In this week’s episode of “Moving Beyond the Automobile,” Streetfilms takes you on a guided tour of past, present and future highway removal projects with John Norquist of the Congress for the New Urbanism.
Some of the most well-known highway removals in America — like New York City’s West Side Highway and San Francisco’s Embarcadero Freeway — have actually been unpredictable highway collapses brought on by structural deficiencies or natural disasters. It turns out there are good reasons for not rebuilding these urban highways once they become rubble: They drain the life from the neighborhoods around them, they suck wealth and value out of the city, and they don’t even move traffic that well during rush hour.
Now several cities are pursuing highway removals more intentionally, as a way to reclaim city space for housing, parks, and economic development. CNU has designated ten “Freeways Without Futures” here in North America, and in this video, you’ll hear about the benefits of tearing down the Alaskan Way Viaduct in Seattle, the Sheridan Expressway in the Bronx, the Skyway and Route 5 in Buffalo, and the Claiborne Expressway in New Orleans.
Streetfilms would like to thank The Fund for the Environment & Urban Life for making this series possible.