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Author Topic: When will the interstate highway system ever be complete?  (Read 2381 times)

stridentweasel

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Re: When will the interstate highway system ever be complete?
« Reply #25 on: February 27, 2019, 02:03:58 PM »

https://www.builderonline.com/money/economics/80-percent-of-americans-prefer-single-family-homeownership_o

The idea that most people in the U.S. desire to live in an apartment above a commercial property (mixed-use) is laughable.

The idea of automobile-dependent suburban sprawl being sustainable is laughable. Sure, single-family homes work for some people but not all. And automobile dependency certainly doesn't work for everyone, from the standpoints of both individual and evironmental needs. You can provide single-family housing within the context of walkable, transit-friendly communities. It takes intelligent planning to provide the right balance. The problem here is, more and more spending on automobile infrastructure wastes precious resources that would be better spent on designing sustainable communities, and it serves to exacerbate the problem of sprawl.

These topics come up so often that I feel the AARoads Forum would benefit from an Urban Planning/Design sub-form in the "Non-Road Boards" section, so we can continue discussing these issues without derailing road-specific topics.
« Last Edit: February 27, 2019, 02:24:30 PM by stridentweasel »
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Rothman

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Re: When will the interstate highway system ever be complete?
« Reply #26 on: February 27, 2019, 02:14:09 PM »

The idea that funds are easily transferred between spending on infrastructure and urban design is laughable.

The idea that we are totally going to bulldoze our current communities and build walkable and transit friendly communities for a cheaper amount of what we currently spend on infrastructure is also laughable.

All my electives in graduate school were in regional planning.  I found the field more founded in mantras than actual science.  The mantra of transit-above-all is a great example.  Totally ignores families that have to run in thirty different directions a day and buy groceries to boot.  It just isn't going to happen in suburbia and the idea that investment in roads should be replaced with investment in transit is just folly that would hamper travel rather than facilitate it.
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stridentweasel

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Re: When will the interstate highway system ever be complete?
« Reply #27 on: February 27, 2019, 02:35:46 PM »

The idea that we are totally going to bulldoze our current communities and build walkable and transit friendly communities for a cheaper amount of what we currently spend on infrastructure is also laughable.

The "idea that we are totally going to bulldoze our current communities..." is a straw man.  You should try to learn about incremental urban development.  We don't do tabula rasa urban renewal anymore (for the most part), nor should we.

Quote
All my electives in graduate school were in regional planning.  I found the field more founded in mantras than actual science.  The mantra of transit-above-all is a great example.  Totally ignores families that have to run in thirty different directions a day and buy groceries to boot.  It just isn't going to happen in suburbia and the idea that investment in roads should be replaced with investment in transit is just folly that would hamper travel rather than facilitate it.

I can relate, because my education in urban planning was disappointing to me as well.  I wish I had studied architecture or landscape architecture (perhaps in addition to planning), but that will have to wait until I can afford it.  At any rate--

How do you have investment in road network expansion without inducing demand?  It's an unsustainable, vicious cycle, based more in political pressure than comprehensive science, and it's the wrong solution to the right problem.
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kphoger

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Re: When will the interstate highway system ever be complete?
« Reply #28 on: February 27, 2019, 02:55:38 PM »

The idea of automobile-dependent suburban sprawl being sustainable is laughable. Sure, single-family homes work for some people but not all. And automobile dependency certainly doesn't work for everyone, from the standpoints of both individual and evironmental needs. You can provide single-family housing within the context of walkable, transit-friendly communities. It takes intelligent planning to provide the right balance. The problem here is, more and more spending on automobile infrastructure wastes precious resources that would be better spent on designing sustainable communities, and it serves to exacerbate the problem of sprawl.

Automobile-dependent suburban sprawl has been sustained for several decades thus far, hasn't it?  Automobile dependency and a single-family home certainly appear to be what the majority of people want.  If more people wanted to ride the bus, then there would be better bus service; the reason there isn't is that most people don't want to use it.  If more people wanted to live in denser neighborhoods, then that's how new home construction would be designed, and existing dense neighborhoods would have higher demand; the reason it isn't and they aren't is that people want to live in spread-out areas.
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stridentweasel

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Re: When will the interstate highway system ever be complete?
« Reply #29 on: February 27, 2019, 03:25:36 PM »

Automobile-dependent suburban sprawl has been sustained for several decades thus far, hasn't it?  Automobile dependency and a single-family home certainly appear to be what the majority of people want.  If more people wanted to ride the bus, then there would be better bus service; the reason there isn't is that most people don't want to use it.  If more people wanted to live in denser neighborhoods, then that's how new home construction would be designed, and existing dense neighborhoods would have higher demand; the reason it isn't and they aren't is that people want to live in spread-out areas.

(1) Past does not equal future.
(2) If bus service was better, then more people would want to ride the bus.
(3) If dense neighborhoods don't already have high demand, then why do they tend to be so expensive?
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Beltway

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Re: When will the interstate highway system ever be complete?
« Reply #30 on: February 27, 2019, 04:03:49 PM »

The idea that most people in the U.S. desire to live in an apartment above a commercial property (mixed-use) is laughable.

But isn't that what many residents of New York City want and utilize?
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kphoger

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Re: When will the interstate highway system ever be complete?
« Reply #31 on: February 27, 2019, 04:08:02 PM »

(2) If bus service was better, then more people would want to ride the bus.

That's not really the way markets work.
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J N Winkler

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Re: When will the interstate highway system ever be complete?
« Reply #32 on: February 27, 2019, 04:20:29 PM »

I personally think the American preference for SFRs (typically owned rather than rented) is very hard to dislodge for reasons that have nothing to do with transportation.

*  Space is seen as a buffer against and mitigant for bad-neighbor problems, which Americans have come to expect because, as a country, we are very poorly socialized for living in a high-population-density environment.

*  We lead the first world in medical bankruptcies and trail it in health care coverage.  An owned house, especially in a state that has a homestead exemption for bankruptcy, is protection against being rendered homeless when the X-ray comes back with an odd shadow.

This is without even getting into things like the mortgage interest deduction, which (as Dolores Hayden notes in Building Suburbia) fell out of a process of developing housing policy between real estate agents and the Department of Commerce that favored nuclear families under a male head of household.
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stridentweasel

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Re: When will the interstate highway system ever be complete?
« Reply #33 on: February 27, 2019, 04:21:30 PM »

(2) If bus service was better, then more people would want to ride the bus.

That's not really the way markets work.

Then perhaps a market-based economy is part of the problem.
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kphoger

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Re: When will the interstate highway system ever be complete?
« Reply #34 on: February 27, 2019, 04:30:58 PM »

Then perhaps the government should spend everyone's money on projects they don't actually want.

Edited for clarity.

(Note:  I am not against taxes assisting the funding of public transportation.)
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Rothman

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Re: When will the interstate highway system ever be complete?
« Reply #35 on: February 27, 2019, 04:53:48 PM »

The idea that most people in the U.S. desire to live in an apartment above a commercial property (mixed-use) is laughable.

But isn't that what many residents of New York City want and utilize?
I really wonder about this and how many people actually enjoy apartment living and how many wish for the single family home American Dream.  I provided a link to at least one survey that would indicate most want the suburbs.
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Rothman

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Re: When will the interstate highway system ever be complete?
« Reply #36 on: February 27, 2019, 05:06:56 PM »

In terms of inducing traffic jams, I can find various areas in the country where demand was not induced as roads were expanded:  Binghamton, NY; a decent chunk of West Virginia; I-35 in Duluth. MN; US 23/460 in eastern KY...

There are all sorts of places where highways are built and traffic jams didn't come to be.

And, if you're going to say that there are cars on the road and therefore there's induced demand, I'd say that's what roads are for.  To have empty roads would be a true waste.

And to clarify my own position, I am not anti-transit and I do think transit is woefully underfunded.  And, I do enjoy a good main street with decent restaurants and whatnot and do think big box development can be harmful. 

However, I find the argument that we need to force people to live in ways they would not prefer while robbing roads to pay for transit and incrementally bulldozing as simply extreme. :D
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stridentweasel

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Re: When will the interstate highway system ever be complete?
« Reply #37 on: February 27, 2019, 05:11:17 PM »

Then perhaps the government should spend everyone's money on projects they don't actually want.

Edited for clarity.

I hope the rest of this forum's readers are smart enough to understand the difference between what I actually wrote and this straw-man argument.  I also hope the forum's readers are smart enough to understand the difference between autocratic government, which is accountable only to itself, and democratic government, which is accountable to the people who give it power.

Briefly stated, the problems with suburban sprawl--which is partially enabled by ongoing expansion of freeways and the Interstate Highway System--are well documented for their imposed hardships on citizens without access to private automobiles, and their detrimental effects on environmental sustainability with regards to energy-efficiency, climate change, flood mitigation, and forest management.  Citizens in large numbers do want a more healthful, equitable, and sustainable built environment, and many of us with planning, engineering, and design interests wish to work to help shape the built environment in a more beneficial manner for all members of society.

I get that some people love new roads and don't want to think about their negative consequences.  It can be very comforting to focus on something fascinating without worrying about the problems it entails.  But people who do not wish to work toward solving the problem should be honest about it.

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(Note:  I am not against taxes assisting the funding of public transportation.)

Public transportation is great, but it isn't enough.  You need denser, walkable, mixed-use communities to make it viable.  This provides people with greater transportation options and a more healthful environment.

Again, I'm afraid this topic has been derailed, and I urge the Forum operators/moderators to consider opening an Urban Planning/Design board in the "Non-Road Boards" section, to provide a more appropriate space for these kinds of discussions, which inevitably come up rather frequently, as they should.
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stridentweasel

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Re: When will the interstate highway system ever be complete?
« Reply #38 on: February 27, 2019, 05:14:10 PM »

However, I find the argument that we need to force people to live in ways they would not prefer while robbing roads to pay for transit and incrementally bulldozing as simply extreme. :D

Many people are forced to live in ways they would not prefer by an unjust economic system.  There will always be incentives that guide people toward certain ways of living, but those incentives can be made more just and equitable.
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Rothman

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Re: When will the interstate highway system ever be complete?
« Reply #39 on: February 27, 2019, 05:32:33 PM »

However, I find the argument that we need to force people to live in ways they would not prefer while robbing roads to pay for transit and incrementally bulldozing as simply extreme. :D

Many people are forced to live in ways they would not prefer by an unjust economic system.  There will always be incentives that guide people toward certain ways of living, but those incentives can be made more just and equitable.
Commie. :D
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MantyMadTown

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Re: When will the interstate highway system ever be complete?
« Reply #40 on: February 27, 2019, 05:52:18 PM »

I get that not everyone wants to live in the central city, but I don't like the idea of vast suburban sprawl either. I for one do not want to live in a large house in a bland subdivision, but living in a high-rise downtown sounds pretty stressful too. I think we should make suburbs more walkable and transit-friendly, providing the greater density and access to amenities that cities provide while also building single-family homes for those that want it. We shouldn't force everyone to depend on car travel, and we should build infrastructure to support those who don't want to or can't afford to drive. Many people still want to drive cars, so we should still support some road infrastructure, but I want to support car-free travel as well.
« Last Edit: February 27, 2019, 05:58:25 PM by MantyMadTown »
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Re: When will the interstate highway system ever be complete?
« Reply #41 on: February 27, 2019, 06:01:57 PM »

Speaking of Interstates. FHWA has updated its route log as of Dec. 31, 2018. Includes entries for I-11, and also I-165 in KY. Still has errors carried over from previous editions, including that I-495 in Maine is still 50 miles long and that I-74 only runs with I-73 in NC for 17 miles. I-140 in NC is listed as 12.7 miles long, but has been 20 since last summer.

Table 1 at https://www.fhwa.dot.gov/planning/national_highway_system/interstate_highway_system/routefinder/table01.cfm

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Re: When will the interstate highway system ever be complete?
« Reply #42 on: February 27, 2019, 06:28:12 PM »

Speaking of Interstates. FHWA has updated its route log as of Dec. 31, 2018. Includes entries for I-11, and also I-165 in KY. Still has errors carried over from previous editions, including that I-495 in Maine is still 50 miles long and that I-74 only runs with I-73 in NC for 17 miles. I-140 in NC is listed as 12.7 miles long, but has been 20 since last summer.

Table 1 at https://www.fhwa.dot.gov/planning/national_highway_system/interstate_highway_system/routefinder/table01.cfm

I hope FHWA extends I-11 soon to the interchange with I-15 in Las Vegas.
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ilpt4u

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Re: When will the interstate highway system ever be complete?
« Reply #43 on: February 27, 2019, 06:33:24 PM »

Speaking of Interstates. FHWA has updated its route log as of Dec. 31, 2018. Includes entries for I-11, and also I-165 in KY. Still has errors carried over from previous editions, including that I-495 in Maine is still 50 miles long and that I-74 only runs with I-73 in NC for 17 miles. I-140 in NC is listed as 12.7 miles long, but has been 20 since last summer.

Table 1 at https://www.fhwa.dot.gov/planning/national_highway_system/interstate_highway_system/routefinder/table01.cfm

I hope FHWA extends I-11 soon to the interchange with I-15 in Las Vegas.
Why stop there? Extend it to the CC 215 Beltway. The at-grades at that interchange are on 215, not 95
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MantyMadTown

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Re: When will the interstate highway system ever be complete?
« Reply #44 on: February 27, 2019, 07:03:30 PM »

Speaking of Interstates. FHWA has updated its route log as of Dec. 31, 2018. Includes entries for I-11, and also I-165 in KY. Still has errors carried over from previous editions, including that I-495 in Maine is still 50 miles long and that I-74 only runs with I-73 in NC for 17 miles. I-140 in NC is listed as 12.7 miles long, but has been 20 since last summer.

Table 1 at https://www.fhwa.dot.gov/planning/national_highway_system/interstate_highway_system/routefinder/table01.cfm

I hope FHWA extends I-11 soon to the interchange with I-15 in Las Vegas.
Why stop there? Extend it to the CC 215 Beltway. The at-grades at that interchange are on 215, not 95

I think so far NDOT had plans to extend I-11 along 515 until it reaches the I-15 interchange. They might have plans to later continue it along US 95 until it reaches the Beltway, but I have no idea what the at-grades have anything to do with it.
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Re: When will the interstate highway system ever be complete?
« Reply #45 on: February 27, 2019, 07:24:25 PM »

Quote from: kphoger
Automobile-dependent suburban sprawl has been sustained for several decades thus far, hasn't it?

Since this question hasn't actually been answered...

The inability of governments at all levels to keep up with increases in traffic, or in many cases to even keep up with potholes, pavement, and bridges, even with tax increases over the years, strongly suggests that the answer is no...it has not been sustained.
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Re: When will the interstate highway system ever be complete?
« Reply #46 on: February 27, 2019, 07:36:31 PM »

Speaking of Interstates. FHWA has updated its route log as of Dec. 31, 2018. Includes entries for I-11, and also I-165 in KY. Still has errors carried over from previous editions, including that I-495 in Maine is still 50 miles long and that I-74 only runs with I-73 in NC for 17 miles. I-140 in NC is listed as 12.7 miles long, but has been 20 since last summer.

Table 1 at https://www.fhwa.dot.gov/planning/national_highway_system/interstate_highway_system/routefinder/table01.cfm

I hope FHWA extends I-11 soon to the interchange with I-15 in Las Vegas.
Why stop there? Extend it to the CC 215 Beltway. The at-grades at that interchange are on 215, not 95
Yeah they should just take the whole freeway from the AZ line to the Skye Canyon Park Drive exit (exit 95 on US 95), maybe even have the Summerlin Parkway as I-111.
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Re: When will the interstate highway system ever be complete?
« Reply #47 on: February 27, 2019, 09:12:50 PM »

More than likely I-11, I-42 and the NC part of I-87 will probably be completed within the next ten years. I don't see I-73 ever extending to Myrtle Beach, it will probably get as far as I-95 and terminate there.

I-2, I-49 and I-69 will never be completed. Period.
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Re: When will the interstate highway system ever be complete?
« Reply #48 on: February 27, 2019, 09:30:47 PM »

Next 10 years seems like a stretch.  Next 20, possibly.
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Re: When will the interstate highway system ever be complete?
« Reply #49 on: February 27, 2019, 10:09:19 PM »

Next 10 years seems like a stretch.  Next 20, possibly.

I was being optimistic. I don't expect to see any major interstate construction at all after 2030.
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