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Old July 18th, 2016, 07:54 PM   #1
Jasonhouse
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Widest highways in the world which pass through or next to the CBD

Question, what are the widest highways (number of lanes) in the world which pass through or next to a city's CBD?

The widest highways I know of in North America, such as Houston's Katy Freeway or Toronto's Highway 400 are more suburban type routes.

I would assume that one of the highways near downtown Los Angeles, or maybe I-75/85 through Atlanta might be the widest for North America, if not the world?

What are some big highways near downtown that you know of?
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Old July 18th, 2016, 08:06 PM   #2
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I-35E - which is located directly adjacent to Downtown Dallas - is currently being expanded to 21 lanes plus frontage roads. However, it is only a very short segment between the junctions with I-30 (half a mile).



Otherwise, I-75/85 through Atlanta is a good contender. US 50 through Downtown Sacramento has 12 lanes and runs above grade (on an embanktment with viaducts at times).
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Old July 18th, 2016, 08:10 PM   #3
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They also recently started a project on I-15 through Las Vegas:

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Originally Posted by ChrisZwolle View Post
Some more schematics of Project Neon in Las Vegas:



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Old July 18th, 2016, 08:17 PM   #4
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I-35W / I-94 features up to 14 lanes at Downtown Minneapolis.



12 lanes of US 50 through Downtown Sacramento.
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Old July 18th, 2016, 08:17 PM   #5
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Jesus H, that Vegas one is about 35 lanes through there if the frontage road is included.
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Old July 18th, 2016, 08:27 PM   #6
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Some examples in other countries:

Dubai. Perhaps the only one where a big freeway goes through instead of by downtown.


Marina Coastal Expressway in Singapore (up to 12 lanes).


14 lanes on this freeway through Taipei (though not very close to the CBD, but in a densely populated area).
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Old July 18th, 2016, 08:32 PM   #7
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Houston

There are plans to demolish a segment of elevated I-45 at Downtown Houston, and combine that traffic on a wider segment of I-69 along the east side of downtown, with a minimum of 20 lanes.

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Old July 18th, 2016, 11:27 PM   #8
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Don't these wide highways running through city-centers destroy the cities? I don't know of any such city in Europe.
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Old July 18th, 2016, 11:53 PM   #9
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Often they were built through industrial / dilapidated areas. Downtown Los Angeles still has a lot of industry / warehousing on its east side. The earlier freeways leading in and out of downtown were often built through residential areas, which meant expensive right of way acquisition until federal dollars became available in the mid-1950s.
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Old July 19th, 2016, 11:30 AM   #10
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The freeway riots in the US arguably demonstrate that they went a bit too far in building large-scale highways around CBDs. Building in a run-down industrial area is one thing, many of these freeways were built midway through low-income neighbourhoods as well. This in a way relates to the suburbanised structure of most US cities, where the higher incomes have historically lived further out and lower incomes lived closer to the industrial areas around the CBD, but it remains a fact that freeway construction around the CBDs affected black and latino communities pretty heavily. The slogan "White man's road through black man's house" had truth in it. And yes, these low-income neighbourhoods were rather dilapidated, but just building a road through them had the rather predictable result of these communities running down well beyond their original state.

Only the Highway Revolts (to the extent driven by these communities, I won't comment on the environmental protests) reinstated something of a balance in this respect. And they caused European plans existing in the early 1960s to be revised, with an increased focus on regeneration of the low-income neighbourhoods around the CBD. I truly believe that European cities, along with cities like New York after they pulled Robert Moses' plans, have done well in revitalising these areas and they are truly better off without freeways. Though it does leave the same areas more vulnerable to congestion, a problem that these cities are still trying to solve - at often astronomical costs.
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Old July 19th, 2016, 12:11 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Verso View Post
Don't these wide highways running through city-centers destroy the cities? I don't know of any such city in Europe.
I've noticed that too, though there are a few exceptions, if I recall.

Australian cities have highways in the urban cores. But they also do things like tunnel them, so that they don't necessarily destroy the urban fabric.
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Old July 19th, 2016, 12:20 PM   #12
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Aussie here
The reason we tunnel is because short sighted state governments sold off land corridors in the 1970's. Perfect example is the M4 stopping at Concorde, 10km west of the Sydney CBD. The $17 billion Westconnex is rectifying this.
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Old July 19th, 2016, 02:27 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Verso View Post
Don't these wide highways running through city-centers destroy the cities? I don't know of any such city in Europe.
Glasgow M8, Madrid M30, Manchester A57, Genoa SS1...

There are numerous examples, most built in the post-war utopian urban projects. There are also some rather huge designs for some European urban centres to be criss-crossed by highways. See Pompidou's plans for Paris, and the London Ringways.
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Old July 19th, 2016, 02:43 PM   #14
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The north-south magistrala in Prague - Wilsonova, Legerova/Sokolská and 5. května streets.

Street view: elevated Wilsonova st. , Sokolská st. between the Wencelas Square and National Museum , 4-laned Legerova st. with at-grade crossings , 5. května st. passing between residential buildings and 5. května st. near a business district

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Old July 19th, 2016, 09:54 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by -Pino- View Post
The freeway riots in the US arguably demonstrate that they went a bit too far in building large-scale highways around CBDs. Building in a run-down industrial area is one thing, many of these freeways were built midway through low-income neighbourhoods as well. This in a way relates to the suburbanised structure of most US cities, where the higher incomes have historically lived further out and lower incomes lived closer to the industrial areas around the CBD, but it remains a fact that freeway construction around the CBDs affected black and latino communities pretty heavily. The slogan "White man's road through black man's house" had truth in it. And yes, these low-income neighbourhoods were rather dilapidated, but just building a road through them had the rather predictable result of these communities running down well beyond their original state.

Only the Highway Revolts (to the extent driven by these communities, I won't comment on the environmental protests) reinstated something of a balance in this respect. And they caused European plans existing in the early 1960s to be revised, with an increased focus on regeneration of the low-income neighbourhoods around the CBD. I truly believe that European cities, along with cities like New York after they pulled Robert Moses' plans, have done well in revitalising these areas and they are truly better off without freeways. Though it does leave the same areas more vulnerable to congestion, a problem that these cities are still trying to solve - at often astronomical costs.
There are some exceptions though. Barcelona's Ronda Litoral runs right through some of the most attractive parts of the city and was built as part of a plan to revitalize them.

Otherwise I don't know of any other freeway that has been used to embelish a city. Tunneling projects only, like M-30 in Madrid. But in this case we're talking about moving a freeway from street level to underground.
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Old July 19th, 2016, 09:59 PM   #16
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In the 1950s and 1960s nearly all employment was in downtown areas, while residential growth was almost exclusively on the periphery. In order to provide access to jobs, freeways were built through pre-existing built-up areas.

Later on, employment decentralized significantly, today downtown / CBDs contain only 5-10% of the metropolitan employment (Phoenix and New York City being the statistical outliers on each side), so traffic patterns changed from radial to circular / through. The famous example is I-30/I-35E at Downtown Dallas. When built, 80% of traffic on those freeways had an origin or destination in the CBD, today over 80% just passes through (at much larger volumes of traffic!).

Most European cities were different in this aspect, CBDs usually developed outside the historical city centers, if a CBD developed at all. They don't have the typical office towers in the city center like U.S. and Canadian cities have. So there was not a large need to build freeways into the historic core - with a few exceptions.
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Old July 20th, 2016, 06:49 AM   #17
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I-5 has to be around 12 lanes in downtown if you count the express lanes.

Not the largest but still pretty wide...and still damn congested.
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Old July 20th, 2016, 12:16 PM   #18
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In Amsterdam the A10 south going through the Zuidas Business District will be widened from 8 to 12 lanes (and tunneled).

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Old July 20th, 2016, 02:21 PM   #19
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From Around Australia

Perth – Mitchell Fwy 8 lanes westside of city centre, expanding to 12 lanes with ramps at Graham Farmer interchange, just north of city, plus busway, plus median railway north of Graham farmer. South of city up to 15 lanes at Perth Exhibition centre, narrowing to 10 lanes plus median rail line along the Narrows Bridge, narrowing to six lanes plus rail south of Mill Point Road.


Brisbane – averaging 7 or 8 lanes on Riverside Expwy westside of city centre. The Inner northern Bypass is 6 lanes, busway parallel, leading to some fancy interchanges at both western and eastern ends, especially at Bowen Hills. The Clem Jones Tunnel is four lanes on the east side with Story Bridge six lanes on top.


Adelaide has no cityside freeway however if South Road is fully completed one day it may be 6 or 8 lanes wide at its closest point about 5km west of CBD.
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Old July 20th, 2016, 02:25 PM   #20
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Melbourne

Citylink West – 6 lanes currently, but extra lanes in a few years’ time and extra ramps once the Wester Distributor is completed.

Citylink South, Montague Street

originally posted by Drunkill



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