|Freeways Without Futures
While the car and the interstate freeway system have become symbols of Americana, the merits of cross-town highways are under constant debate. Some critics have even decried these roads as catastrophic in their impact on communities. A recent study by a nonprofit dedicated to creating vibrant, walkable cities proposes abandoning several such highways. A far cry from simply clamoring to demolish all highways, the study instead pinpoints 10 aging motorways due for massive and expensive retrofits. Rather than enshrining these roadways in even taller concrete towers, the authors propose replacing them with tree-lined boulevards, crossable by pedestrians and bicyclists.
I urge you to scan the study for a highway you’re familiar with. You’ll find a reference to a unique and descriptive local proposal, indicative of the depth and breadth of ongoing efforts to reclaim our cities. In lieu of literally sealing in concrete the necessity of navigating cities by car, the concept of reversing a bit of hyper-industrial overreach has an endearing appeal – and growing acceptance. Overall, it’s a fascinating, well-researched, thoughtful account that doubles as a veritable who’s-who of some of the most forward-thinking nonprofits and planning firms, for those impassioned enough to consider taking on this crusade as a career.
– Jeremiah Farmer