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Old February 27th, 2010, 04:52 PM   #1
poshbakerloo
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Big roads cut through were there wasn't one originally...

Big roads cut through were there wasn't one originally...

Here in the UK there aren't as many as in some places. This is mainly due to conservative planning laws. But it still did happen, mainly in the 1960s! Hibel Road, in Macclesfield (town near me) is a good example of this! Show us your cities new road!

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Old March 1st, 2010, 07:14 AM   #2
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Almost every interstate in every major city.
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Old March 1st, 2010, 09:13 AM   #3
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Almost every interstate in every major city.
I was about to say this.

I love how most interstates will take you to the heart of the city. I think that's because cities in the U.S. aren't as old or well established as European cities. London was a big city before the idea of New York ever existed.
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Old March 1st, 2010, 09:58 AM   #4
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I find the urban interstates in US very cool. They go straight through urban neighborhoods. In some maps, you can even identify old street patterns "disrupted" by a massive 6-lanes freeway. They are awesome!

Too bad that NIMBYs now demand new freeways to be tunneled etc.
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Old March 1st, 2010, 09:57 PM   #5
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Building elevated or overground motorways through city-centres is just a plain insanity. For through-traffic, there are bypasses and motorways rings around the centre. Don't get me wrong. I'm not against motorways but I think that the value that's lost when ruining a city centre is greater than the cost of an underground motorway.

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I find the urban interstates in US very cool. They go straight through urban neighborhoods. In some maps, you can even identify old street patterns "disrupted" by a massive 6-lanes freeway. They are awesome!

Too bad that NIMBYs now demand new freeways to be tunneled etc.
I bet you turn into a NIMBY the second somebody starts planning a motorway in your back yard.
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Old March 1st, 2010, 10:20 PM   #6
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European city centers (the historic ones) do not have as much jobs as U.S. downtown areas do. Therefore, you cannot compare this. In Europe, it isn't necessary to have a motorway right through the city center. Only a few European cities have this, and they were usually devastated in World War II, like Duisburg, Essen or Saarbrücken.

Downtown areas of American cities, however, often boast hundreds of thousands of jobs, so you need freeways to serve those jobs. A disadvantage of American beltways is that they are usually so far out that they can't compete with the through routes, so through traffic is better off driving through downtown, unless there's simply no such route (like in Washington D.C. or Baltimore). I doubt much through-traffic uses the beltways of Kansas City or Houston to get around the city. On the other hand, through-traffic is only a small margin of the total traffic, for example, in Houston out of 300,000 AADT, maybe 20,000 is plain through traffic from the one side of the city to the other and further.
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Old March 1st, 2010, 11:07 PM   #7
seem
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Bratislava

it is not motorway but it is big road in the city center

past









nowadays





And that is motorway D1 in Bratislava-Petržalka, not so far from the old city





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Old March 2nd, 2010, 06:04 AM   #8
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Didn't Napoleon III do that with all of the familiar broad boulevards in Paris? Before that, pretty much the entire city was still on its medieval street network.

I also recall that that main street in Rome leading into Saint Peter's Square in the Vatican was 'bulldozed' through an existing neighborhood during the 1930s by Mussolini.

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Old March 2nd, 2010, 11:47 AM   #9
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I bet you turn into a NIMBY the second somebody starts planning a motorway in your back yard.
I'm really not. I grew up with a motorway (indeed, two) 300m from my house, and a stack interchange nearby. I found interesting and cool to open the window late at night and listen to those full-throttle trucks using air brakes. My mom's house in her country (indeed, the whole village) was also flooded when she was young to build an electric dam (proper compensation was paid).
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Old March 2nd, 2010, 11:53 AM   #10
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European city centers (the historic ones) do not have as much jobs as U.S. downtown areas do. Therefore, you cannot compare this. In Europe, it isn't necessary to have a motorway right through the city center. Only a few European cities have this, and they were usually devastated in World War II, like Duisburg, Essen or Saarbrücken.

Downtown areas of American cities, however, often boast hundreds of thousands of jobs, so you need freeways to serve those jobs. A disadvantage of American beltways is that they are usually so far out that they can't compete with the through routes, so through traffic is better off driving through downtown, unless there's simply no such route (like in Washington D.C. or Baltimore). I doubt much through-traffic uses the beltways of Kansas City or Houston to get around the city. On the other hand, through-traffic is only a small margin of the total traffic, for example, in Houston out of 300,000 AADT, maybe 20,000 is plain through traffic from the one side of the city to the other and further.
Chris, you need, also, to account that many cities have multiple interstates converging to it, providing multiple possibilities for truly through-traffic to dodge congestion. Sure, not possible in Thanksgiving eve, but with a decent live-traffic GPS, one can easily make its way in less time. Few European metropolitan areas give those possibilities for drivers, Madrid and Berlin come to my mind.

I'm impressed, though, how many drivers with state-of-the art GPS navigators with live traffic feeds don't trust the "dynamic shortest routes" indications.
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Old March 2nd, 2010, 11:26 PM   #11
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I for one can't stand big highways at all. They cut off and ruin urban districts. And thankfully, many of our cities in the USA are realizing this. You can move traffic through an urban area in other ways, like the Big Dig in my city, Boston, for example:

"But the Artery vivisected Boston. It barred pedestrians from the water. It overwhelmed low-rise streets, a historic outdoor fruit and vegetable market, and even the historic Faneuil Hall with traffic, noise, and shadow. It erased swaths of the working-class Italian North End, displacing 573 businesses—mostly small shops and trading firms—and hundreds of families. Owners of some buildings that escaped the bulldozers bricked over windows that faced the Artery. Boston understood the Artery’s impact so quickly that in 1954 it changed tack and buried a last stretch in a tunnel.

Though it did enable suburban workers to get to new office jobs, the Artery quickly became obsolete. Its intended daily capacity was 70,000 cars, but it soon groaned under 170,000. Poorly designed and constructed, it had structural problems and an accident rate four times the national average, because drivers veering toward the Artery’s abundance of downtown exits collided with drivers continuing to the increasingly busy Logan Airport. The building of the Artery turned Bostonians so vehemently against highways that the state halted their construction in the early seventies, killing a planned inner belt that, after displacing another 4,000 families, would have carried traffic from the downtown Artery to other parts of the city. But because the belt and the Artery had been conceived as an integrated system, Artery traffic had nowhere to go. "

But now that the ugly highway is gone:

"Travel time through downtown at afternoon rush hour is down from nearly 20 minutes to less than three, consistent with pre-construction estimates. Elsewhere on the underground highways, travel times are between one-quarter and two-thirds shorter; average speeds in some sections have shot from ten miles per hour to 43 (speed, rather than drivers’ veering toward too many exits in slow traffic, is the tunnels’ biggest safety problem). Airport trips are between one-half and three-quarters shorter. A 62 percent drop in hours spent on the new roads saves nearly $200 million annually in time and fuel.

For the first time in generations, downtown Boston viewed from above is unchoked by traffic. Cars zoom beneath the ground and reappear, emerging to leave the city over the Zakim Bridge. Downtown’s biggest challenge is making sure that the still-unfinished “greenway” parks, where the Artery used to be, weave Boston, its waterfront, and its neighborhoods together again.

Investors and residents are responding positively to the infrastructure improvement. As the Boston Globe reported in 2004, commercial properties along the old Artery increased in value by 79 percent in 15 years, nearly double the citywide increase of 41 percent. Owners have reconfigured buildings to open views where they once bricked up windows, and are renovating property in other newly accessible parts of Boston. The North End’s Italian restaurants are putting sidewalk cafés where they once hid from the Artery."

http://www.city-journal.org/html/17_4_big_dig.html

There are now several public parks known as the Rose Kennedy Greenway where the highway use to be.









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Old March 3rd, 2010, 12:10 AM   #12
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Essingeleden in Stockholm is a motorway who cut through the city. All traffic from places north of Stockholm who are going to places south of Stockholm use this motorway.
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Old March 6th, 2010, 12:46 PM   #13
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WOW what a transformation!
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Old March 6th, 2010, 01:00 PM   #14
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Yeah, that was a very good job. Madrid did a similar thing with the M-30 ring road. Unfortunately, the Big Dig was a financial disaster which huge cost escalations (probably due too low initial estimates) and technical problems. But it did Boston much good.

Elevated freeways are not really aesthetic, but it has to be seen in the time-setting of the 1960's. In that time, it was considered to be an acceptable and cost-efficient solution. I believe there are similar plans to depress I-95 in Philadelphia and I-40 in Oklahoma City.

Some more suggestions for depressing freeways;

* I-64 in St. Louis
* SR-99 in Seattle
* US 101 in San Francisco
* I-278 in New York City

There are already some nice examples of depressed freeways in the United States, like I-71 in Cincinnati, I-70 in St. Louis, I-405 in Portland, I-5 in San Diego, I-10 in Phoenix, US 75 in Dallas, I-75/I-85 in Atlanta, etcetera
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Old March 6th, 2010, 01:04 PM   #15
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Could anybody post a link from GoogleMaps of the exact location of that green stretch of Boston?
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Old March 6th, 2010, 01:13 PM   #16
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here you go!
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Old March 6th, 2010, 01:19 PM   #17
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Thank you very much!
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Old March 7th, 2010, 03:37 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChrisZwolle View Post
European city centers (the historic ones) do not have as much jobs as U.S. downtown areas do. Therefore, you cannot compare this.
Come on Chris, on what planet do you live. How about London? Do you know how many jobs do you have in historic City of London?
In Polish cities like Krakow or Wroclaw there are plenty of jobs in the centers.
Are you trying to tell me that center of Amsterdam is dead job wise?

I'm all for motorways/freeways but building them through historic neighborhoods was one of the biggest mistakes during construction of the interstate highway system. If they didn't build interstate through downtown of Boston they wouldn't have to spend billions to hide it underground afterward. It was just correcting mistake of building it there in the first place.
It is something different to build freeways in new low density suburbs of Phoenix, Houston or Dallas but razing neighborhoods of Philadelphia, Brooklyn or Detroit was pure insanity. It only added to the social problems they already had.

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In Europe, it isn't necessary to have a motorway right through the city center. Only a few European cities have this, and they were usually devastated in World War II, like Duisburg, Essen or Saarbrücken.
It isn't necessary because there are good alternatives in form of mass transit.

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Downtown areas of American cities, however, often boast hundreds of thousands of jobs, so you need freeways to serve those jobs. A disadvantage of American beltways is that they are usually so far out that they can't compete with the through routes, so through traffic is better off driving through downtown, unless there's simply no such route (like in Washington D.C. or Baltimore).
Not all the beltways are terribly far, anyway compare it to M25 in London, how far it is? If you don't build 10 lane freeway through the city center people will drive around. That's why we call it bypasses rather than beltways. Driving thousands of cars to downtown just to leave them in parking lot for 8 hours is total madness. Can you imagine every worker in NYC or London driving to work? It is physically impossible. There is just not enough space.
At some point it will apply to other growing cities like Houston, Dallas or LA(where they already reached that point).

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I doubt much through-traffic uses the beltways of Kansas City or Houston to get around the city. On the other hand, through-traffic is only a small margin of the total traffic, for example, in Houston out of 300,000 AADT, maybe 20,000 is plain through traffic from the one side of the city to the other and further.
Is it confirmed in some research or is it one of your statements taken from nowhere? When I drove through Houston or Seattle I used beltways, It didn't look like I was alone
Even if it is true, if there wouldn't be freeway through downtown people would drive around. Of course you always have some traffic you can't avoid. In London most of it are delivery vans and trucks, company limos, buses, taxis, plumbers, electricians, all sort of contractors, basically people who have to move around to work.
Someone who just sits on his arse 8 hours behind computer screen uses public transport. And if you live in low density housing there is something called "park and ride". As simple as that.
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Old March 7th, 2010, 04:00 PM   #19
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Beltways in the United States mostly cater suburban traffic. By far not all traffic is headed for downtown, there are plenty of destinations reached by a beltway. You can use it for through traffic if you need to travel only one quadrant, for example in Atlanta if you come from Chattanooga (I-75) and want to go to Augusta (I-20).

It's not just a statement taken from nowhere, as you say, traffic volumes outside the metropolitan areas most often drop to the 20,000 - 30,000 range, for example on I-10 west of Houston. Taken that at least a part of that traffic has a destination or origin in greater Houston, it leaves a very small fraction that drives from say; direction San Antonio, to direction Beaumont, passing through the entire urban area. It's not rocket science.

I also don't think London is exactly the best example in Europe of downtown jobs. How many jobs are there in and around the Ramblas in Barcelona? Or the Gamla Stan in Stockholm, compared to the other job centers? I'd say no more than 10 - 15% of the metropolitan jobs is located in the historic city center in most European cities.
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Old March 7th, 2010, 04:35 PM   #20
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Quote:
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Beltways in the United States mostly cater suburban traffic. By far not all traffic is headed for downtown, there are plenty of destinations reached by a beltway. You can use it for through traffic if you need to travel only one quadrant, for example in Atlanta if you come from Chattanooga (I-75) and want to go to Augusta (I-20).
Or if you want to avoid busy downtown sections. As I said, people drive through because they have such possibility, otherwise they would drive around. We are lazy animals I have nothing against building freeways,
I just don't think that easy life of few lazy blokes justify razing neighborhoods.

Quote:
It's not just a statement taken from nowhere, as you say, traffic volumes outside the metropolitan areas most often drop to the 20,000 - 30,000 range, for example on I-10 west of Houston. Taken that at least a part of that traffic has a destination or origin in greater Houston, it leaves a very small fraction that drives from say; direction San Antonio, to direction Beaumont, passing through the entire urban area. It's not rocket science.
You manipulate the data. 20,000-30,000 is only traffic originating outside metropolitan area. But how about significant traffic originating just inside beltways? If there wasn't 10 lane freeway through the downtown those people would drive around like they do in Europe. At the moment they drive through downtown. Again, it is lazy human nature.

Quote:
I also don't think London is exactly the best example in Europe of downtown jobs. How many jobs are there in and around the Ramblas in Barcelona? Or the Gamla Stan in Stockholm, compared to the other job centers? I'd say no more than 10 - 15% of the metropolitan jobs is located in the historic city center in most European cities.
Well, it all depends how do you define historic city center. Only small medieval part (like Barrio Gotico in Barcelona) or XIX - first half of XX century as well (which includes big parts of Barcelona like Eixample district)? If you use second definition (which I think is correct) it is definitely more than 10-15%.
The same apply to Stockholm. And those jobs are often high value white collar jobs. Of course there is low paid service industry catering to tourists but law and banking jobs in Europe are often in historic city centers.

By the way I think nowadays most jobs in US metropolitan areas are in the suburbs. To service them you don't need monster highways in downtown.
I think proportions of suburb jobs to downtown jobs is higher in US than in Europe. I can't show you data but I read article about it somewhere.
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