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Old 01-28-2014, 06:08 PM
 
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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?
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Old 01-28-2014, 06:54 PM
 
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Of course - but that wasn't the thinking back then. It was the single most destructive thing we ever did to cities.
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Old 01-28-2014, 07:06 PM
 
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Wouldn't that have directed growth away from central cities? Who would want to set up an office too hard for clients to reach or hard for you to reach clients?
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Old 01-28-2014, 07:08 PM
 
Location: Oakland, CA
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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.
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Old 01-28-2014, 07:15 PM
 
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I would hardly call expressways the more destructive things to happen to cities -- ever stopped by ghost towns that were completely bypassed by expresseways? How about race riots? Historic disasters /fires / floods?

I don't think that the cities that I have visted that have a more "fringe loop" type connection to interstate have any better issues with "sprawl" that those that have direct expressways to their core. I do think that cities that have made a commitment to have multilane roads below grade or completely underground can be both visually and functionally superior to those that have such roadways at or worst above grade -- compare the core of Chicago where lower Wacker / Lower Michigan and the multiple tiers of roadways east of Michigan Ave are both more appealing and more functional than the mess of similar connections in downtown Milwaukee where that make it hard to cross streets / blot out the skyline...
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Old 01-28-2014, 07:28 PM
 
Location: Portland, Oregon
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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.
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.
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Old 01-28-2014, 07:35 PM
 
Location: Portland, Oregon
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chet everett View Post
I would hardly call expressways the more destructive things to happen to cities -- ever stopped by ghost towns that were completely bypassed by expresseways? How about race riots? Historic disasters /fires / floods?

I don't think that the cities that I have visted that have a more "fringe loop" type connection to interstate have any better issues with "sprawl" that those that have direct expressways to their core. I do think that cities that have made a commitment to have multilane roads below grade or completely underground can be both visually and functionally superior to those that have such roadways at or worst above grade -- compare the core of Chicago where lower Wacker / Lower Michigan and the multiple tiers of roadways east of Michigan Ave are both more appealing and more functional than the mess of similar connections in downtown Milwaukee where that make it hard to cross streets / blot out the skyline...
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.
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Old 01-28-2014, 08:17 PM
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Location: Long Island / NYC
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jade408 View Post
They could have made the interstates not cut through the cities, and could have made an inter city system.
That's a common setup outside of North America, at least for older cities.

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

Quote:
Originally Posted by pvande55 View Post
Wouldn't that have directed growth away from central cities? Who would want to set up an office too hard for clients to reach or hard for you to reach clients?
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.
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Old 01-28-2014, 09:40 PM
 
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Would anybody argue that the Chicago River is destructive because it "divides" neighborhoods?
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Old 01-28-2014, 09:48 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
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Originally Posted by impala096 View Post
Would anybody argue that the Chicago River is destructive because it "divides" neighborhoods?
No, but a river is usually something attractive to be near, unlike a noisy elevated highway, which is undesireable to be immediately near.
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