13 Mar '12, 10am

Goodbye-ways: The downfall of urban freeways

Goodbye-ways: The downfall of urban freeways

The golden days -- when the traffic hadn't caught up with the lanes. (Photo by coltera.) We can say this for our Great Urban Freeway Experiment: It seemed like a good idea at the time. The time was the 1950s and ’60s, specifically, and U.S. cities were watching their residents flee to the suburbs in alarming numbers. Their solution: Build giant freeways connecting city centers to the ’burbs, thereby allowing citizens to live the good life on the outskirts and commute to work in the urban core. It was an attempt to hang on to urban industrial might even as the city’s population bled (or drove) out. When all was said and done, these freeways did salvage some downtown commerce, but they only accelerated the flight from the inner city. At the same time, they carved up historic urban neighborhoods, turned whole sections of cities into slums, and cut off many downtowns from thei...

Full article: http://grist.org/cities/goodbye-ways-the-downfall-of-urba...

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