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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 01-01-2011, 08:55 AM
 
Location: a swanky suburb in my fancy pants
3,391 posts, read 7,559,210 times
Reputation: 1584

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I think some of the highways in Toronto make it feel like the center of the universe.
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Old 01-02-2011, 05:06 PM
 
Location: Carrboro and Concord, NC
964 posts, read 2,046,527 times
Reputation: 1230
NO.

I grew up in Charlotte. Charlotte has freeways. I visited family in Atlanta, Washington DC, San Francisco and Los Angeles. Their freeways were impressive, for about an hour. Then I became aware of the traffic. I stopped being impressed by their freeways.

Now North Carolina has a freeway going into every podunk county in the state - strange "Greater Kinston" beltway concepts. This is all some sort of economic development scheme from a state famous for NASCAR. The old freeways (the ones built in places where there actually is traffic), meanwhile, are falling apart. There's a stretch of I-85 between Salisbury and Lexington that would scare the soul out of any human being here who hasn't already had the pleasure.

Build some bullet trains and then I'd be impressed. Till then, most of the new-school boomopolises are Mayberry-with-San Francisco pretenses, I don't care how world class they claim to be. Freeways (and stadiums, and most skyscrapers, and having some hip hop star living in a nearby McMansion, and all but about 4-5 of the Silicon Valley wannabe/knockoff office parks) are a dime a dozen.
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Old 01-03-2011, 12:15 AM
 
Location: Texarkana
674 posts, read 1,347,550 times
Reputation: 176
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.
Wow! Had no idea that freeway is that huge! I'll have to take a drive out there.
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Old 02-17-2015, 10:05 PM
 
Location: northern Vermont - previously NM, WA, & MA
9,427 posts, read 18,327,828 times
Reputation: 11902
Cities that gave the impression of a larger city than it really is with large freeways

Hartford
https://www.google.com/maps/@41.7685...z7pPSj1jEg!2e0

Salt Lake City
https://www.google.com/maps/@40.7348...w-oiWBCOZw!2e0

Omaha
https://www.google.com/maps/@41.2224...Kgltpy7c7Q!2e0

Manchester, NH
https://www.google.com/maps/@42.9784...MzBYDP9bkQ!2e0
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Old 02-17-2015, 10:40 PM
 
Location: Detroit
3,655 posts, read 4,600,930 times
Reputation: 2566
Yes, many people especially from smaller cities are fooled into thinking some cities are bigger than they actually are because they have large freeways with alot of traffic. But many don't realize that alot of those freeways are actually 2 merging together which not only makes the freeway larger but causes traffic problems making it a big crowded freeway. I can't recall how many times I've heard people in west MI brag about how Atlanta's freeways are so big.

When the Kalamazoo, MI stretch of I-94 expanded to 3 lanes each direction it really gave Kalamazoo more of an urban destination feel. Before then it looked like just another city you pass on the freeway.
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Old 02-17-2015, 11:47 PM
 
Location: Peoria, AZ
952 posts, read 1,078,141 times
Reputation: 1030
Tulsa, OK has a massive freeway network (and plenty of large freeways) that make it feel much more urban than one can think.

That was the 1st city I've been to where I've totally been shocked at how much bigger it was based upon freeway network and freeway size. Especially I-44 through town.
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Old 02-18-2015, 04:25 AM
 
Location: Mobile,Al(the city by the bay)
3,791 posts, read 6,522,836 times
Reputation: 1544
I would say yes.Nola and Birmingham are both similar in metro size but to me Birmingham feels like a much larger city do to the freeway network in B-ham.When driving through Nola's freeway network it doesn't feel much bigger than where I'm from Mobile or Baton Rouge at that.
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Old 02-18-2015, 05:35 AM
 
3,961 posts, read 3,492,098 times
Reputation: 6361
Quote:
Originally Posted by MS313 View Post
Yes, many people especially from smaller cities are fooled into thinking some cities are bigger than they actually are because they have large freeways with alot of traffic. But many don't realize that alot of those freeways are actually 2 merging together which not only makes the freeway larger but causes traffic problems making it a big crowded freeway. I can't recall how many times I've heard people in west MI brag about how Atlanta's freeways are so big.

When the Kalamazoo, MI stretch of I-94 expanded to 3 lanes each direction it really gave Kalamazoo more of an urban destination feel. Before then it looked like just another city you pass on the freeway.
Michigan has 2 cities that have freeway networks that seem appropriately sized. Obviously Detroit, and ironically Flint. Every other Michigan urban area suffers from two lane freeway anemia. I-94 through Kzoo is appropriately sized given the amount of through traffic that flows through the city . The state stopped upgrading freeways to meet traffic demand decades ago. Which is apparent in the congestion in the Grand Rapids/Holland area. The two lane freeways make it seem smaller than it is. I have also driven through cities like Des Moines, Omaha, and Knoxville (all of which are smaller metros than GR) and been impressed by the networks. I have wondered why Michigan has never done the same.
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Old 02-18-2015, 10:09 AM
 
Location: Denver, Colorado U.S.A.
14,174 posts, read 23,283,589 times
Reputation: 10428
I think Denver's freeways make it feel bigger than it is. The metro area has grown faster than they've kept up with widening many of them. The I-25 is 10-12 lanes across in many sections. Others, like the 70, is only 6 across with plans to add 2 more lanes (toll lanes) to each side and a total reconstruction of it from the airport to downtown. Denver is more compact than most Midwestern/Southern cities, so it can feel bigger and have worse traffic than similarly sized metro areas. It currently has about 3 million people.
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Old 02-18-2015, 10:15 AM
 
5,612 posts, read 6,090,464 times
Reputation: 4184
I would agree with the Atlanta being mentioned. When flying through the city with 6+ lanes of traffic with a beautiful skyline, that gives you the feeling of a major world class city. When you exit off especially south of downtown your impression drops quite a bit.

Nashville is another one. Very congested for its size. Seems like a happening city that is much larger than it is.
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