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Old 03-13-2013, 08:10 PM
 
Location: Thunder Bay, ON
2,610 posts, read 3,759,792 times
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It would be nice if the Gardiner Expressway was buried, and its capacity increased combined with a capacity decrease on Lake Shore Boulevard, as well as burying the railway tracks through downtown... but it's very unlikely.

More likely, I think either the status quo will be maintained, or the Gardiner will be turned into a surface street (Lake Shore Boulevard?) through downtown, that way you can still drive to downtown, but not through it (on a highway at least).
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Old 03-13-2013, 08:20 PM
 
3,836 posts, read 4,713,490 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HandsUpThumbsDown View Post
Yes, I was mistaken - the Embarcadero Freeway did get demolished.

Seattle's earthquake-damaged highway 99 will be replaced by a tunnel under the Puget Sound. Interstate 5 still runs very much through downtown, though, and it isn't going anywhere.

I'm quite surprised anyone believes these measures are sealing the fate of these cities. Both have quite strong economies. Demolishing a freeway allows for more land to be developed, creating more jobs, more tax revenue, more housing, etc.

Vancouver has no downtown freeway and yeah, it's doing pretty damn well.
Exactly correct.
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Old 03-13-2013, 08:34 PM
 
2,493 posts, read 2,193,007 times
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If money is not an issue, the best way to repair the devastation caused by urban freeways would be a time machine!

I grew up in Indianapolis in the 60s/70s and saw the destruction of established neighborhoods by plowing I-70 & I-65 thru the center of the city. The beltway (I-465) could handle all the thru traffic and access to the central city could have been parkways instead of raised limited access barriers.

But what the heck, it was just the poor, non-white neighborhoods, so who is complaining?
It only took Downtown Indy 30+ years to recover.

In Denver, I-70 was plowed thru most of Historic North Denver, when it could have been located 1+ mile further north thru an industrial wasteland. But again it was "just" the poor neighborhoods.

I recently read "The Big Roads" a history of the interstate highway system.
The original idea was to "connect" cities, not to "destroy" them.

Last edited by Eddyline; 03-13-2013 at 09:24 PM..
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Old 03-13-2013, 08:39 PM
 
Location: North Baltimore ----> Seattle
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^ Big roads is a good read.
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Old 03-13-2013, 11:51 PM
 
Location: Dallas
2,092 posts, read 2,571,400 times
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There is a debate about this topic in Dallas and on the Dallas forum right now.
Tear down central expressway?

It definitely makes a downtown worse!

Great article in D Magazine about tearing down a portion of the highway that cuts through downtown Dallas, and how tearing down the highway could potentially bring in billions of dollars of redevelopment. Check it out:

D Magazine : How Dallas is Throwing Away $4 Billion
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Old 03-14-2013, 12:13 AM
 
3,836 posts, read 4,713,490 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RonnieinDallas View Post
There is a debate about this topic in Dallas and on the Dallas forum right now.
Tear down central expressway?

It definitely makes a downtown worse!

Great article in D Magazine about tearing down a portion of the highway that cuts through downtown Dallas, and how tearing down the highway could potentially bring in billions of dollars of redevelopment. Check it out:

D Magazine : How Dallas is Throwing Away $4 Billion
That article is awesome. Thanks. I travelled under that monstrosity 2 times a day for 5 years on the way to my East Dallas home and wondered each time what kind of people willingly inflicted such a menace on themselves.

If Central Expressway had never been built the project would be inconceivable today. The only thing keeping it there is lack of vision and political will.
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Old 03-14-2013, 06:40 AM
 
Location: Bike to Surf!
3,080 posts, read 9,938,486 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by A2DAC1985 View Post
Do you think it would:

1) Help

2) Hinder

3) Be of no consequence

to the downtowns in America if every freeway that currently runs though the official downtowns in America WAS BURIED UNDERGROUND, a la "The Big Dig" in Boston.

Thoughts?



P.S. Money is not an issue. Just the idea is being discussed, not the financials.
1) Help.

Even though the way the freeways are buried in BOS is asinine; to connect to I-90 from I-93 you have to transition to a surface street which runs right through the heart of the pedestrian/financial center rail commuter crowds; meaning a constant war between big-rigs and hordes of pedestrians and cyclists with thousands of work-hours lost on all sides every week; the effect on the downtown is decent. The green space is far from dead, and is used to host downtown fairs constantly during the short season where outdoor activity is possible. Without that green space, the downtown would be flatlined on evenings and weekends.

I, personally, prefer elevated freeways, like those of Taipei, because I don't mind the noise and I like the cheaper, grottier commercial areas which [can] spring up underneath them in other countries. However, I recognize it as a point of fact that most Americans are finnicky, and don't like to do business under freeways or elevated trains (that's why it's usually Chinatown or little Argentina, etc. under these structures). So, given societal norms here, it's probably better to bury the freeways.

Getting rid of downtown freeways is idiocy. Cutting down means of access to an area isn't going to make it grow or revitalize it.
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Old 03-14-2013, 06:44 AM
 
Location: Richmond/Philadelphia/Brooklyn
1,263 posts, read 1,272,474 times
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Actually, most people tend to like the way our freeways look over downtown Richmond, so I don't think there will be any big dig soon.
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Old 03-14-2013, 06:46 AM
 
3,836 posts, read 4,713,490 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Malloric View Post
You mean like the Katy freeway expansion that runs to downtown Houston? Or a more recent one than that, late 2000s I think.

Seattle has partial caps on its freeways. The convention center is built over I-5 and 99 runs under Battery Street. To me, it's a joke that it takes "tremendous political will to face up to the people who can't fathom it." Just about every city seems to have a plan to cap freeways, and the plan itself is usually well received. The part that's objected to is the cost... which no one really likes. The pro-urbanist, anti-car types don't want to spend the money on cars. Businesses and commuters would rather spend the money real infrastructure than cosmetic projects.
Pretty sure I've been driving the Katy Freeway into downtown Houston my entire life.

While no one today would ever build a city bisected and dissected by freeways, the thought of removing such freeways is almost unimaginable to most people. It simply that they don't know better and can't picutre the city without it.

However if you could turn back the clock, these freeways would never have been located where they were. That was the madness of The Greatest Generation and the continued inertia of self indulgence boomers. As GenX takes over the reigns and Millennials come of age, bit by bit the madness will subside and reason and return to sanity will prevail.

This is a battle royale that will play out over the course of the 21st century. Like all great battles, this one has a predetermined outcome -that of greater cities-happier denizens.

It's just getting started and the real momentum will build when the boomers finally cede power to those with greater visions and better ideas.
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Old 03-14-2013, 07:43 AM
 
7,592 posts, read 9,444,553 times
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I just finished "Big Roads" by Earl Swift myself---a pretty good read, and many years in the undertaking...
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