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Old 01-28-2014, 09:58 PM
Status: "Summer!" (set 19 days ago)
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
87,002 posts, read 102,592,596 times
Reputation: 33059

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Quote:
Originally Posted by OuttaTheLouBurbs View Post
Could it have been possible for the freeway system to have been constructed in a less destructive manner than it was historically? I was thinking something along the lines of having interstate routes that connect outer beltways of cities but don't actually go straight through the cities themselves. I feel like this would have reduced urban sprawl while retaining the long-range usefulness of the interstate system. What do you guys think? What are some better ways that the interstate system could have been constructed?
Quote:
Originally Posted by jade408 View Post
I saw an article about this a few days ago:

What the Interstate Highway System Should Have Looked Like - Eric Jaffe - The Atlantic Cities


They could have made the interstates not cut through the cities, and could have made an inter city system.
Quote:
Originally Posted by urbanlife78 View Post
Great article, I have always felt that if the US would have taken a different approach to how to build the interstate system, our cities would have looked more like Vancouver BC and Brooklyn in layout.
What a waste of time to ruminate over what might have been! Leave it to Atlantic Cities to write an article about it.
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Old 01-28-2014, 10:37 PM
 
Location: Vallejo
14,062 posts, read 16,078,369 times
Reputation: 12636
Quote:
Originally Posted by nei View Post
No, but a river is usually something attractive to be near, unlike a noisy elevated highway, which is undesireable to be immediately near.
That's the thinking now.

During the '50 when the freeways went in, they weren't. Freeways were usually run through the cheapest low-rent parts of town. That mean less money on eminent domain and nobody with any political clout lived there anyway.
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Old 01-28-2014, 11:00 PM
 
Location: Portland, Oregon
46,053 posts, read 29,519,126 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nei View Post
That's a common setup outside of North America, at least for older cities.



Brooklyn has an expressway (BQE) going through some of its more built-up areas.



If it's easy to access by rail, perhaps it won't matter. Even with a center city expressway, congestion and parking issues can make the center city not particularly convenient to access by car.
The BQE mostly separates industrial from residential and for the most part isn't an intrusive expressway, but if you look at where the highways are in Brooklyn compared to Queens and the Bronx you will see what I mean about preserving the urban fabric.

I have no issue with some highways running through a city if they are done right, like being used to separate industrial from residential, as well as making it easier for the industrial areas to have direct access to the highways.
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Old 01-28-2014, 11:02 PM
 
Location: Portland, Oregon
46,053 posts, read 29,519,126 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Katiana View Post
What a waste of time to ruminate over what might have been! Leave it to Atlantic Cities to write an article about it.
What is a waste of time is writing a post in a thread you don't have any interest in. There is nothing wrong with having a thread about the might have been, it is a great way to learn about mistakes made and how to prevent them and correct them in the future.

Portland, Or removed one of its downtown highways during an era when highways were expanding, and instead of building more highways, they choose to build a light rail system, something that was unheard of at the time.
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Old 01-28-2014, 11:15 PM
 
410 posts, read 388,981 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by urbanlife78 View Post
The Chicago metro is a great example, Evanston is a decent size city yet it has no highways or interstates running through it, and Skokie barely has an interstate running though it. Granted both of those cities are functioning because of their proximity to Chicago, it goes to show that connection by rail can have just as much of a effect to a city as a highway can without having to be a large destructive force dividing neighborhoods.
You could say that the "L" train in Chicago is a "destructive force dividing neighborhoods". Also, an elevated rail line has the same noise issues as an elevated highway, neither being pleasant to live immediately next to. An elevated rail line may not require the same ROW as an elevated highway, but it's hard to argue that it doesn't divide neighborhoods at all.



A city with no roads or rails is still going to have a "bad" side of the tracks.
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Old 01-28-2014, 11:58 PM
 
2,941 posts, read 3,859,209 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by urbanlife78 View Post
The Chicago metro is a great example, Evanston is a decent size city yet it has no highways or interstates running through it, and Skokie barely has an interstate running though it. Granted both of those cities are functioning because of their proximity to Chicago, it goes to show that connection by rail can have just as much of a effect to a city as a highway can without having to be a large destructive force dividing neighborhoods.

Another example with Chicago is that the city core barely has any highway running through it, and lower Wacker runs under the city and out of the way, but Detroit has highways cutting through downtown in different directions that destroyed a number of inner neighborhoods and downtown buildings.
Chicago's highways do get through a number of inner neighborhoods. Chicago expressway system meets up in an interchange just outside of the downtown area. Downtown Chicago has both great access to expressways and great access to rail. Also rail does have it's problems in terms of messing up traffic in areas where is runs on the ground and the viaducts/bridges blocking views/sunlight.
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Old 01-29-2014, 12:00 AM
 
2,941 posts, read 3,859,209 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by impala096 View Post
You could say that the "L" train in Chicago is a "destructive force dividing neighborhoods". Also, an elevated rail line has the same noise issues as an elevated highway, neither being pleasant to live immediately next to. An elevated rail line may not require the same ROW as an elevated highway, but it's hard to argue that it doesn't divide neighborhoods at all.



A city with no roads or rails is still going to have a "bad" side of the tracks.
That isn't the EL most likely that is just a viaduct and could have either freight trains, Metra trains or Amtrak trains or all three.
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Old 01-29-2014, 06:38 AM
Status: "Summer!" (set 19 days ago)
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
87,002 posts, read 102,592,596 times
Reputation: 33059
Quote:
Originally Posted by urbanlife78 View Post
The BQE mostly separates industrial from residential and for the most part isn't an intrusive expressway, but if you look at where the highways are in Brooklyn compared to Queens and the Bronx you will see what I mean about preserving the urban fabric.

I have no issue with some highways running through a city if they are done right, like being used to separate industrial from residential, as well as making it easier for the industrial areas to have direct access to the highways.
The old "That's different"! "Done right". What's "right". And separate industrial from residential? Why should we do that? Aren't we all supposed to be living in "mixed use" neighborhoods? I lived in a neighborhood with a factory down the street when I was little. My mom used to tie us up to the front porch because of the semis going up and down the street to the mill.

Quote:
Originally Posted by urbanlife78 View Post
What is a waste of time is writing a post in a thread you don't have any interest in. There is nothing wrong with having a thread about the might have been, it is a great way to learn about mistakes made and how to prevent them and correct them in the future.

Portland, Or removed one of its downtown highways during an era when highways were expanding, and instead of building more highways, they choose to build a light rail system, something that was unheard of at the time.
Like any one on this forum is going to be asked their opinion. The interstate highway system is pretty well built out. We're building toll roads here in CO these days.

I'm not a Monday Morning Quarterbacker. I don't like these threads in any forum. I can comment on any thread I wish.
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Old 01-29-2014, 07:15 AM
 
Location: Portland, Oregon
46,053 posts, read 29,519,126 times
Reputation: 7830
Quote:
Originally Posted by impala096 View Post
You could say that the "L" train in Chicago is a "destructive force dividing neighborhoods". Also, an elevated rail line has the same noise issues as an elevated highway, neither being pleasant to live immediately next to. An elevated rail line may not require the same ROW as an elevated highway, but it's hard to argue that it doesn't divide neighborhoods at all.



A city with no roads or rails is still going to have a "bad" side of the tracks.
That is multiple tracks for several different types of trains and doesn't represent what typically runs through the neighborhoods.

This is more accurate for the Chicago El.


This gives you an idea on how much space an El line takes up.



This is a Google Streetview of what it looks like for the El to run through a neighborhood. Obviously a subway is the least intrusive, but this is much less intrusive than any highway that could run through a neighborhood.
Brown Line running through a neighborhood
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Old 01-29-2014, 07:22 AM
 
Location: Portland, Oregon
46,053 posts, read 29,519,126 times
Reputation: 7830
Quote:
Originally Posted by chirack View Post
Chicago's highways do get through a number of inner neighborhoods. Chicago expressway system meets up in an interchange just outside of the downtown area. Downtown Chicago has both great access to expressways and great access to rail. Also rail does have it's problems in terms of messing up traffic in areas where is runs on the ground and the viaducts/bridges blocking views/sunlight.
It does, but the highways are much less intrusive in Chicago leaving many of the neighborhoods intact. The Northside doesn't have any highways cutting through it. The Westside only have a couple highways, I-94 and I-55 both run along the river rather than cutting through neighborhoods, though 290 does cut through neighborhoods which is a negative. Then of course the Southside has large areas without highways cutting through it, but also lacks rail service, and then has other areas where the highways do cut through neighborhoods.
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