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Old 03-13-2013, 05:30 PM
 
Location: Chicago
1,312 posts, read 1,584,067 times
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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.
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Old 03-13-2013, 05:43 PM
nei nei won $500 in our forum's Most Engaging Poster Contest - Thirteenth Edition (Jan-Feb 2015). 

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Location: Long Island / NYC
45,992 posts, read 42,037,172 times
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Maybe, but what replaced the Big Dig is still a dead zone:

https://maps.google.com/maps?q=Bosto...269.58,,0,0.94

Large divided road instead with lights, and green space in the middle. The green space is nice, but the setting is still too noisy. And the space is really wide and feels like a barrier. I haven't been to Boston pre-Big Dig to see how it compares, but it's hard to bring back what was lost.
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Old 03-13-2013, 05:52 PM
 
Location: Philaburbia
32,408 posts, read 59,910,649 times
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Dreams exist to put a lid on I-71 as it parallels the Ohio River (colloquially called Fort Washington Way) in downtown Cincinnati. Personally, I don't see what a difference it would make; I'm not as intimidated by walking over a freeway bridge from one part of downtown to another, and I'm capable of walking across a short bridge to get where I want to go.

About 15 years ago, the freeway was rebuilt and the highway level lowered so that the bridges crossing it were at street level, removing the visual barrier between downtown and the riverfront, and better access via additional bridges was added.

But still, others call the freeway a "barrier" between downtown and the riverfront.

If money were no object? Sure. But money is an object. A big one. And after the tunnel is built, it must be maintained.
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Old 03-13-2013, 06:04 PM
 
Location: Michigan
4,571 posts, read 7,041,891 times
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For some cities, the damage is already done and even if the freeways were buried, they'd still seem like an unnatural break up of the cityscape. I would be in favor of removing them completely and returning them to surface roads if possible. Obviously this would be aimed more at freeway spurs and redundant routes; One or two major arteries into the city center would be useful, but for some cities, it's like they have several all intersecting in the downtown area. Totally unnecessary.
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Old 03-13-2013, 06:06 PM
 
3,836 posts, read 4,719,218 times
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So, I am quite certain that another major freeway will never be allowed to be built close to or through a downtown again. That is a madness that belongs to a by-gone era.

Unfortunately, damage done.

That being said, I'm also fairly certain that more and more cities will choose dig, like Boston or reroute major freeways that severed many downtowns. It takes tremendous political will to face up to the people who can't fathom it, and it takes massive up-front financing. However, it will pay dividends in increased ad valorem taxes and generally contribute to revitalization efforts of cities all over the US.

This is a process that will play out over a 100 years. It will be tremendously challenging - but what was done can be undone.

Many cities will resist for decades they will be swimming against the tide of history. Unfortunately - this process is one that will benefit our children and their children more that it will be us.

Cities were destroyed by the So-Called greatest generation and left to fester by the boomers. GenX has been instrumental in a return to sanity that Millennials have embraced with a passion. Their children will wonder how we lost our collective minds and truly live in a a transformed world.
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Old 03-13-2013, 06:12 PM
 
3,836 posts, read 4,719,218 times
Reputation: 2538
Quote:
Originally Posted by nei View Post
Maybe, but what replaced the Big Dig is still a dead zone:

https://maps.google.com/maps?q=Bosto...269.58,,0,0.94

Large divided road instead with lights, and green space in the middle. The green space is nice, but the setting is still too noisy. And the space is really wide and feels like a barrier. I haven't been to Boston pre-Big Dig to see how it compares, but it's hard to bring back what was lost.
That park replaced a massive freeway and absolute barrier running through the heart of the city.

Development to heal scares takes decades - not months or years.
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Old 03-13-2013, 06:21 PM
 
7,608 posts, read 9,465,582 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Komeht View Post
So, I am quite certain that another major freeway will never be allowed to be built close to or through a downtown again. That is a madness that belongs to a by-gone era.

Unfortunately, damage done.

That being said, I'm also fairly certain that more and more cities will choose dig, like Boston or reroute major freeways that severed many downtowns. It takes tremendous political will to face up to the people who can't fathom it, and it takes massive up-front financing. However, it will pay dividends in increased ad valorem taxes and generally contribute to revitalization efforts of cities all over the US.

This is a process that will play out over a 100 years. It will be tremendously challenging - but what was done can be undone.

Many cities will resist for decades they will be swimming against the tide of history. Unfortunately - this process is one that will benefit our children and their children more that it will be us.

Cities were destroyed by the So-Called greatest generation and left to fester by the boomers. GenX has been instrumental in a return to sanity that Millennials have embraced with a passion. Their children will wonder how we lost our collective minds and truly live in a a transformed world.


You just can't help yourself, can you?
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Old 03-13-2013, 06:46 PM
 
Location: Vallejo
14,079 posts, read 16,109,257 times
Reputation: 12647
Quote:
Originally Posted by Komeht View Post
So, I am quite certain that another major freeway will never be allowed to be built close to or through a downtown again. That is a madness that belongs to a by-gone era.

Unfortunately, damage done.

That being said, I'm also fairly certain that more and more cities will choose dig, like Boston or reroute major freeways that severed many downtowns. It takes tremendous political will to face up to the people who can't fathom it, and it takes massive up-front financing. However, it will pay dividends in increased ad valorem taxes and generally contribute to revitalization efforts of cities all over the US.

This is a process that will play out over a 100 years. It will be tremendously challenging - but what was done can be undone.

Many cities will resist for decades they will be swimming against the tide of history. Unfortunately - this process is one that will benefit our children and their children more that it will be us.

Cities were destroyed by the So-Called greatest generation and left to fester by the boomers. GenX has been instrumental in a return to sanity that Millennials have embraced with a passion. Their children will wonder how we lost our collective minds and truly live in a a transformed world.
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.
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Old 03-13-2013, 06:59 PM
 
9,520 posts, read 14,857,889 times
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There's a Philadelphia Inquirer columnist who just wants to cut I-95 entirely.
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Old 03-13-2013, 07:12 PM
 
Location: Southern California
15,087 posts, read 17,580,911 times
Reputation: 10299
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.
Help who? Hinder who?

[]
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