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Old 12-30-2014, 11:26 PM
 
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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.
True, they seem in worse shape, but compared to other metros, a block from the freeway usually isn't just
seem in worse shape". It's often no there at all anymore. Nobody wants to look out their third story window and look at a major expressway at eye level, but in NYC, somebody will live with that due to real estate scarcity. In other cities, that's a much tougher sell. When I lived in Brooklyn, I had friends who lived right on the BQE. It wasn't great, but people made the best of it because other options were pretty limited.

Quote:
Originally Posted by nei View Post
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
This is the big question to me. In relatively compact and smallish metros like Buffalo, tearing out a freeway might not be much of a hinderance to getting people from the suburbs to the CBD. For a larger metro with transit options and obvious employment appeal in the core, it probably won't either. What about everything in between? Expressways originally encouraged job sprawl, which allowed people to stay out of the CBDs altogether. If we start tearing them out, are we helping the CBDs, or are we effectively slamming the door on more people coming back into the CBDs? I really think it depends upon the metro. Here in St Louis, as much as I hate what expressways have done to the city, I think tearing them out would just encourage suburban job centers to consolidate their hold in a highly suburban workforce.
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Old 12-31-2014, 12:10 AM
 
Location: Portland, Oregon
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rnc2mbfl View Post
Does anyone else see the irony in the Motor City tearing out freeways?
Yeah, a little bit.
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Old 12-31-2014, 12:23 AM
 
Location: Portland, Oregon
46,053 posts, read 29,523,816 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chicago76 View Post
True, they seem in worse shape, but compared to other metros, a block from the freeway usually isn't just
seem in worse shape". It's often no there at all anymore. Nobody wants to look out their third story window and look at a major expressway at eye level, but in NYC, somebody will live with that due to real estate scarcity. In other cities, that's a much tougher sell. When I lived in Brooklyn, I had friends who lived right on the BQE. It wasn't great, but people made the best of it because other options were pretty limited.



This is the big question to me. In relatively compact and smallish metros like Buffalo, tearing out a freeway might not be much of a hinderance to getting people from the suburbs to the CBD. For a larger metro with transit options and obvious employment appeal in the core, it probably won't either. What about everything in between? Expressways originally encouraged job sprawl, which allowed people to stay out of the CBDs altogether. If we start tearing them out, are we helping the CBDs, or are we effectively slamming the door on more people coming back into the CBDs? I really think it depends upon the metro. Here in St Louis, as much as I hate what expressways have done to the city, I think tearing them out would just encourage suburban job centers to consolidate their hold in a highly suburban workforce.
With St Louis, I don't think they actually need to remove any of their freeways because for the most part they mostly just act as a divide between residential and industrial zones. Granted 44 through downtown could expand the cap they are building or just finished for the arch to the other blocks downtown.

Though it wouldn't kill St Louis to try and expand their Metrolink and to push for more housing developments downtown. It felt kind of dead when I was down there last summer for a day outside of people going to the Cardinals game or to visit the Arch.
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Old 12-31-2014, 12:30 AM
 
2,388 posts, read 2,955,202 times
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Part of rebuilding or right-sizing Detroit (or whatever happens) has to be stabilizing and growing the downtown core and it's going to be difficult to keep that momentum with some of those freeways.

So much has been written about Detroit over the last two decades and the sum of what I take away from all of it has been that the automotive industry turned the screws there to the point that with the decline of the industry there was no possible way to recover. Probably Combine that with the flight of the snowbirds, a relatively stagnant state population, all of the finance arms of the automakers were based in the suburbs (and at different points in Minneapolis or NYC), a housing stock that was cheaper to tear down than to rebuild . . . and a complete unwillingness to acknowledge decline and appropriately triage.
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Old 12-31-2014, 12:32 AM
 
2,388 posts, read 2,955,202 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by I_Like_Spam View Post
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.


This such a big part of urban population decline that is completely overlooked by most people most of the time.
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Old 12-31-2014, 08:40 AM
 
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I think Komeht should get a car and try driving on a free way before going on another rampage. <-This smiley face makes it non-offensive.
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Old 12-31-2014, 08:58 AM
Status: "Summer!" (set 19 days ago)
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
87,006 posts, read 102,592,596 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?
Agreed. I thought that was supposed to be the thing to do these days, like putting Coors Field in downtown Denver supposedly helped revive the area.

Quote:
Originally Posted by drive carephilly View Post


This such a big part of urban population decline that is completely overlooked by most people most of the time.
I don't think declining family size is a huge part of urban decline. The suburbs have been similarly affected by that. The big problem in Pittsburgh was the crash of the steel industry. The whole metro area declined in population from 1971 until 2010, with large losses throughout the 1970s and 1980s.
Pittsburgh, PA MSA Population and Components of Change -- Real Estate Center at Texas A&M University Home
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Old 12-31-2014, 09:12 AM
 
Location: Thunder Bay, ON
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I think building freeways into downtowns of big cities like Detroit and St Louis was probably a mistake at that time (mostly 50s-70s). Especially when it's 5-6 freeways instead of 1-2 and then go through not only low density industrial areas but also cut across dense residential and mixed use areas.

Now that the damage is done though, with sometimes just 1/4 of the population remaining in the inner core, much weaker transit, job sprawl, etc it's less obvious if removing them will help.
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Old 12-31-2014, 09:26 AM
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Location: Long Island / NYC
45,989 posts, read 41,967,271 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Katiana View Post

I don't think declining family size is a huge part of urban decline. The suburbs have been similarly affected by that. The big problem in Pittsburgh was the crash of the steel industry. The whole metro area declined in population from 1971 until 2010, with large losses throughout the 1970s and 1980s.
Pittsburgh, PA MSA Population and Components of Change -- Real Estate Center at Texas A&M University Home
Family size decrease explains population loss in older towns and cities, where little new housing has been added. Boston has lost 25% of its population with very little abandonment. Even Levittown, NY lost about 25% of its population.
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Old 12-31-2014, 09:59 AM
 
410 posts, read 389,142 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rnc2mbfl View Post
Does anyone else see the irony in the Motor City tearing out freeways?
The freeway miles per capita in Metro Detroit is actually pretty low and the city has never been known as a freeway town. The transportation system of Detroit was originally centered around transit. The city had plans to construct rapid transit lines running underneath the major thoroughfares of the city and the Detroit Rapid Transit Commission concluded that 120 feet is the minimum street width that should be considered for a 4-track rapid transit line. Outside of the city limits, the ROW was expanded to 204 with 86 feet dedicated for surface rail lines. The wide streets of Detroit and the wide boulevards of the suburbs are a direct result of the region's vision to have a world class transit system. It just never materialized.

Quote:
“Proposed Super-Highway Plan for Greater Detroit”; Detroit Rapid Transit Commission; April 10th, 1924.

In the case of any underground lines, the desirable over-all width for an express station on a 4-track line determines the proper width that the principal streets should ultimately have. Designed with three platforms to accelerate loading and unloading and thereby expedite train movement, such a station will have an over-all width of 99 feet. Such a station can be constructed in a 106-foot street, but this does not leave any room between building foundations and station structure to accommodate sewers and other subsurface structures that must be provided for in the street; and it makes the underpinning of the building foundations more difficult and expensive. For these reasons 120 feet is the minimum street width that should be considered for a 4-track rapid transit line.

Woodward Avenue was widened in the 30s to make way for the rapid transit lines. Buildings that encroached the 120 foot ROW were partially demolished and/or relocated. Below are some great pictures comparing Woodward Avenue before and after the widening:

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