Changing Lanes: Visions and Histories of Urban Freeways by Joseph F. C. DiMento, Cliff Ellis

By Joseph F. C. DiMento, Cliff Ellis

City freeways usually reduce during the middle of a urban, destroying neighborhoods, displacing citizens, and reconfiguring road maps. those large infrastructure tasks, costing billions of greenbacks in transportation money, were formed for the final part century by means of the guidelines of street engineers, city planners, panorama architects, and designers -- with road engineers enjoying the best position. In altering Lanes, Joseph DiMento and Cliff Ellis describe the evolution of the city highway within the usa, from its rural throughway precursors throughout the development of the interstate street procedure to rising choices for extra sustainable city transportation.

DiMento and Ellis describe controversies that arose over city highway development, concentrating on 3 instances: Syracuse, which early on embraced freeways via its heart; la, which rejected a few routes after which equipped I-105, the costliest city highway of its time; and Memphis, which blocked the development of I-40 via its center. ultimately, they think about the rising city street removing circulation and different leading edge efforts via towns to re-envision city transportation.

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Additional info for Changing Lanes: Visions and Histories of Urban Freeways (Urban and Industrial Environments)

Sample text

His mitigation measures, though, were not very convincing. 26 Whitten’s renderings of his elevated highways showed startling juxtapositions of the new arterials with adjacent buildings, similar to the elevated railways found in a number of large American cities, including Boston. The abutting eight- to ten-story buildings formed a canyon, with the highway at the bottom, and the proposal clearly presented problems with noise reverberating off the building façades and the accumulation of fumes and dust at street level.

In the 1930s, city planners and engineers hoped that the freeway would be a manageable insertion into the urban fabric. As Robert Whitten wrote in 1932: Unless the completed expressway has elements of charm and beauty, it will probably prove somewhat crude and deficient from the standpoint both of traffic efficiency and of preventing the blighting of adjacent areas. It must not be cramped but must have natural flowing lines. It must be spacious, with room for shrub and tree and for the dispersion of the traffic sound waves.

Planners moved haltingly toward an urban freeway aesthetic during the 1930s, but they focused on the most obvious visual and acoustic problems, largely neglecting more elusive social and economic impacts on adjacent populations. Planners and engineers of the 1930s were confident that urban freeways could open up a new world of efficient personal transportation while simultaneously improving the environmental quality of the city. They had no vivid awareness that there might be painful trade-offs between accessibility and other dimensions of urban life.

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