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Author Topic: Detroit - Potential I-375 road diet?  (Read 24225 times)

froggie

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Re: Detroit - Potential I-375 road diet?
« Reply #25 on: December 19, 2013, 08:37:33 AM »

Anthony, do you not agree that freeways are expensive?  That overpasses and underpasses are expensive?  That the recurring maintenance needs of freeways are a lot more than they are for a surface arterial?  There's a point where the cost-benefit ratio of a freeway, especially one that serves as a low-volume spur and not as a through route (i.e. in this case) just doesn't cut it anymore.

In this case, a surface boulevard is about rationalizing the infrastructure to fit the demand.  Also note that, in my own proposal mentioned above, I'm not tearing down the entire spur...just the southern part.
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Henry

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Re: Detroit - Potential I-375 road diet?
« Reply #26 on: December 20, 2013, 12:00:44 PM »

Anthony, do you not agree that freeways are expensive?  That overpasses and underpasses are expensive?  That the recurring maintenance needs of freeways are a lot more than they are for a surface arterial?  There's a point where the cost-benefit ratio of a freeway, especially one that serves as a low-volume spur and not as a through route (i.e. in this case) just doesn't cut it anymore.

In this case, a surface boulevard is about rationalizing the infrastructure to fit the demand.  Also note that, in my own proposal mentioned above, I'm not tearing down the entire spur...just the southern part.
So when can we see a mock-up of your proposal? (similar to what we've seen for Birmingham and New Orleans)
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triplemultiplex

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Re: Detroit - Potential I-375 road diet?
« Reply #27 on: December 22, 2013, 12:21:21 PM »

This probably goes without saying, but this proposal would mean the death of I-375.  It was already one of our shortest 3di's, so trimming back the freeway portion would make it unworthy of the red-white-and-blue shield.

Feel free to use my concept as a jumping off point to fix the interchange with I-75, MDOT! ;)
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froggie

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Re: Detroit - Potential I-375 road diet?
« Reply #28 on: December 22, 2013, 04:30:38 PM »

Quote
So when can we see a mock-up of your proposal? (similar to what we've seen for Birmingham and New Orleans)

It's on my to-do list.
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froggie

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Re: Detroit - Potential I-375 road diet?
« Reply #29 on: January 17, 2014, 08:43:35 PM »

I've finally completed my rendition, as I described in an earlier post last month:


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NE2

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Re: Detroit - Potential I-375 road diet?
« Reply #30 on: January 17, 2014, 08:51:59 PM »

Seems like you could completely eliminate the spur northeast to M-3 by adding a few simple ramps where M-3 crosses I-375. I don't know how much traffic goes that way.

PS: holy crap. There are so many surface parking lots west of "Comerica" Park.
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Brandon

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Re: Detroit - Potential I-375 road diet?
« Reply #31 on: January 17, 2014, 09:19:21 PM »

Froggie, not bad, but the city really doesn't need more empty land at this point.
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mukade

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Re: Detroit - Potential I-375 road diet?
« Reply #32 on: January 18, 2014, 09:53:19 AM »

Froggie, not bad, but the city really doesn't need more empty land at this point.

I totally agree. There are plenty of abandoned buildings and a lot of empty land there, but more importantly, as a person who spent several days staying in a downtown Detroit hotel, having the safe exit right to a freeway is one of the only things that made me feel secure.

I am not sure why the idea of eliminating freeways is striking a chord with so many people. For better or for worse, in the US, we rely on automobile transportation so unless a city has a comprehensive, safe, affordable, and dependable mass transit system with capacity to carry more passengers, such an idea will only cause problems. As far as I could see in Detroit, they had two bus companies serving downtown. At first glance, it did not look like they had service and ridership like in Chicago or New York.

For this idea to work, the entire system needs to be studied - you can't just make a freeway into a surface street.
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vdeane

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Re: Detroit - Potential I-375 road diet?
« Reply #33 on: January 18, 2014, 04:14:25 PM »

Believe it or not, there are people who would like to get rid of cars.  They think that by removing freeways they'll get people to carpool, walk, and take the bus.  Many of these people view cars is irredeemable environmental disasters.  Others just wonder why people wouldn't want to re-create their college campus experience by living in a big city.  And then there's the people who blame freeways for everything that has gone wrong in America since the 50s, or who view tearing down the freeways as a way of redemption from the old policies of building freeways through slums.
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NE2

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Re: Detroit - Potential I-375 road diet?
« Reply #34 on: January 18, 2014, 05:01:18 PM »

Freeways are a symptom of a deeper cause.
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froggie

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Re: Detroit - Potential I-375 road diet?
« Reply #35 on: January 18, 2014, 05:56:17 PM »

Quote
I am not sure why the idea of eliminating freeways is striking a chord with so many people.

The damage that freeways have done to cities is pretty well documented.  It's no surprise to me that it's striking a chord.  Sure, not every freeway needs to be dropped, but there are a few here and there that have outlived their usefulness and would be more beneficial removed than retained.

Quote
For this idea to work, the entire system needs to be studied - you can't just make a freeway into a surface street.

You can if the freeway in question is a stub and has traffic volumes low enough to where they can be adequately handled by a surface street.  Which is largely what I've done here.  Nevermind that surface streets are cheaper to (re)build and have lower maintenance costs than freeways.

Quote
Believe it or not, there are people who would like to get rid of cars.

There are these people, yes.  But these people are still very much the exception rather than the norm.  Very few of the urban activists I know (mostly DC and Minneapolis, but a few in NYC) advocate for getting rid of cars wholesale, as you imply.
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silverback1065

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Re: Detroit - Potential I-375 road diet?
« Reply #36 on: January 18, 2014, 06:24:20 PM »

I've finally completed my rendition, as I described in an earlier post last month:



I like your idea, but I would personally get rid of access to M-3 where 75 turns north.  Provide full access to the spur, and keep the exit at m-3 and 375 that you propose.  (so only one entrance to m-3 as opposed to 2)
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Brandon

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Re: Detroit - Potential I-375 road diet?
« Reply #37 on: January 18, 2014, 07:26:08 PM »

For this idea to work, the entire system needs to be studied - you can't just make a freeway into a surface street.

Much agreed.  The only way this would work is by turning the tail end of the Chrysler Freeway (I-375) into a Michigan boulevard with Michigan Lefts and still having it turn into Jefferson at the end, as it does currently.  Froggie's 90 degree turns there will never make it for traffic to/from the Tunnel, much less the RenCen (HQ of GM).
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froggie

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Re: Detroit - Potential I-375 road diet?
« Reply #38 on: January 18, 2014, 10:06:14 PM »

Quote
Froggie's 90 degree turns there will never make it for traffic to/from the Tunnel, much less the RenCen (HQ of GM).

I looked up the traffic counts.  My design will easily work.
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PColumbus73

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Re: Detroit - Potential I-375 road diet?
« Reply #39 on: January 18, 2014, 10:27:37 PM »

What if there was a large (possibly signalized) roundabout where I-375 turns toward downtown Detroit at Jefferson Ave?
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silverback1065

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Re: Detroit - Potential I-375 road diet?
« Reply #40 on: January 18, 2014, 10:45:03 PM »

What if there was a large (possibly signalized) roundabout where I-375 turns toward downtown Detroit at Jefferson Ave?

roundabout would possibly work, they could even put a monument in the center, I don't think there are signalized roundabouts in the US, are there?
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vdeane

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Re: Detroit - Potential I-375 road diet?
« Reply #41 on: January 18, 2014, 10:52:34 PM »

There are these people, yes.  But these people are still very much the exception rather than the norm.  Very few of the urban activists I know (mostly DC and Minneapolis, but a few in NYC) advocate for getting rid of cars wholesale, as you imply.
Well, I was technically looking at ideals rather than practical goals.
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AsphaltPlanet

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Re: Detroit - Potential I-375 road diet?
« Reply #42 on: January 18, 2014, 11:14:28 PM »

roundabout would possibly work, they could even put a monument in the center, I don't think there are signalized roundabouts in the US, are there?

Detroit's Campus Martius intersection is somewhat of a bastardized signalized roundabout.
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renegade

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Re: Detroit - Potential I-375 road diet?
« Reply #43 on: January 19, 2014, 08:07:35 PM »

If people don't feel safe, they won't come, that's (one of many reasons) why Detroit is struggling. 
Get rid of the hep cats and whites will flock to Detroit!

The hep cats are not the problem.  It's the immigrants.
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NE2

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Re: Detroit - Potential I-375 road diet?
« Reply #44 on: January 19, 2014, 09:05:25 PM »

If people don't feel safe, they won't come, that's (one of many reasons) why Detroit is struggling. 
Get rid of the hep cats and whites will flock to Detroit!
The hep cats are not the problem.  It's the immigrants.
Get rid of one group of immigrants and another will take their place?
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renegade

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Re: Detroit - Potential I-375 road diet?
« Reply #45 on: January 20, 2014, 08:15:06 PM »

Quote
The hep cats are not the problem.  It's the immigrants.

Get rid of one group of immigrants and another will take their place?

Anyone who has ever been to Metro Detroit (dearborn *cough*) knows exactly what the problem really is.   After all, this is not Alanland we are talking about here.
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NE2

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Re: Detroit - Potential I-375 road diet?
« Reply #46 on: January 20, 2014, 08:17:12 PM »

Oh, sand hep cats. Got it.
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mukade

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Re: Detroit - Potential I-375 road diet?
« Reply #47 on: January 21, 2014, 07:05:36 AM »

Quote
I am not sure why the idea of eliminating freeways is striking a chord with so many people.

The damage that freeways have done to cities is pretty well documented.  It's no surprise to me that it's striking a chord.  Sure, not every freeway needs to be dropped, but there are a few here and there that have outlived their usefulness and would be more beneficial removed than retained.

I think there are plenty of other actions and policies that contributed much more to the decline of American cities. Freeways exist in almost every major city in the developed world, and the cities outside the US have not declined like Detroit (I haven't heard of any, at least). So if we had adopted a rail culture instead of building freeways, wouldn't the wide corridors carrying the railroads have done the same thing with respect to dividing neighborhoods? How about busy wide boulevards?

I guess there are two points I would make. I-375 would probably not be the best highway to downgrade even if you assume downgrading is a good policy because of the crime problem in Detroit. The second point is that I would like to see good evidence that downgrading provides benefits in all but very unusual situations. I would think these actions would come with a bunch of unintended consequences on other highways that pick up the volume for the lost capacity - not to mention the cost.
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AsphaltPlanet

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Re: Detroit - Potential I-375 road diet?
« Reply #48 on: January 21, 2014, 05:12:40 PM »

Yeah, the decline of inner rust belt cities is the result of social problems, not freeway construction.  Freeway construction may have provided a conduit for people to leave the city, but it didn't create the reasons why people left.
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Brandon

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Re: Detroit - Potential I-375 road diet?
« Reply #49 on: February 03, 2014, 01:07:28 PM »

From the Detroit Free Press:

Public meetings set on I-375 future

Quote
The first of three public meetings to discuss the future of the I-375 expressway into downtown Detroit has been scheduled for Feb. 13.

The community information and comment session will be held from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at Stroh River Place South Atrium, 300 River Place Drive in Detroit.

The City of Detroit and the Michigan Department of Transportation are studying whether to rebuild the aging I-375 expressway or remake it in some new way, possibly as a surface street. Since 1964 the I-375 freeway has been one of the primary access points into Downtown Detroit. But downtown has changed dramatically since the one-mile freeway was built and officials want to study possible changes.
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