Dismantling Downtown Freeways

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MNdible
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Re: Dismantling Downtown Freeways

Postby MNdible » July 15th, 2013, 4:09 pm

redisciple wrote:
MNdible wrote:The researchers found that only about 14,000 daily trips were disrupted. I believe that means 90% of the traffic was either discretionary or exceptional and therefore easily (if fearfully) adjusted. That's not to say there weren't consequences to the collapse, but especially considering our relatively high freeway lane miles per capita, it's reasonable to consider whether it was worthwhile to replace.
I'm not sure what the academic definition of disrupted is, but there were certainly much more than 14,000 that which were impacted.

Perhaps this is just a thought exercise, but if I were to start picking off freeway lane miles that would make sense to eliminate, I'd place these particular lane miles near the bottom of the list.

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woofner
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Re: Dismantling Downtown Freeways

Postby woofner » July 15th, 2013, 5:07 pm

MNdible wrote:I'm not sure what the academic definition of disrupted is, but there were certainly much more than 14,000 that which were impacted.
Maybe when you spend 3 years studying it and write a 100 page paper on it, I'll take your word over people who study transportation systems for a living.

This certainly is a thought experiment, and if we were to get serious as a region about the overbuilt state of our regional highway network, we'd have to answer questions about what the purpose of this network is that has so far gone unasked. For example, does it exist for commuters? For industry? So pass-through travel doesn't unduly affect local travel? To increase real estate values (cough Carol Molnau cough)? To quickly & efficiently transport troops across the country?

It's interesting that in the planning stages of the highway network, the question of the impact on the surrounding urban fabric was taken very seriously, and routings were attempted to meet natural breaks (mostly unsuccessfully of course). 60 years later, though, that impact is barely considered.
"Who rescued whom!"

RailBaronYarr
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Re: Dismantling Downtown Freeways

Postby RailBaronYarr » July 15th, 2013, 5:25 pm

MNdible wrote:
RailBaronYarr wrote:Depends what you mean by meaningful. You say they did, yet I don't recall hearing of any companies moving from a downtown location to the suburbs as a direct result (did any at all?).
I'm not sure what you're getting at there, but I very explicitly said that companies didn't move, and I implied that the reason that they didn't move is because the disruption was understood to be temporary.
You claimed people did meaningfully alter patterns. I'm saying they didn't. Altering the route taken to work, time leaving by 10, 15, 20 minutes, etc don't constitute a meaningful change. Many likely didn't make changes at all (those who previously didn't use the 35W bridge) and anecdotal and studied evidence shows their route wasn't "meaningfully" altered (in my mind, enough to change jobs, housing location, or transportation mode choice in a permanent way).

UptownSport
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Re: Dismantling Downtown Freeways

Postby UptownSport » July 15th, 2013, 8:20 pm

I'll draft a letter to the DOT;
Dear Minnesota Department of Transportation,

We at UrbanMSP have determined urban freeways aren't necessary. People may balk, at first, when you remove them, but they will soon see how much better life is when they're gone; for one thing, they won't have traffic jams because where ever they worked probably won't be open anymore, and lots (the 'unenlightened') will have moved to another State or even a third world country where they can conduct business- So Minneapolis won't be crowded at all!

Thanks, please commence demolition ASAP.

UrbanMSP

P.S. Yes, we are taking our meds

mplsjaromir
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Re: Dismantling Downtown Freeways

Postby mplsjaromir » July 16th, 2013, 6:56 am

UptownSport wrote:I'll draft a letter to the DOT;
Dear Minnesota Department of Transportation,

We at UrbanMSP have determined urban freeways aren't necessary. People may balk, at first, when you remove them, but they will soon see how much better life is when they're gone; for one thing, they won't have traffic jams because where ever they worked probably won't be open anymore, and lots (the 'unenlightened') will have moved to another State or even a third world country where they can conduct business- So Minneapolis won't be crowded at all!

Thanks, please commence demolition ASAP.

UrbanMSP

P.S. Yes, we are taking our meds
This has really terrible grammar. Grammar this bad is not very convincing.

UptownSport
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Re: Dismantling Downtown Freeways

Postby UptownSport » July 16th, 2013, 11:04 am

Oh. So they won't take removing freeways seriously because of run-on sentences?
I mean, like, we devoted several pages to the subject and lots of (virtual) ink- And
Our best minds were on it :(

Sorry I let you down ....

RailBaronYarr
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Re: Dismantling Downtown Freeways

Postby RailBaronYarr » July 16th, 2013, 11:53 am

Uptown, I know you were being tongue-in-cheek, 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. They're great places to live, work, and travel to. Paris is actively removing city-owned parking spaces as an official decree while putting in dedicated bus lanes in place of previous car infrastructure (to supplement their wonderful Metro that, despite heavy current investment in efficiency and reach, is stretched to its limits).

Being facetious about some people's ideas as if we're proposing to demolish the 35W bridge, I-94, and 394 all in one day with no alternatives in place isn't helpful. As I stated before, it took 60 years to get to this point (35E, 35W, 94, and 394 were not built in a day nor built in the 1950s). If it takes 30 years to rectify some of the issues these very freeways have caused on city neighborhoods and the environment, even if that means reduced car capacity in within the city limits, it could be a good idea.

mplsjaromir
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Re: Dismantling Downtown Freeways

Postby mplsjaromir » July 16th, 2013, 12:25 pm

Improper pronoun-antecedent agreement is more the problem, but that is either here nor there.

It is possible to question weather or not freeways or certain freeways are appropriate without claiming that all freeways should be removed. Claiming that unless all freeways remain, companies will decamp for the suburbs is a false choice. Employers downtown need workers, some may see workers and their automobiles as one inseparable entity, but in fact people get around without cars.

Stay with me now, there are even some metro areas that have much larger and dare I say more successful CBDs with far fewer highway lanes per capita than Minneapolis and St. Paul.

The systems that have allowed for non single occupant vehicle access to major job centers took many years to develop. Some systems developed because they existed before automobiles, others came to fruition under a dirigisme, some are being slowly developed by taking deliberate steps to make regions more accessible for more types of transportation. I think that MSP should look at ways at getting more people to their destinations in an efficient manner.

I agree it would be a tragedy to dismantle the urban freeway system in the same manner that the urban streetcar was demolished. Granted the streetcar network was dismantled in less than ten years. I see nothing wrong with having long range goals or reestablishing local streets for intra-city trips.

My vision would be:

1.A complete beltway. 8-10 lanes 494-694. Complete flyover interchanges at major intersections (35, 94, 169, 36, 252, 100).

2.394 like stubs for all freeways that enter the cities' centers. 35W south bound would end at Washington, 35W north bound would end at Franklin, 94 east bound would end at 3rd st, etc.

3. New non-freeways intergrated back with the grid.

4. More exclusive blacktop for buses. Hopefully a fully dedicated E W lane in DT Minneapolis.

I think they are modest goals, along with new investments in rail the metro can make better use of the land we have set aside for transportation, while making the central cities more pleasant.

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Re: Dismantling Downtown Freeways

Postby Wedgeguy » July 16th, 2013, 12:46 pm

You kind of forgot the "Not in my back yard" equation when residential people have to deal with heavy traffic now using their streets to get across town. Hate to put a turd in the punch bowl, but that will be what you will have to deal with!

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FISHMANPET
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Re: Dismantling Downtown Freeways

Postby FISHMANPET » July 16th, 2013, 1:01 pm

Also to speak about the 35W crossing and the nearby alternative, which is the Cedar Ave bridge. As someone that lives in Seward and frequently visits a friend in NE, it's a wash if I should take 35W to cross the river or the Cedar Ave bridge. But the roads around the Cedar Ave bridge are built with the expectation that most traffic will be on the 35W bridge, so it's narrowed to one lane to keep speeds low etc etc. I'd bet if you redesigned those intersections with the assumption that 35W is gone you'd deal with quite a bit of mess.

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Re: Dismantling Downtown Freeways

Postby RailBaronYarr » July 16th, 2013, 1:46 pm

^Unless, of course, over the next 30 years we de-regulated land use, stop making investments in road-widening, and take that money (or a portion of it) and fund transit/bike infrastructure incrementally as development occurs. With the end goal in mind being that all of a sudden the 4 lanes each way across the river on 35W become moot for local travel and major shipping/thru traffic took the 494/694 beltway (which is already the fastest route for E/W-bound 94, and would only add 7 minutes traveling N/S on 35).

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Re: Dismantling Downtown Freeways

Postby UptownSport » July 16th, 2013, 6:40 pm

We live in the US. We drive cars, whether you like it or not.

It's not going to change in foreseeable future.

This is so obvious that it's difficult to take such a proposal seriously.

orangevening
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Re: Dismantling Downtown Freeways

Postby orangevening » July 16th, 2013, 7:03 pm

^sure, but the point is how to make it less so

RailBaronYarr
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Re: Dismantling Downtown Freeways

Postby RailBaronYarr » July 16th, 2013, 7:37 pm

Pointing out the obvious, do people in other countries drive cars and have freeway systems? Just because we as a country have done something for a long time and it's ingrained in our culture does not make it unquestionably right (we've made other drastic societal changes in the past - allowing women to vote, Civil Rights Act, etc that were massive changes to the status quo). If every person in the developed and developing world lived the way we do, what would the CO2 output be per year? It's not a ridiculous proposal to at least consider.

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FISHMANPET
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Re: Dismantling Downtown Freeways

Postby FISHMANPET » July 16th, 2013, 8:34 pm

UptownSport wrote:We live in the US. We drive cars, whether you like it or not.

It's not going to change in foreseeable future.

This is so obvious that it's difficult to take such a proposal seriously.
Maybe we should just build monorails everywhere? Even though we don't now?

UptownSport
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Re: Dismantling Downtown Freeways

Postby UptownSport » July 16th, 2013, 8:55 pm

orangevening wrote:^sure, but the point is how to make it less so
No, the point was "Dismantling Downtown Freeways", not how to make it less so.

And it's scary you've all decided cars are 'bad', and you've decided what's best for all of us is to get rid of them.
Cars are freedom, as much a part of America as Apple Pie.

You CAN move to a city where there's transit- They do still have cars in those places tho

ECtransplant
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Re: Dismantling Downtown Freeways

Postby ECtransplant » July 16th, 2013, 10:22 pm

UptownSport wrote:
orangevening wrote:^sure, but the point is how to make it less so
No, the point was "Dismantling Downtown Freeways", not how to make it less so.

And it's scary you've all decided cars are 'bad', and you've decided what's best for all of us is to get rid of them.
Cars are freedom, as much a part of America as Apple Pie.

You CAN move to a city where there's transit- They do still have cars in those places tho
:roll: :roll: :roll:

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.

JMS9

Re: Dismantling Downtown Freeways

Postby JMS9 » July 16th, 2013, 11:04 pm

mplsjaromir wrote:
UptownSport wrote:I'll draft a letter to the DOT;
Dear Minnesota Department of Transportation,

We at UrbanMSP have determined urban freeways aren't necessary. People may balk, at first, when you remove them, but they will soon see how much better life is when they're gone; for one thing, they won't have traffic jams because where ever they worked probably won't be open anymore, and lots (the 'unenlightened') will have moved to another State or even a third world country where they can conduct business- So Minneapolis won't be crowded at all!

Thanks, please commence demolition ASAP.

UrbanMSP

P.S. Yes, we are taking our meds
This has really terrible grammar. Grammar this bad is not very convincing.
You have a really terrible sarcasm detector and joke meter.

Snelbian
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Re: Dismantling Downtown Freeways

Postby Snelbian » July 17th, 2013, 9:21 am

UptownSport wrote:
orangevening wrote:^sure, but the point is how to make it less so
No, the point was "Dismantling Downtown Freeways", not how to make it less so.

And it's scary you've all decided cars are 'bad', and you've decided what's best for all of us is to get rid of them.
Cars are freedom, as much a part of America as Apple Pie.

You CAN move to a city where there's transit- They do still have cars in those places tho
I just filled my Out-of-touch Americana Hyperbole Bingo card.

Tom H.
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Re: Dismantling Downtown Freeways

Postby Tom H. » July 17th, 2013, 10:08 am

Snelbian wrote:
I just filled my Out-of-touch Americana Hyperbole Bingo card.
*snort*


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