Our Note: The concept of continuing to construct corridor-cut interstates thru the center of urban communities has been determined to be wasteful and destructive at many levels. The Interstate 49 “Loop It” coalition has extended their work to help save taxpayers and future citizens from the anguish that has plagued other communities. We highly recommend that pressure be extended on decision-making bodies to kill the concept of cutting through Shreveport to connect to I-49 north. The current loop is by far the favored alternative to all parties, both for short-term cost savings as well as long-term growth of the region.
The Congress for New Urbanism (CNU) published a list of the top opportunities in North America for replacing aging urban expressways with boulevards, Freeways without Futures 2012. President and CEO for CNU, John Norquist, was the former mayor of Milwaukee where he championed the tearing down of an inner city expressway. In our local effort to redirect a new inner city expressway in Shreveport into a business boulevard John wrote an editorial for the Shreveport Times posted on Agile Planning here. Here is an excerpt from the CNU web site describing their Highways to Boulevards Innitiative:
CNU believes replacing urban freeways with surface streets, boulevards and avenues is the most cost-effective, sustainable option for cities with aging grade separated roads. As the federal and state DOTs confront shrinking budgets, and cities look for ways to increase their tax bases and revenues, support is building for connected street grids and improved transit that are less expensive to maintain and offer urban alternatives to the reconstruction of urban expressways. The Highways-to-Boulevards Initiative unites a diverse set of professionals, residents and activists in advocating for these goals and demonstrating the value of freeway teardowns to restore urban neighborhoods. final_2012_freeways_without_futures_3
Here is a video telling the story of how elevated expressway Interstate-10 destroyed Claiborne Avenue in New Orleans and how a local group is working to tear down I-10 to reverse the damage. There is a real opportunity to plan a more prosperous future for the Claiborne Avenue corridor by rebuilding a business boulevard.
Here is a post by Tyler Faulk about the list on Smart Planet, Top 12 urban highway removal projects.