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Old 03-03-2014, 05:40 PM
 
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I don't quite understand how it works. Outside of destroying the houses they are built on, why do interstates divide communities so deeply? It's not like there aren't streets and sidewalks that are still there on overpasses and underpasses; anyone who wants to cross can (in theory) cross the interstate without actually setting foot on the interstate itself. So why do they isolate so deeply, and devastate communities that are on the "wrong side" of them?
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Old 03-03-2014, 06:00 PM
 
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The same could be said for rail, air and many other forms of transit. It causes the communities’ economy to rewire itself. This can mean that the well-off can move further way from the less well off(Some of the Early street car burbs were examples of that where say the company owner could move out of town from his factory.). This could mean that some industries that were viable beforehand are not. It could mean completion in retail from stores that are further away. It could mean there being less density in an area because people are no longer forced to live there. It is going to have huge effects.

Also the scale of highways is out of sync with the scale of walking. I think highways are great wonderful things that are needed but getting across one by overpass and underpass can be a pain in the neck in terms of distance between them. They cause traffic both car and foot in the area to reroute as some streets are blocked by the highway and so forth.
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Old 03-03-2014, 06:26 PM
 
Location: Thunder Bay, ON
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They can also be noisy, lowering property values in nearby blocks and becoming unpleasant areas to walk along/across, so even if you have sufficient crossings, they can form a psychological barrier. They can also increase the likelihood of auto-oriented developments like parking lots for downtown offices, of shopping malls with lots of surface parking being built. At that point, you could have a negative feedback loop.
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Old 03-03-2014, 06:29 PM
 
Location: Oakland, CA
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In my city (Oakland) there is one freeway that is basically the great dividing line of the hills and flats/rich and poor. The route is about 12 miles through the North and South of the city, and almost unilaterally the neighborhoods above the freeway have an income of $80k (or a lot more), and below is under $50k (or a lot less). Now in some parts, the areas closer to the freeway are more like the blocks above (like where I live, the gap isn't so big and is shrinking, and same with the exit right before mine. The housing stock is mostly the same and well-kept). But in other parts of town, go a couple of blocks off the highway and it is night and day compared to right above the highway.

Additionally, since the freeway went through the wealthier parts of town, during construction they were able to ban truck traffic on it through Oakland, so the road is much nicer and quieter than the other interstate in the city. And of course the "rich" residents above the freeway do not have to deal with as much pollution, since the only traffic is car traffic, and the highway isn't as crowded as the other north/south freeway in town.

As a result, particularly deeper in to Oakland (East Oakland) the people in the "hills" do not go to or shop in the "flats." They drive 10 miles to go to the grocery store etc, just to avoid "Deep East Oakland." And right below the freeway, in that part of town designated Deep East Oakland (DEO), most of the crime happens. Head 1-3 blocks up from the freeway and it is virtually crime free. Right below the freeway in DEO, most of the stuff that gives Oakland its bad rap happens.

In the northern part of the city, the divide isn't so stark, and people regularly "cross the freeway" to shop/eat/etc (like where I live, Whole Foods is on the "bad" side of the freeway.) But below the Lake, it is a pretty clear line, and the 2 areas are worlds apart.

**I think I mentioned, the freeway development in Oakland is very random, so there are basically houses etc right against the freeway, and the intersections, while huge, are not very big compared to most places.
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Old 03-03-2014, 06:40 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by memph View Post
They can also increase the likelihood of auto-oriented developments like parking lots for downtown offices, of shopping malls with lots of surface parking being built. At that point, you could have a negative feedback loop.
I wouldn't say they cause parking lots or shopping malls to have surface parking. They simple cause them to exist elsewhere than in the cities core. People are only willing to commute so long say an hour. The faster you are able to travel the further away you can live from work and other things. In short you no longer NEED to only shop in the loop, Madison street, or 63rd Street. You can hop and expressway and shop in the burbs.
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Old 03-03-2014, 06:54 PM
 
Location: Ohio
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OuttaTheLouBurbs View Post
I don't quite understand how it works.
Drive down [US] Route 66.

Or [US] Route 50 or 52.

Then you'll understand...

Mircea
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Old 03-03-2014, 06:57 PM
 
Location: North Beach, MD on the Chesapeake
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The effect in many rural areas was to move commerce off the Main Street of nearby towns out to the interchange of the highway.

Which was an unintended consequence. The Interstate System was designed to bypass small towns, unlike the roads referenced by Mircea.
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Old 03-03-2014, 07:37 PM
 
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Of course most of the freeways were built before most of us were born so they were always there, like rivers. They are certainly barriers and people on one side tend not to associate with those on the other side. Doesn't matter if it's an urban borough, medium size city, or suburb. Going back in history, when they were built, parcels of land had to be acquired, sometimes by eminent domain, and the buildings destroyed. Many moved out of the neighborhood, ironically increasing demand for the freeways.
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Old 03-04-2014, 05:03 AM
 
Location: Portland, Oregon
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In the Bronx they built a highway that literally slices through old existing neighborhoods and then has limited connection to the highway and severed connections of neighborhoods.

If you have an existing neighborhood and a highway is built to cut through it, you metaphorical and often times physically lose connection to the other part of the neighborhood.
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Old 03-04-2014, 05:12 AM
 
4,586 posts, read 4,626,222 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OuttaTheLouBurbs View Post
I don't quite understand how it works. Outside of destroying the houses they are built on, why do interstates divide communities so deeply? It's not like there aren't streets and sidewalks that are still there on overpasses and underpasses; anyone who wants to cross can (in theory) cross the interstate without actually setting foot on the interstate itself. So why do they isolate so deeply, and devastate communities that are on the "wrong side" of them?
This question should have been asked back in the 80's "before" this started! Of course it affects communities. There's a toll highway going through two subdivisions in my neighborhood! It's noisy, creates waves of dust and dirt flying all over the place, there's always the risk of having a vehicle fly over and hurt someone that is just taking a walk...etc...I can't see why "anyone" would think this is a "good" idea! You don't see highways going through the middle of Milan!
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