Highways are a thing of the past.
There is a definite paradigm shift going on. Instead of the Federal Department of Transportation paying for highways to slice through cities, they are paying to have them removed. People want their waterfronts back. They want to be able to walk between neighborhoods. They want to recover the economic benefits of the land that is paved with asphalt. If you look at the pictures below, you can see that some highways have been replaced with public space. In cities people don’t want to be isolated. I’ve written about how streets can, and often should, be social spaces. But sometimes a roadless social space is more valuable than a road. In the case of downtown highways, it nearly always is.
(All images courtesy of www.infrastructurist.com)
|Portland, Oregon: Harbor Drive After|
|Portland, Oregon: Harbor Drive Before|
|San Francisco: Embarcadero Freeway Before|
|San Francisco: Embarcadero Freeway After|