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View Diary: All Infrastructure Is Not Created Equal (284 comments)

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  •  Yes it has! (6+ / 0-)

    And we can learn from the mistakes that were made.

      Buffalo is strangled by the elevated highway that run through it.  The city is cut off from its water front and a dead zone extends from either side of the expressway.

    How nice would it be to reconnect it all.

    •  You should see Springfield, Massachusetts (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      skeptigal, expatyank, HylasBrook

      And they rebuilt the ugly elevated highway thing in the 1990s.

      It totally cuts off the city from the river from which sprang the economy in the 1600s.

      Instead of putting this highway on the other side of the river and 5 miles into the countryside, they ran it straight up from the Hartford airport to Springfield.

      Too bad there aren't earthquakes in the area.  If you remember the "Skyways" in San Francisco along the Embarcadero that were torn down after the big 1989 earthquake, then you sense the value of tearing down the I-91 elevated highway running through Springfield.  

      Of course the highway advocates will say you can't get rid of $250 million of roadway.

      Oh yes we can.

      •  those same skyways (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        schroeder, CParis

        are part of old Highway-99 running along the coast of downtown Seattle...and tho I've not lived there in years, I gather that figuring out what to do with those structures is a major political headache...and a huge bundle of money

        isn't the larger point here that we shouldn't spend willy nilly, that there are good and predictably helpful long-term projects which should be prioritized above simply plucking proposals off the pile and funding them?

        "If kerosene works/Why not gasoline?" -- The Bottle Rockets

        by Shocko from Seattle on Sun Dec 21, 2008 at 07:40:56 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Oh yeah, the viaduct (0+ / 0-)

          Yes, yes, it is a major source of headaches for everyone from Governor Gregoire on down. As I understand it there are about three major options on the table for what to do about it:

          • Replace it with another elevated structure,
          • Replace it with a tunnel, or
          • Do neither and route traffic to surface streets, possibly widening Alaskan Way or shifting traffic to transit in the process.

          Gregoire has stated that the state is taking down the viaduct in 2012 regardless of other external factors, so someone had better come up with a plan for what to do with those 110,000 cars a day by then. Unfortunately each of the three options has its backers and detractors in high places.

          I honestly have no idea how this is going to play out. I'm just glad I don't work downtown these days (although I feel for my daughter, who does).

          We have done the impossible, and that makes us mighty.

          Now the real work begins.

          by Omir the Storyteller on Sun Dec 21, 2008 at 11:42:40 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  That's what they are planning in Cleveland (0+ / 0-)

      with the restructuring of the Shoreway which essentially put a high-speed road barrier between the city and the lakefront. On the other hand, the state;s idea for closing almost all the Inner Belt exists/entrances through downtown is horrible and ill-conceived: it sees the Inner Belt as something just to move people out of the city to the suburbs faster, it will kill downtown and create monstrous traffic jams whenever there is a football or baseball game since it funnels all the traffic into one exit instead of several and totally removes the one next to the baseball stadium/basketball arena. It would destroy virtually everything downtown including my church which is a quarter block from an Inner Belt exit. And i really should be leaving for services now...

    •  Buffalo is such a mess (0+ / 0-)

      Besides the Skyway cutting through downtown, building the subway basically destroyed Main St. The city had federal funding to massively expand the subway into a light rail system reaching from Orchard Park to Niagara Falls, but the suburbs all turned it down after they saw the damage it did to the city.

      I'm all for expanding infrastructure, especially public transportation, but we have to be smarter than Buffalo was, or Robert Moses was in the Bronx.

      "Those of you inclined to worry have the widest selection in history." - Mark Twain

      by schroeder on Sun Dec 21, 2008 at 08:57:56 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Robert Moses did most of the freeways (0+ / 0-)

        in Buffalo too. He separated the city from Lake Erie.

        Cities are good for the environment

        by citydem on Sun Dec 21, 2008 at 09:36:36 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  oh, that's right (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          citydem

          They named a bridge after him.  On my list of people I'd go back in time and stop, Robert Moses is like two spots below Hitler.  I've only lived in two cities in my life, and he screwed both of them.  New York's big enough (and rich enough) that it can always bounce back and adapt.  But Buffalo?  Turning the city around would take such a colossal effort at this point, will anyone even bother trying?

          "Those of you inclined to worry have the widest selection in history." - Mark Twain

          by schroeder on Sun Dec 21, 2008 at 04:16:38 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

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