side, makes the city feel larger. I know that a city of ~180,000 or so warrants a 6-lane highway. However, in a lot of people's opinions, Amarillo may seem like not much more than a tiny town in the middle of nowhere.

When the road expands and the freeway becomes lit, I feel like I've reached good civilization! As opposed to the road saying 4-laned and not lit.
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Old 11-19-2010, 05:30 PM
 
Location: Sierra Vista, AZ
16,133 posts, read 20,826,624 times
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Many cities need to close down and pave over those freeways running into the center city. Force people to use mass transit
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Old 11-19-2010, 06:01 PM
 
Location: metro ATL
8,190 posts, read 12,331,660 times
Reputation: 2698
I say yes.
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Old 11-19-2010, 10:14 PM
 
Location: Upper East Side of Texas
12,521 posts, read 23,111,625 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Boompa View Post
Many cities need to close down and pave over those freeways running into the center city. Force people to use mass transit
This would cause complete chaos, even in PT oriented cities like New York & Chicago.

People tend to forget that they too have large freeway systems.
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Old 12-30-2010, 01:57 PM
 
Location: Keller, Tx
443 posts, read 1,388,486 times
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I don't think it's directly correlative. The Des Moines example is a pretty good case in point, small city big freeway. The largest freeway in Dallas, as far as main lanes goes, is 12 lanes for 6.5 million people. That is changing soon, but nevertheless, the most urban feeling freeway we have in DFW is the 8 lane central expressway because of how it is built and the number of high rises built on it. Now I-35 stemmons close to downtown is pretty consistently 6 lanes for a couple of miles and it doesn't feel as big city to me, but the skyline from that approach makes Dallas look urban.
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Old 12-30-2010, 02:25 PM
 
Location: Minneapolis (St. Louis Park)
5,991 posts, read 8,318,361 times
Reputation: 4270
Quote:
Originally Posted by Metro Matt View Post
Yes, without question they do.

Just look at Houston, Los Angeles, Dallas, & Atlanta.

The newly constructed Katy Freeway (I-10) in Houston is THE widest freeway in America, if not the World!

All lanes including toll lanes & feeders add up to an average of 24 lanes or over 500 feet wide.
I'm not sure how that's supposed to work.....all of the weaving back and forth, or especially people in the left lanes to the right exit lanes, seems like it alone would cause more slowdowns. Once freeways get past 5 or 6 lanes wide (in one direction) they start to lose their effectiveness precisely for this reason.
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Old 12-30-2010, 02:37 PM
 
Location: Denver
6,628 posts, read 12,509,915 times
Reputation: 4054
Quote:
Originally Posted by ATL_Aficionado View Post
This may be the angle that you are referring to although Midtown is mostly obstructed from view:

Atlanta Traffic (http://www.flickr.com/photos/flc/69573382/ - broken link) by
FLC (http://www.flickr.com/people/flc/ - broken link), on Flickr
Ugh, how I loathe that drive! Whenever I would go to Atlanta I would always have to take I-85 and it didn't matter if I was going through at 5am or 5pm...that highway was packed. The right 4 lanes were stopped, with 1 lane sort of moving...but then somehow some donkey would manage to fly by everyone at 85mph before having to jam on his brakes.

In response to the OP's question, I think massive highways (especially when congested) can make a city feel large.
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