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Expressway removals
#16
That Inner Loop in Rochester is a perfect example of an urban expressway that is a good candidate for outright removal. It is small, it doesn't add to the overall connectivity of the highway network, and it severely cuts off the downtown.

In fact...
it's apparently so perfect an example, that it seems they're already removing it.
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#17
The 417 in Ottawa quite effectively cuts Centretown off from the Glebe.
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#18
Much to the content of many Glebites! Smile
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#19
(01-02-2015, 02:57 PM)jamincan Wrote: The 417 in Ottawa quite effectively cuts Centretown off from the Glebe.
In the 417's defence, Centretown being cut off from the Glebe predates the expressway. The 417 replaced the freight rail bypass, and even added more crossings.

The 417 is what I would consider an excellent example of a bad place to consider removing an urban expressway.
1) It provides connectivity to the region. Driving from Nepean to Orleans would be made excessively more difficult without it. Nevermind the person who just wants to drive from Arnprior to Montreal, without learning the surface streets of Ottawa.
2) It doesn't overly constrain any population centres. Sure it forms a mental dividing line, but there is opportunity for urbanity both north and south of it. Even then, it is largely permeable, with crossings at every block (save for Lyon) between Bronson and the canal.
3) It doesn't ruin or cut off any major parkland areas. Unlike, say, the Ottawa River Parkway, or Nicolas St.
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#20
(01-02-2015, 12:27 PM)plam Wrote: So this is a case of motivated reasoning, with the main driver being whether you believe that expressways through downtowns are good or bad. I tend to think of them as bad. I think that expressways should go around cities, not through them, especially when there are no downtown exits from said expressway. Outhit started from the premise that vehicular mobility is most important and everything in his arguments flowed from there.

Not at all. I too dislike the Alaskan expressway and I'm indifferent as to whether it is simply removed or removed and replaced by a tunnel. However I find the reports of the demise of the Seattle tunnel greatly exaggerated. I think in the case of Boston, the big dig was needed while for San Francisco the highway didn't need replacement.

I'm on the fence with the Seattle highway, but not because of some ill-informed "the sky is going to fall" argument. We saw plenty of those during the LRT debate.
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#21
(01-02-2015, 04:46 PM)BuildingScout Wrote: Not at all. I too dislike the Alaskan expressway and I'm indifferent as to whether it is simply removed or removed and replaced by a tunnel. However I find the reports of the demise of the Seattle tunnel greatly exaggerated. I think in the case of Boston, the big dig was needed while for San Francisco the highway didn't need replacement.

I'm on the fence with the Seattle highway, but not because of some ill-informed "the sky is going to fall" argument. We saw plenty of those during the LRT debate.

Well, it seems like it'll get built, the question is just how much is it going to cost and how long is it going to take.
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#22
(01-02-2015, 09:59 PM)plam Wrote: Well, it seems like it'll get built, the question is just how much is it going to cost and how long is it going to take.

As an aside, Paul Allen co-founder of Microsoft offered to build it for free in exchange for the land rights on top about 15 years ago. The city declined the offer.
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#23
What if rather than bury the Expressway, a few new parks were built to span key points where the Expressway is already effectively below grade? Something to connect Stanley Park with the Memorial Auditorium property, or perhaps Bechtel Park with Bluevale and/or Breithaupt Park, or even something west of the Sunrise Centre to connect Forest Heights to the parks south of the Expressway. If those look too difficult, then at the very least, a couple multi-use bridges at a key points would be a great start. I do recall hearing about the City of Waterloo identifying spots just south of University that would allow a trail connection under the Expressway, but the costs were too high.
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#24
(01-05-2015, 02:12 PM)nms Wrote: or even something west of the Sunrise Centre to connect Forest Heights to the parks south of the Expressway.  

I believe that particular connection was identified in the Kitchener Cycling Master plan as a priority.
Everyone move to the back of the bus and we all get home faster.
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#25
Dealing with the MTO makes it harder to just plunk down a bridge over the highway, the city of Cambridge has similar issues with the 401.
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#26
A shame that we seem unaware of consequences on other users. We'll create highways for cars, the most expensive form of transportation, but won't consider how transit, cyclists, pedestrians, etc, are affected by them, or can get across them. We'll create new developments and ensure how a road goes to every suburban door, but we'll never think that turning a 150 ft distance into a 10, 15, or 20+ minute walk due to connectivity based solely on roads for cars is something to be planned for or expected.
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#27
I was thinking about this some more as I was biking on Ottawa near the 8 today. As I've noted before, Ottawa does have 3 of the area's worst intersections. Is the 8 related to that or is it mostly the street non-design around there? Certainly to get to, say, Strasburg and Ottawa from north of the expressway is pretty high on the awfulness scale.
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#28
(01-06-2015, 10:23 PM)plam Wrote: I was thinking about this some more as I was biking on Ottawa near the 8 today. As I've noted before, Ottawa does have 3 of the area's worst intersections. Is the 8 related to that or is it mostly the street non-design around there? Certainly to get to, say, Strasburg and Ottawa from north of the expressway is pretty high on the awfulness scale.

I think the Conestoga Expressway is related to that, given that Ottawa Street (or whatever it used to be called) used to travel where Howe Drive, Avalon Place, highway offramps, and Kehl Street are now. Compare the current map to the pre-expressway imagery. Though it's still not necessarily the highway's fault, but rather the way the replacement Ottawa Street alignment was built.
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#29
One of the mystifying things for me in that area is why they didn't make Homer Watson an extension of Highland Road. The current configuration makes no sense at all to me.
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#30
I have to wonder whether the original idea wasn't to run Homer Watson through what is now Lakeside Park up to Queens Blvd?
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