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Author Topic: Do any of these highways deserve to be removed?  (Read 2114 times)

silverback1065

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Do any of these highways deserve to be removed?
« on: April 03, 2019, 08:02:43 PM »

I saw this on city lab today, freeways trigger them so they posted this report.

https://www.cnu.org/sites/default/files/FreewaysWithoutFutures_2019.pdf

I could see a few maybe, but some of these are absolutely insane, i-275, 35, 5, and 70 are the craziest imo.  64 is going nowhere, they literally just finished the interchange with 65. 

I am still reading this so I will post more opinions later in the thread.  What do you guys think?
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oscar

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Re: Do any of these highways deserve to be removed?
« Reply #1 on: April 03, 2019, 08:21:25 PM »

The I-980 item ignores the network redundancy value of that freeway. That was highlighted when part of I-880 in west Oakland collapsed in the 1989 earthquake. I-980 carried much of the load previously borne by I-880. It also gave Caltrans time to develop a better replacement for I-880, which was much less damaging to west Oakland neighborhoods than the original freeway, without the pressure to do a quick-fix replacement just to get traffic moving again.
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TheStranger

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Re: Do any of these highways deserve to be removed?
« Reply #2 on: April 03, 2019, 08:26:36 PM »

The I-980 item ignores the network redundancy value of that freeway. That was highlighted when part of I-880 in west Oakland collapsed in the 1989 earthquake. I-980 carried much of the load previously borne by I-880. It also gave Caltrans time to develop a better replacement for I-880, which was much less damaging to west Oakland neighborhoods than the original freeway, without the pressure to do a quick-fix replacement just to get traffic moving again.

One of the subtle benefits of 980 existing that comes to mind: the ability for some drivers to be able to bypass the MacArthur Maze in its entirety!  Or to even extend the thought:

Prior to the construction of 980/24 southwest of the Caldecott Tunnel, most access to it required driving through the Maze to then get to the Eastshore Freeway, with the only other option being the surface street Broadway from downtown Oakland going northeast.
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Re: Do any of these highways deserve to be removed?
« Reply #3 on: April 03, 2019, 08:32:17 PM »

One of the subtle benefits of 980 existing that comes to mind: the ability for some drivers to be able to bypass the MacArthur Maze in its entirety!

Especially with the forthcoming reconstruction of the Maze, which probably will be a major headache for road users.

Back over to my part of the country, I'm a little surprised the report doesn't try to tout as a success story the conversion of part of D.C.'s Southeast Freeway to Southeast Boulevard. That part of the former freeway got bypassed, via I-695 over the Eleventh Street Bridges and DC 295. I haven't had occasion to check out Southeast Boulevard rather than use the bypass (maybe that conversion didn't inconvenience cross-town travelers enough to please the report authors), so I don't know how that has worked out. Not my problem, in any case.
« Last Edit: April 03, 2019, 09:01:21 PM by oscar »
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TR69

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Re: Do any of these highways deserve to be removed?
« Reply #4 on: April 03, 2019, 09:58:26 PM »

I would *love* to see I-64 removed from downtown Louisville for all the reasons mentioned in the article. Not only does it separate the city from her reason for existence and her largest asset -- the river -- it's an enormous eyesore, plain and simple. I'd even go so far as to say it could be removed as far east as its junction with the Watterson (I-264), thus removing it from the city's flagship park, Cherokee Park. Through traffic can easily use I-264 or I-265 to get around the city (hazmat would have to use 264).

Obviously this will never happen thanks to the newly redesigned Spaghetti Junction at I-65. The article is a bit misleading in regard to 8664 -- that movement died years ago.
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silverback1065

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Re: Do any of these highways deserve to be removed?
« Reply #5 on: April 03, 2019, 10:13:07 PM »

I would *love* to see I-64 removed from downtown Louisville for all the reasons mentioned in the article. Not only does it separate the city from her reason for existence and her largest asset -- the river -- it's an enormous eyesore, plain and simple. I'd even go so far as to say it could be removed as far east as its junction with the Watterson (I-264), thus removing it from the city's flagship park, Cherokee Park. Through traffic can easily use I-264 or I-265 to get around the city (hazmat would have to use 264).

Obviously this will never happen thanks to the newly redesigned Spaghetti Junction at I-65. The article is a bit misleading in regard to 8664 -- that movement died years ago.

i feel like routing 64 over 265 would be a good idea.
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Re: Do any of these highways deserve to be removed?
« Reply #6 on: April 03, 2019, 10:55:12 PM »

Arguing for removing I-5 to facilitate development as a way to combat rising housing costs and then having your rendering be a marina in the river surrounded by what appear to be luxury waterfront high-rises seems just a little backward. Not to mention the massive choke point it would cause at the northern end of the Fremont Bridge where I assume I-84 would then be "extended" to terminate at.

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Max Rockatansky

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Re: Do any of these highways deserve to be removed?
« Reply #7 on: April 04, 2019, 12:34:42 AM »

Traffic bad enough on I-275 in Tampa as is.  Removing it would be a complete f@Q@ing abortion.  :-D

Max Rockatansky

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Re: Do any of these highways deserve to be removed?
« Reply #8 on: April 04, 2019, 12:36:52 AM »

The I-980 item ignores the network redundancy value of that freeway. That was highlighted when part of I-880 in west Oakland collapsed in the 1989 earthquake. I-980 carried much of the load previously borne by I-880. It also gave Caltrans time to develop a better replacement for I-880, which was much less damaging to west Oakland neighborhoods than the original freeway, without the pressure to do a quick-fix replacement just to get traffic moving again.

One of the subtle benefits of 980 existing that comes to mind: the ability for some drivers to be able to bypass the MacArthur Maze in its entirety!  Or to even extend the thought:

Prior to the construction of 980/24 southwest of the Caldecott Tunnel, most access to it required driving through the Maze to then get to the Eastshore Freeway, with the only other option being the surface street Broadway from downtown Oakland going northeast.

I-980 ought to be expanded over all of CA 24, the current route as is has enough daily traffic to merit it's continued existence.  Granted traffic counts seem to be substantially less now that I-880 is fully repaired.

Elm

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Re: Do any of these highways deserve to be removed?
« Reply #9 on: April 04, 2019, 12:41:05 AM »

Thinking about I-70, I don’t think the portion they’re talking about is going anywhere, and it never seemed especially likely that it would have been removed. My outsider’s impression is that people were mostly indifferent or just lightly sympathetic when it came to the organized opposition.

Since the reconstruction project is underway and the lawsuits have concluded (at least, the ones I’ve seen reporting on), it’s not a realistic candidate for removal now, although I suppose it works better than something that was just rebuilt. What’s more egregious, I think, is the report’s characterization of Colorado. To start, I’d say the “key characteristic” of “Current political climate in Colorado is opposed to freeway expansion” is untrue; while there’s growing interest in alternatives to driving, especially around Denver, I think it’s more often wanted as addition to a accelerated highway work, not a replacement (e.g., front range rail and GPLs in addition to the HOT lanes being added to I-25).

The last paragraph describing the political environment also has some suspect leaps of logic. On the rejection of last year’s transportation ballot measures, I’d argue the general motivation was much more anti-tax and anti-toll than anti-freeway. (The multi-model component of the tax-based measure was also used as a talking point by opponents, although I’m not sure how much of a factor that really was.) Education and health care, meanwhile, came across as the focus of the gubernatorial election; transportation was a footnote in the environmental portion of Polis’s platform, and the only reference to it in his site’s “key issues” now is about electrification. Actually, considering how transportation becomes a larger issue and talking point each year, I was mildly surprised by how little it was involved in the last round of elections.
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stridentweasel

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Re: Do any of these highways deserve to be removed?
« Reply #10 on: April 04, 2019, 12:08:39 PM »

I saw this on city lab today, freeways trigger them so they posted this report.

https://www.cnu.org/sites/default/files/FreewaysWithoutFutures_2019.pdf

I could see a few maybe, but some of these are absolutely insane, i-275, 35, 5, and 70 are the craziest imo.  64 is going nowhere, they literally just finished the interchange with 65. 

I am still reading this so I will post more opinions later in the thread.  What do you guys think?

If I-35 through Austin is going anywhere, it's underground.  I remember reading the CNU stating that it isn't suitable for outright removal, due to its importance and heavy use as a NAFTA corridor.  Theoretically, I-35 traffic could be re-routed onto the tolled TX 45/130 beltway, but (1) it's a longer route (although it's usually faster in business-hours traffic; I know this from experience because I drove between Laredo and DFW regularly), and (2) it would involve the hurdle of either adding tolls to an existing Interstate or removing the tolls from the TX 45/130 beltway.

I-5 in Portland is a good candidate.  Portland has been aggressive about getting freeways out of downtown, with a good prior experience.  I-5 has rerouting options.

Removal of I-64 in Louisville is justified, and it also has rerouting options.  The new interchange would still serve a purpose, even if it's overbuilt.

Removing I-70 in Denver is tricky.*  Re-routing it onto the 470 beltway would lengthen the route, and it's a similar situation to Austin's beltway, in that part of it is tolled.  But this project would probably be worth it in the long run.

I don't know enough about the others to comment on them.

*EDIT:  It's actually not as tricky as I thought.  I-70 would be re-routed onto I-76 and I-270.  (Source: Ben Crowther, "Ditch the ditch: Citizens respond to I-70 expansion," Public Square: A CNU Journal, 8 April 2019, https://www.cnu.org/publicsquare/2019/04/08/ditch-ditch-citizens-respond-i-70-expansion .)
« Last Edit: April 12, 2019, 11:32:00 PM by stridentweasel »
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epzik8

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Re: Do any of these highways deserve to be removed?
« Reply #11 on: April 04, 2019, 01:25:43 PM »

I don't think so.
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Re: Do any of these highways deserve to be removed?
« Reply #12 on: April 04, 2019, 02:19:18 PM »

"No" to removing 64 through Louisville. I've seen how bad traffic is with the current freeway in place. I can't imagine the cluster that would ensue without it.
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Re: Do any of these highways deserve to be removed?
« Reply #13 on: April 04, 2019, 02:53:58 PM »

Arguing for removing I-5 to facilitate development as a way to combat rising housing costs and then having your rendering be a marina in the river surrounded by what appear to be luxury waterfront high-rises seems just a little backward. Not to mention the massive choke point it would cause at the northern end of the Fremont Bridge where I assume I-84 would then be "extended" to terminate at.


Beyond that, 405 doesn't have the capacity to handle the traffic, and traffic in general is already crap in the area.  Then again, I'm a proponent of turning the entire loop into a giant Roundabout around downtown.


What people like these don't understand is that freeways are what allowed our economy to grow they way it has, and without them, some cities would lose their economic vitality.  As for "not recovering" after the freeway, that isn't the fault of the freeway, but usually property owners and banks, along with cities not updating zoning to better reflect the possible uses in the area.
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Re: Do any of these highways deserve to be removed?
« Reply #14 on: April 04, 2019, 03:21:36 PM »

I think we found a dumber 'Congress' than the one in DC...
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Re: Do any of these highways deserve to be removed?
« Reply #15 on: April 04, 2019, 03:27:37 PM »

No.  It looks like a "new urbanist's" wet dream.  These are through routes, not spurs (like the Park Freeway in Milwaukee or I-375 in Detroit).  Removing them would be detrimental to the local and regional economies, and probably lead to depopulation of the area (quite the reverse of what these folks want) due to lack of access.
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Re: Do any of these highways deserve to be removed?
« Reply #16 on: April 04, 2019, 06:07:28 PM »

I'm surprised that both Portland's I-5 and I-405 are only 4 lanes (minus HOV and exit lanes) in segments. I wonder what would happen to the traffic numbers on I-405 if that segment of I-5 is removed. If that happens, I-405 surely ought to be expanded, and I don't know if Portlanders would want that.

I remember seeing a map of Oakland's freeway network on this forum once where I-980 and 580 running through the middle of Oakland were removed and replaced by a routing along CA-13 (a new freeway would be built along the routing north of CA-24). I can't find that map currently and I don't know who made it but removing I-980 makes me think of that map.

I'm really disappointed about I-345 in Dallas, because I wanted that segment of freeway to be a part of an extended I-45 that runs along US 75 and 69 and goes all the way to Tulsa. I understand the impact of the freeway to that part of Dallas, so I don't think it should exist as it is, however. That segment really ought to be a tunnel.

If I-70 in Denver were placed entirely underground, I think this freeway wouldn't be on this list. I'm disappointed that CDOT's plans didn't make more of this highway a tunnel.

Rerouting I-64 in Louisville onto 264 sounds like a great idea. But earlier comments saying it would make traffic a nightmare make me doubt this would actually be a feasible option.
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Re: Do any of these highways deserve to be removed?
« Reply #17 on: April 04, 2019, 06:58:12 PM »

The thing is, if we remove megafreeways from cities, large plots of unused land are going to remain where the freeways were, which is even worse than a 10 lane highway.
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Re: Do any of these highways deserve to be removed?
« Reply #18 on: April 04, 2019, 07:22:11 PM »

The thing is, if we remove megafreeways from cities, large plots of unused land are going to remain where the freeways were, which is even worse than a 10 lane highway.

And why would that happen, as opposed to selling the land to developers? Or turning it into a park? Etc.
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Max Rockatansky

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Re: Do any of these highways deserve to be removed?
« Reply #19 on: April 04, 2019, 07:46:53 PM »

No.  It looks like a "new urbanist's" wet dream.  These are through routes, not spurs (like the Park Freeway in Milwaukee or I-375 in Detroit).  Removing them would be detrimental to the local and regional economies, and probably lead to depopulation of the area (quite the reverse of what these folks want) due to lack of access.

The report is obviously skewed to paint a certain picture.  An unbiased report would have included more comprehensive traffic figures and potential negative consequences to local freeway carrying capacity.  What the "urbanist" crowd doesn't understand is that a lot of American cities declined during a time when the populace wanted to move out of the inner city and into the suburbs.  Urban renewal requires a whole hell of a lot more than just ripping old freeways.

silverback1065

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Re: Do any of these highways deserve to be removed?
« Reply #20 on: April 04, 2019, 08:14:56 PM »

i always thought louisville had to many freeways
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thspfc

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Re: Do any of these highways deserve to be removed?
« Reply #21 on: April 06, 2019, 12:48:16 PM »

The thing is, if we remove megafreeways from cities, large plots of unused land are going to remain where the freeways were, which is even worse than a 10 lane highway.

And why would that happen, as opposed to selling the land to developers? Or turning it into a park? Etc.
That would happen eventually, but in the meantime.
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skluth

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Re: Do any of these highways deserve to be removed?
« Reply #22 on: April 06, 2019, 12:54:58 PM »

The thing is, if we remove megafreeways from cities, large plots of unused land are going to remain where the freeways were, which is even worse than a 10 lane highway.

And why would that happen, as opposed to selling the land to developers? Or turning it into a park? Etc.
That would happen eventually, but in the meantime.

There are legitimate reasons to oppose removing freeways. Empty land upon removal is not one of them.
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Re: Do any of these highways deserve to be removed?
« Reply #23 on: April 06, 2019, 05:09:44 PM »

Keep in mind that the OP link is the product of a lobbying organization/special interest group. Naturally, it is not a neutral or realistic analysis of the situation - it is a demonstration of one extreme which the party producing it considers ideal, but generally does not address the needs and desires of other stakeholders. There is a fair bit of "foaming" inherent in this sort of document.

In practice, other stakeholders will come to the table with their own ideas that they consider ideal for their purposes, and discussions will proceed from there. I don't think CNU expects they will actually succeed in getting every freeway they name completely removed, but they will be happy if they can get that to happen for one of them, or if they can succeed in, as a compromise, making modifications happen that don't remove the freeway but reduce its impact on the neighborhood.




That said, the report does contain an example (I-35 Austin) where CNU acknowledges that completely removing the freeway is totally unrealistic, and they are arguing for a big dig type project instead.
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Re: Do any of these highways deserve to be removed?
« Reply #24 on: April 06, 2019, 07:12:11 PM »

Saw the article the other day. Here's a non-PDF version:

https://www.cnu.org/highways-boulevards/freeways-without-futures/2019

Most of these sound pretty ridiculous. I-275 in Tampa? That's crazy!

Any thoughts on that stretch of I-10 in NOLA? Supposedly, there has been some actual conversation about it.
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