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Old 12-30-2014, 07:04 PM
 
Location: Portland, Oregon
46,053 posts, read 29,523,816 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by I_Like_Spam View Post
How does it hurt the inner city neighborhoods to have cultural and sports activities in the core of the city, that middle class people are willing to attend? Are more white knuckle suburban drivers cruising through their areas to attend an event a benefit to them?
I wasn't talking about having cultural and sport activities in the core of the city, I was talking about where people lived. Easy freeway access to the suburbs from the city core means that the inner neighborhoods suffer and are carved up for those needed freeways.

I am not saying that is Detroit's only problem, that city has a long list of problems, this just happens to be one of them.
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Old 12-30-2014, 07:09 PM
 
Location: Pittsburgh
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Quote:
Originally Posted by urbanlife78 View Post
I wasn't talking about having cultural and sport activities in the core of the city, I was talking about where people lived. Easy freeway access to the suburbs from the city core means that the inner neighborhoods suffer and are carved up for those needed freeways.

I am not saying that is Detroit's only problem, that city has a long list of problems, this just happens to be one of them.
Fair enough, but most of the city neighborhoods which have freeways passing through have plenty of urban prairies as well. Not a lot of people want to live there, and it doesn't have much to do about the freeway either.

Maybe it would be better for urban planners to put future freeways in between neighborhoods, instead of straight through the center of them, particularly if a neighborhood has cohesion.
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Old 12-30-2014, 07:17 PM
 
Location: Portland, Oregon
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Quote:
Originally Posted by I_Like_Spam View Post
Fair enough, but most of the city neighborhoods which have freeways passing through have plenty of urban prairies as well. Not a lot of people want to live there, and it doesn't have much to do about the freeway either.

Maybe it would be better for urban planners to put future freeways in between neighborhoods, instead of straight through the center of them, particularly if a neighborhood has cohesion.
In the case of Detroit, just removing a freeway isn't going to fix any of its problems and I would almost say that the need to remove any of the freeways there are no longer needed because those neighborhoods they cut through are pretty much dead or close to dead now. It would almost be better for the city to restructure neighborhoods around the freeways to create new neighborhoods.

But then again there is another issue, the city was designed for a population about 3 times the current size. The chances of the city reclaiming that population again in my lifetime probably isn't going to happen without either an act of god or some serious massive overhauling of the entire function and mentality of the entire city, metro, and overall region.
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Old 12-30-2014, 07:23 PM
 
2,923 posts, read 3,118,048 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by memph View Post
Those are functionally suburbs though. They might have been built around formerly independent town centres, and aren't totally bedroom communities (they have employment of their own) but would not be what they are today if it was not possible for residents of those cities to commute to Manhattan.

So having a freeway (and commuter rail) connecting them to Manhattan benefits them by bringing in wealthy residents who work in Manhattan. These transport links draw investment from NYC to these CT suburbs.

On the other hand, Detroit is not a suburb, and the highways going into its urban core likely drew investment away from Detroit and to its suburbs. There might have been some investment going the other direction, maybe it helped bring a few extra jobs to downtown Detroit (or maybe that only just made up for places of employment that were demolished for freeways and urban renewal in the core), but it was probably outweighed by the investment from the city moving to the suburbs (mainly housing at first).

The effect of highways on urban cores that are the regions primary employment centre and areas that were not originally designed for the car is rather different than the effect on suburbs or even satellite city type suburbs like Greenwich.

When these Detroit highways were initially built, Detroit, while it did already have some satellite job centres in Dearborn and the like, was still fairly centralized. Much of the residents living in the core, more or less the area inside Grand Boulevard, or even maybe up to Livernois/Conner/5 mile (McNichols), got around largely by transit and by foot.

Detroit's streetcar network largely served this area and not the parts of Detroit city limits further out (7 Mile, Greenfield Rd, etc). The housing stock of these core neighbourhoods was aging, but the fact that they had a competitive advantage in terms of access to jobs in the core over more far flung areas probably helped them avoid declining too much. They also meant that accessing jobs outside core areas was difficult, keeping jobs in the core and preventing them from decentralizing too much.

Now get rid of the streetcars and build freeways in the core to provide access to it not only from all the existing suburbs but also thousands upon thousands of acres of potential future suburbs, and suburbs like Warren, Livonia and Southfield are a 20-25min drive from downtown while even neighbourhoods just 2-3 miles from Downtown are a 20-25min bus ride away. This causes land values in the core to crash, and on the rural periphery near freeways to increase, encouraging new upscale suburban developments to be built.

Meanwhile the land in the core no longer has much value, and homes in the core are old and aging and becoming depreciating goods. So just like aging cars, no-ones going to put much investment into them as they get old, and the housing stock gets run down. Since the homes in individual neighbourhoods are mostly pretty uniform and of similar age, the all decline at once and you get a big influx of poverty, crime, etc. causing desirability to drop further, so that the land might even become less valuable than in the suburbs. On top of that, the freeways mean that the employment no longer needs to locate in core areas, and can locate in the suburbs instead where access to employees is just as good. Cars make for a very decentralized form of transportation, as long as you're near a freeway exit, you should be accessible to employees, since cars on freeways are fast, and you don't have to worry about complicated transfers, plus last mile issues are relatively minor.
Lots of effort and thought went into your post, but again 678 essentially cuts queens in half without the knock on effects detailed at length in your post. Suburbanites can still get to the NY airports and citi field without "contributing" to the local economy but queens is thriving. Plenty of businesses remain in the borough even in locations non adjacent to the major highways. Violence/crime, poor quality of life, density, are the culprits for Detroit. The value proposition of the urban core fell below the suburbs and it won't return by tearing down the highway. Period. Full stop.
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Old 12-30-2014, 07:40 PM
 
Location: Pittsburgh
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Quote:
Originally Posted by urbanlife78 View Post

But then again there is another issue, the city was designed for a population about 3 times the current size. The chances of the city reclaiming that population again in my lifetime probably isn't going to happen without either an act of god or some serious massive overhauling of the entire function and mentality of the entire city, metro, and overall region.

Pittsburgh, as well, has lost more than 1/2 of its peak population reached here in the 1940's.

The difference is that there are a lot fewer people living in each house, than there were back in the day.

I live alone in a 1000 sq ft house here in Pittsburgh, and so does my neighbor in the other half of this double. In the 1940 census, there were 5 people living here and 7 in her half.

You won't get large families in such small spaces in the future. Even if we become as poor again as we were back in the day, abortion and birth control will keep the numbers down.
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Old 12-30-2014, 08:59 PM
 
1,478 posts, read 2,002,324 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wilton2ParkAve View Post
Lots of effort and thought went into your post, but again 678 essentially cuts queens in half without the knock on effects detailed at length in your post. Suburbanites can still get to the NY airports and citi field without "contributing" to the local economy but queens is thriving. Plenty of businesses remain in the borough even in locations non adjacent to the major highways. Violence/crime, poor quality of life, density, are the culprits for Detroit. The value proposition of the urban core fell below the suburbs and it won't return by tearing down the highway. Period. Full stop.
NYC is a completely different animal though. We're talking about 20 million people. Things aren't going to sprawl over the Catskills and they can't go that far east on Long Island or that far west before running into Philly for that matter. Land will remain in demand no matter what because there's not a lot if it and far too many people for development to be encroached upon extensively by highways.

That doesn't mean highway construction didn't have a substantial negative impact on previously existing neighborhoods, nor does it mean that those areas would not be better off than they already are if the freeways were never there or they were removed. The BQE hasn't exactly killed off adjacent development, but I imagine that corridor would be stronger if it wasn't there.
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Old 12-30-2014, 09:07 PM
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Location: Long Island / NYC
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chicago76 View Post
That doesn't mean highway construction didn't have a substantial negative impact on previously existing neighborhoods, nor does it mean that those areas would not be better off than they already are if the freeways were never there or they were removed. The BQE hasn't exactly killed off adjacent development, but I imagine that corridor would be stronger if it wasn't there.
The areas within a block away often seem in worse shape than other blocks, but some of it is the BQE in parts was by industrial areas.
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Old 12-30-2014, 09:08 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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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wilton2ParkAve View Post
Lots of effort and thought went into your post, but again 678 essentially cuts queens in half without the knock on effects detailed at length in your post. Suburbanites can still get to the NY airports and citi field without "contributing" to the local economy but queens is thriving. Plenty of businesses remain in the borough even in locations non adjacent to the major highways. Violence/crime, poor quality of life, density, are the culprits for Detroit. The value proposition of the urban core fell below the suburbs and it won't return by tearing down the highway. Period. Full stop.
I agree with you there but I don't think that contradicts what memph is saying "expressways by the core encourage job sprawl". I'm not sure if I agree with memph's post though
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Old 12-30-2014, 10:12 PM
 
Location: Portland, Oregon
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nei View Post
The areas within a block away often seem in worse shape than other blocks, but some of it is the BQE in parts was by industrial areas.
The BQE through Brooklyn is an example of how to build a needed urban freeway because it doesn't really cut through too many neighborhoods and mostly runs through industrial areas. Though there are some residential areas that could be capped, but on the other side having a noisy freeway outside someone's door is one of the few ways to find a reasonably priced apartment in Brooklyn.
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Old 12-30-2014, 11:18 PM
 
Location: South Beach and DT Raleigh
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Does anyone else see the irony in the Motor City tearing out freeways?
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