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Old 01-29-2014, 03:54 PM
 
Location: Mt. Airy
5,311 posts, read 5,331,720 times
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Good idea for a thread. Rather than it be a "what if" thread, it should be considered as a "what we should do in the future" thread.

A great example of a city getting choked by the highway system is Rochester, NY. They ran the Inner Loop around downtown and completely cut it off from surrounding neighborhoods.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Inner_Loop_(Rochester)

I always say that highways have a minimum of a three block impact (parking/empty lots, road-space, parking/empty lots). Having a highway drop you off and then having the feeder road take you to the city center can be efficient, while not impacting neighborhoods where people live.

Last edited by nei; 01-29-2014 at 04:01 PM.. Reason: fixed broken link
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Old 01-29-2014, 04:01 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
45,989 posts, read 41,967,271 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AJNEOA View Post

I always say that highways have a minimum of a three block impact (parking/empty lots, road-space, parking/empty lots). Having a highway drop you off and then having the feeder road take you to the city center can be efficient, while not impacting neighborhoods where people live.
Not necessarily. This is half a block from an expressway (BQE). It makes the block less attractive, but there's no extra parking / empty lots. Underneath the expressway is actually parking, which is an efficient use of space. The other side is industrial.

https://maps.google.com/maps?q=Sunse...,307.2,,0,5.38

another view of the BQE:

https://maps.google.com/maps?q=Brook...8.18,,0,-14.32

And in regards to urbanlife78 comment on the BQE, not all of it passes through industrial neighborhoods.

Boston has housing almost abutting expressways:

https://maps.google.com/maps?q=Brook...294.62,,0,0.64

https://maps.google.com/maps?q=Bosto...,88.81,,0,5.38

Last edited by nei; 01-29-2014 at 04:18 PM..
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Old 01-29-2014, 04:15 PM
 
Location: Portland, Oregon
46,053 posts, read 29,523,816 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nei View Post
Not necessarily. This is half a block from an expressway (BQE). It makes the block less attractive, but there's no extra parking / empty lots. Underneath the expressway is actually parking, which is an efficient use of space. The other side is industrial.

And in regards to urbanlife78 comment on the BQE, not all of it passes through industrial neighborhoods.

Boston has housing almost abutting expressways:

https://maps.google.com/maps?q=Brook...294.62,,0,0.64

https://maps.google.com/maps?q=Bosto...,88.81,,0,5.38
Of course it doesn't but it is still less intrusive than highways like the Cross Bronx Expressway.
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Old 01-29-2014, 04:37 PM
 
Location: Vallejo
14,068 posts, read 16,081,530 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nei View Post
Not necessarily. This is half a block from an expressway (BQE). It makes the block less attractive, but there's no extra parking / empty lots. Underneath the expressway is actually parking, which is an efficient use of space. The other side is industrial.
...
I've never seen that either. Sacramento is pretty developed right up to the freeway. You do tend to have relatively more surface parking on exist. This makes sense because the business located there for the easy freeway access for their customers. The 580/880 in Oakland are developed right up to it.

San Francisco is literally feet away:
https://www.google.com/maps/preview/...KZElAwcbCQ!2e0

https://www.google.com/maps/preview/...E7svqWFT7g!2e0

Or there's Cobble Hill. This is across the street (1/8th of a block?) from the BQE.
https://www.google.com/maps/preview/...SxkxjnjVbA!2e0

According to the best source on the planet, Street Blogs, Cobble Hill residents get subjected to 76 decibels of noise from the BQE. Horrible. The L in Chicago regularly hits 90.

Last edited by Malloric; 01-29-2014 at 04:45 PM..
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Old 01-29-2014, 04:59 PM
 
Location: Mt. Airy
5,311 posts, read 5,331,720 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nei View Post
Not necessarily. This is half a block from an expressway (BQE). It makes the block less attractive, but there's no extra parking / empty lots. Underneath the expressway is actually parking, which is an efficient use of space. The other side is industrial.

https://maps.google.com/maps?q=Sunse...,307.2,,0,5.38

another view of the BQE:

https://maps.google.com/maps?q=Brook...8.18,,0,-14.32

And in regards to urbanlife78 comment on the BQE, not all of it passes through industrial neighborhoods.

Boston has housing almost abutting expressways:

https://maps.google.com/maps?q=Brook...294.62,,0,0.64

https://maps.google.com/maps?q=Bosto...,88.81,,0,5.38
I shouldn't have said "minimum", as there are always exceptions to the rule. Frequently, and IME, highways cause a three block gap, whether it be from parking lots, other parallel roads, buildings that are not pedestrian friendly (because they belong near a highway), etc. Perhaps in cities where land is of high value, it's less so (e.g. Boston, SF, NYC). Most places I've been, the highways are pretty obtrusive. That's not to say there are no buildings near it, but from a pedestrian perspective, it's rarely a clean one block with high-quality, walkable amenities on both sides.

Philly:
https://www.google.com/maps/preview/...Ln_7KGrAJg!2e0

Rochester:
https://www.google.com/maps/preview/...001ffc4125e61e

Richmond:
https://www.google.com/maps/preview/...d83e6de2423cc5

Baltimore:
https://www.google.com/maps/preview/...vBmuiCmO9g!2e0

Buffalo: https://www.google.com/maps/preview/...OAMVp1VPZg!2e0

Last edited by AJNEOA; 01-29-2014 at 05:11 PM..
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Old 01-29-2014, 05:04 PM
 
Location: Mt. Airy
5,311 posts, read 5,331,720 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nei View Post
While Boston's highways do seemingly back directly up to expressways for the most part (as you provided a link to), as soon as 278 dives inland, it creates a pretty significant gap:

https://www.google.com/maps/preview/...SJ4Q!2e0?hl=en

Boston's streets are nicely done (with crosswalks), but in this example, you have to go to the nearest bridge to cross over. Even then, it's a good two blocks of nothing-ness that breaks up the cohesiveness.
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Old 01-29-2014, 05:12 PM
nei nei won $500 in our forum's Most Engaging Poster Contest - Thirteenth Edition (Jan-Feb 2015). 

Over $104,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum and additional contests are planned
 
Location: Long Island / NYC
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Hamberg has no expressways cutting through the center but it has a very wide surface rail section that's a bit barrier-like:

https://maps.google.com/maps?q=Hambu...38.84,,0,-12.4
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Old 01-29-2014, 05:18 PM
 
410 posts, read 389,142 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AJNEOA View Post
A great example of a city getting choked by the highway system is Rochester, NY. They ran the Inner Loop around downtown and completely cut it off from surrounding neighborhoods.

Inner Loop (Rochester) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Rochester's Inner Loop is roughly 3.3 miles long. I counted 17 surface streets, 1 pedestrian bride, and 1 pedestrian tunnel that crosses the Inner Loop. That comes out to an access point every 917 feet on average. Why do you feel like Rochester's downtown is "completely cut off" from surrounding neighborhoods?
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Old 01-29-2014, 05:45 PM
 
410 posts, read 389,142 times
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The rail lines dividing Toronto.

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Old 01-29-2014, 06:21 PM
 
Location: Mt. Airy
5,311 posts, read 5,331,720 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by impala096 View Post
Rochester's Inner Loop is roughly 3.3 miles long. I counted 17 surface streets, 1 pedestrian bride, and 1 pedestrian tunnel that crosses the Inner Loop. That comes out to an access point every 917 feet on average. Why do you feel like Rochester's downtown is "completely cut off" from surrounding neighborhoods?
This sums it up, at least from a project perspective:

Quote:
This inefficient grade-separated expressway serves as a barrier between Downtown Rochester and
adjacent neighborhoods, stifling redevelopment and discouraging greater use of alternate modes of
transportation. The expressway is out of context with the surrounding community, creates a number of
unsafe situations that need to be addressed, and creates excess delay at numerous intersections. Further,
two large bridges in the project area are in need of costly repairs to address structural deficiencies and are
proposed for removal through this project.
https://www.dot.ny.gov/recovery/spon...430A3DFC0390B2

The east side of the inner loop, which has the largest impact, caused many dense blocks of residential to be razed back in the day, separating downtown from cohesive residential. From having lived in neighborhoods next to downtown (or the Inner Loop), I can tell you that the barrier impacts walkability especially at night time.
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