Why cities should dismantle highways

Posted by    |    November 24th, 2011 at 5:15 am

Cities across the United States are struggling with a common problem.

No, not the economy. (Although that’s a good guess.)

It’s the car.

In the last 50 years, American cities have embraced the private car with abandon, constructing highways and byways that encircled them, divided them and changed their very nature forever.

Make no mistake; the car and the infrastructure to support it has been tremendously helpful. It is impossible to think of driving through a town as dense as New York or as sprawling as Los Angeles without multi-lane express roads. You’d have to clear your schedule for the day just to make it from one end to the other.

But it’s the “with abandon” part that’s the problem. Cars are part of the solution, yes, but they are not the only solution. And that’s precisely the challenge city officials face today as they attempt to develop vibrant cities in the face of generations-old car culture, according to Next American City editor at large Diana Lind.

Of course, one example –

  • Dallas, where the Woodall Rodgers Deck Park mitigates a major freeway dividing the city’s downtown and uptown districts.

Read more at SmartPlanet