A city without expressways, or with expressways

Charlie_mta

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(Post deleted; Need to work on this some more).
 
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Arlington

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Not gonna lie: The thread topic is gonna haunt me.

Somehow it is easier to picture in other peoples cities: like does NYC need its east and west side highways or does the Varrazano need a BQE

or what would Hartford or Providence look like? (And how nice that Providence moved I-195)
 
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Arlington

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Also easier to play as “unbuilt inner Boston-Cambridge highways” (95 & 2 etc) and Unbuilt US 3 between MVP & Burlington.
 

Arlington

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See what you’ve done? You’ve got a moderator riffing on topics then diverging. My riffs can’t be better than whatever the OP was going to be ! I say the topic itself is genius enough and don’t agonize on the post. Let ‘er rip.
 

Charlie_mta

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Okay, I have my maps ready and set up on Flickr. The first map is an imaginary US city without any expressways. I made this city up entirely from scratch.

The second map is a more conventional city, the same city as in the first map but with a robust system of expressways, typical of many US cities of this size. The map legend is at the lower left corner of each map.

The differences between the two maps are: The city without expressways has some vast areas reserved from development (shown as olive green areas) that are away from the HRT rapid transit lines (shown as red lines/dashed red lines). Also there is an intercity high speed rail line (shown as a heavier purple line). The reserve areas are possible because of TOD/higher density development near the transit stations. The second map (the same city with expressways) has more of the urban sprawl typical of large us metro areas,

The city without expressways map is at (click on the image} https://flic.kr/p/2mMipbZ The same city with expressways is at (click on the image} https://flic.kr/p/2mMrXet
 

Charlie_mta

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Weed is legal in CA and this is what happens.
I can see both sides to this. The freeways/expressways are congested, pollute the air, divide communities, use up a lot of acreage, and have tended to be placed in disadvantaged communities rather than wealthy ones. So, what to do to mitigate all this? Outright elimination of the freeways/expressways is one option, but where does all the traffic go? People aren't giving up their 2 or 3 cars per family overnight. I'm thinking that something like a transit bank could work, something like a wetland bank. For each lane of expressway eliminated, build an equivalent level of transit service to replace it. This could be BRT, LRV, HRT, CR, etc. I'm also thinking automated (self-driving) cars could reduce the number of expressways/expressway lanes needed.
 

HenryAlan

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Here's an interesting proposal by a California architectural firm to convert Los Angeles' freeways to greenway, transit and trail corridors. It's certainly applicable to any metro area in the US:
https://duttonarchitects.com/los-angeles-freeway-alternative/
It's a bit like if the South West Expressway had been built, then torn down with the ROW repurposed as a linear park and rail transit corridor. I'm glad we skipped the intermediate step. It would be great to have a system of similar travel/recreational corridors throughout Boston metro.
 

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