Why Would You Have a Highway Run Through a City?, by Daniel C. Vock (Governing)
That’s what a growing number of cities are asking themselves -- Syracuse being the latest that may tear down its elevated urban expressway.
... At the same time, cities, with the encouragement of the Obama administration, are rethinking their street plans. Amenities such as bike lanes, wide sidewalks, streetcars and green space are becoming more common. Traffic engineers, (John) Norquist says, are moving away from the old model of channeling cars from residential roads with cul-de-sacs, to service roads, on to arterial roads and ultimately to freeways. Instead, he says, engineers are using much more nuanced models for the roads they create.
Changes in society are at work too. The automobile, while still by far the dominant mode of transportation in the U.S., has lately lost some of its appeal. It used to be that the number of miles Americans drove went up every year. Since the recession, though, the country’s driving has leveled off. Teenagers are waiting longer to get their driver’s licenses. And young adults flock to cities and neighborhoods where restaurants, bars and shops are within walking distance -- or maybe a short bus trip or train ride away.
But none of those factors guarantees that scrapping elevated highways will be popular, or smart, in every city. Such a fundamental change in a city’s landscape raises big questions of whom the transportation network should be designed to serve, and at what cost.
Wednesday, July 23, 2014
"Cities, with the encouragement of the Obama administration, are rethinking their street plans."
Except in Louisville.