1/06/2012

Highways vs Boulevard; Where Do We Go in the 21st Century

Back in November, Next American City Editor, Diana Lind spoke at TedxPhilly conference about gusty urban highway removal projects, daring Philadelphians to think boldly about the opportunities presented by I-95's planned multi-billion dollar reconstruction.
3 mile stretch of I-95 from Bridge to Bridge

Penns Landing

Covered Vine Street Expressway

Lind explained how American cities are reclaiming auto-dominated spaces in big and small ways, and issued a challenge for Philadelphia to rethink I-95 between the Walt Whitman and Benjamin Franklin bridges.  If we're tearing the highway down because it's structurally compromised, Lind wondered, why would we simply rebuild it? "Have we learned nothing, really, from our mistakes from the past? Have we learned nothing about the current state of the city? Do we have no ideas or where the city is going in the future?"  Imagine the benefits of Philadelphia loosing 3 miles of highway along its river, or even the stretch of the Vine Street Expressway between the Benjamin Franklin Parkway and I-95.




Lind Poses very important questions, that all of us wherever we live should consider.  Many believe if you add more lanes to a freeway, it will lessen traffic, but as we've seen time and time again, traffic continues to occur in the same way and at the same time in those very stretches that were reconstructed to make travel "easier".