Dismantling Downtown Freeways

Roads - Rails - Sidewalks - Bikeways
UptownSport
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Re: Dismantling Downtown Freeways

Postby UptownSport » July 17th, 2013, 11:01 am

ECtransplant wrote:Cars are only freedom if you have a government subsidizing roads everywhere to drive them on. Dismantling downtown freeways is a way to decrease car dependency.

And I'm sure telling people, "if you don't like it, move," is a great way to be competitive as a metro.
Not the tone I meant- Fact is, that freeway is going to be there when we're all dead- Whether you, I or anyone else likes it.
same with car usage-
a person thinking they have a snowball's chance in Hell of changing that is just going to get themselves on mass doses of Haldol.

*if* this is that important, DO move to someplace that suits your preference-

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FISHMANPET
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Re: Dismantling Downtown Freeways

Postby FISHMANPET » July 17th, 2013, 11:06 am

Everything is perfect now and nothing will ever change forever so why do we even try let's just shut the forum down folks, we're obviously done here.

And I'll ask you again, how is this discussion any different than your advocating for monorails?

widin007
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Re: Dismantling Downtown Freeways

Postby widin007 » July 17th, 2013, 11:57 am

JMS9 wrote:
mplsjaromir wrote:
This has really terrible grammar. Grammar this bad is not very convincing.
You have a really terrible sarcasm detector and joke meter.
Or maybe that was just a really bad joke?

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woofner
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Re: Dismantling Downtown Freeways

Postby woofner » July 17th, 2013, 12:08 pm

UptownSport wrote:Fact is, that freeway is going to be there when we're all dead- Whether you, I or anyone else likes it.
same with car usage-
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MNdible
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Re: Dismantling Downtown Freeways

Postby MNdible » July 17th, 2013, 12:14 pm

It's worth noting that the dip in oil consumption correlates not only to a spike in oil price, but also to a massive international recession and an increase in national vehicle fleet fuel efficiency. It may be a bit premature to extrapolate that line.

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Re: Dismantling Downtown Freeways

Postby mulad » July 17th, 2013, 12:24 pm

It had begun declining in '05, though certainly the later crash dragged down consumption a lot more.

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Re: Dismantling Downtown Freeways

Postby seanrichardryan » July 17th, 2013, 12:36 pm

Don't worry about oil, we'll all have electric cars filled with rare earth minerals soon enough. Or maybe we could resurrect that U of M solar car- http://www.umnsvp.org/.
Q. What, what? A. In da butt.

ECtransplant
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Re: Dismantling Downtown Freeways

Postby ECtransplant » July 17th, 2013, 12:42 pm

Since we've gone the route of using actual data instead of asserting those whose ideas differ from our own need to move away and take their meds, the decline in vehicle miles traveled, a trend seen in Minneapolis and nationwide, which began before the economy tanked, might be more useful than general petroleum use.

mplsjaromir
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Re: Dismantling Downtown Freeways

Postby mplsjaromir » July 17th, 2013, 1:26 pm

Two things urban freeways and monorails have in common is that no first world city is proposing building new ones, and world class cities are tearing them down.

http://www.transport.nsw.gov.au/project ... al-project

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Re: Dismantling Downtown Freeways

Postby MNdible » July 17th, 2013, 2:11 pm

mplsjaromir wrote:Two things urban freeways and monorails have in common is that no first world city is proposing building new ones, and world class cities are tearing them down.


Of course, lots of first world cities are maintaining and upgrading their existing freeway trunk lines.

RailBaronYarr
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Re: Dismantling Downtown Freeways

Postby RailBaronYarr » July 17th, 2013, 2:49 pm

^That run right through downtowns? Do you have examples?

MNdible
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Re: Dismantling Downtown Freeways

Postby MNdible » July 17th, 2013, 2:53 pm

Off the top of my head: Boston, Milwaukee, Dayton. I'm sure that it's very common, given the age of most of the infrastructure.

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Re: Dismantling Downtown Freeways

Postby mplsjaromir » July 17th, 2013, 3:01 pm

MNdible wrote:Off the top of my head: Boston, Milwaukee, Dayton. I'm sure that it's very common, given the age of most of the infrastructure.
Milwaukee also removed urban freeways. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Park_Freeway

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Re: Dismantling Downtown Freeways

Postby MNdible » July 17th, 2013, 3:16 pm

A little partially constructed stub that wasn't particularly useful for anybody.

Wedgeguy
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Re: Dismantling Downtown Freeways

Postby Wedgeguy » July 17th, 2013, 4:25 pm

Boston actually had the BIG DIG which moved the freeway underground and they restored the grid above it. They actually made the Rose Kennedy park that covers muck of the underground freeway, I-95 I believe./

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Re: Dismantling Downtown Freeways

Postby RailBaronYarr » July 17th, 2013, 6:03 pm

I think most people here would agree (as I have) that a buried 94, 35W, 35E via land bridge in as many places as possible would be a HUGE compromise. Obviously the problems associated with freeways cutting through downtown are that they 1) divide neighborhoods and decrease their value (noise, health, safety, etc) at the benefit of those using them and 2) induce auto travel demand (not just in to downtown but through it as well). Land bridges would fix many of the problems associated with 1, so I'll grant that Boston's Big Dig was a compromise between removal and typical maintenance/widening.

However, I don't know that I would call Milwaukee or Dayton, OH "world class cities." I love Minneapolis-St Paul and I'm not sure I'd lump us in that category, either. I'm curious to see what Dallas does with I-345 through their downtown. It's a viaduct in need of replacing in a state that loves cars, trucks, and freeways perhaps more than anywhere in the country.

You can argue whether all the good examples of removal were simply because they were stubs or pointless to begin with, but there were definitely opponents in every instance saying the same thing. If the complete loss of the 35W bridge affected our economic output as a region by less than a thousandth of a percent, I'd say the discussion about how 'necessary' the connection was is at least worth having.

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Re: Dismantling Downtown Freeways

Postby MNdible » July 17th, 2013, 8:03 pm

RailBaronYarr wrote:However, I don't know that I would call Milwaukee or Dayton, OH "world class cities."
Please don't take the list of three cities that I came up with off the top of my head as being comprehensive of all freeway maintenance and improvement projects going on across the country.

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Re: Dismantling Downtown Freeways

Postby RailBaronYarr » July 17th, 2013, 9:20 pm

You claimed world class cities are maintaining/upgrading their trunk lines, so I was curious which ones. I know Paris is doing the exact opposite by expanding their Metro and RER lines and reducing parking capacity within the Peripherique (while also converting many auto lanes to bus-only lanes and adding bike infrastructure). London is rapidly expanding bike facilities and has continued to implement congestion/zone pricing for autos (plus their 10 year Tube upgrade). I'm just interested to see what great cities out there are doubling down on core urban freeways.

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Re: Dismantling Downtown Freeways

Postby Didier » July 17th, 2013, 9:36 pm

RailBaronYarr wrote:but I'll once again point out that many wonderful cities in first-world countries with productive economies don't have freeways running through downtown.
You keep saying this, but you must know you're comparing apples and oranges.

1. Most of these cities you speak of are centuries old, developed organically and in many instances based their street system on life well before cars.

2. There is nothing in London or Paris or Rome that is comparable to "downtown" Minneapolis. These cities now have tall buildings, but the commerce isn't centralized in them like it is here.

I'm not at all suggesting that a U.S. downtown needs to have freeways running through them, but whether or not other cities have these highways is barely relevant to our situation.

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Re: Dismantling Downtown Freeways

Postby RailBaronYarr » July 17th, 2013, 10:18 pm

Didier wrote:You keep saying this, but you must know you're comparing apples and oranges.

1. Most of these cities you speak of are centuries old, developed organically and in many instances based their street system on life well before cars.
Minneapolis had 464k people living within its borders in 1930 (and over 500k post WWII), well before the advent of skyscrapers and broad-based car ownership. Yes, old cities evolved over centuries (they also burned down on occasion), but Minneapolis was quite built out by the time freeways were built. I'd say the 100 years or so of development without cars was quite a bit. Most American cities existed with significant size during the boom of rail, just as European cities did. And the high concentration of cities in the NE/Midwest (east of Chicago) would be as accessible by rail as mainland European cities are today.
2. There is nothing in London or Paris or Rome that is comparable to "downtown" Minneapolis. These cities now have tall buildings, but the commerce isn't centralized in them like it is here.
Yet the density of people and businesses at any point is still quite high relative to most American cities, without the need for the number and size of freeways we have in many cities. Also, La Defense is a pretty big concentration of skyscraper commerce.
I'm not at all suggesting that a U.S. downtown needs to have freeways running through them, but whether or not other cities have these highways is barely relevant to our situation.
The statement was made that world-class cities are maintaining/upgrading their urban freeways. I'm just countering that.


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