Saturday, March 10, 2012

War On The Freeways

The Little Sugar Creek Greenway currently being constructed in Charlotte is turning into a beautiful place to run, ride, walk sit, play, eat, etc.  The stonework being installed is reminiscent of a different time.  I have often thought how wonderful it would be to remove I-277 that separates downtown Charlotte from the Elizabeth - Myers Park area.  It would rival RiverWalk in many areas.

In my dreams I envision the current off ramp for I-277 by the Metropolitan as being the beginning of Charlottetowne Road, bringing renewed life to that whole section of the city, and without the mound that I-277 is there, it would be a gentile slope from the corner of Trade and Tryon all the way to Presbyterian Hospital.

In a similar light, some have called for the capping of the Belk Freeway separating Dilworth from downtown, another wonderful idea.

Will it ever happen, who knows, but it is not beyond the realm of possibilities.

I have come across an article on a blog site called  Go here to read the full article.  The article speaks about the history of how freeways were used as a form of urban renewal (removal?) during the 50's, 60's, and 70's and how that type of thinking is no longer valid, or at least has changed in nature. 

It speaks of how cities that have reclaimed land from freeways, which pay no taxes and develop no business, are experiencing a significant uptick in related property values.  A case in point was the San Francisco Embarcadero Freeway, which was significantly damaged in a 1989 earthquake, and how the replacement boulevard increased nearby property values by 300%.  Wow.

One of my personal favorite cities is Vancouver, British Columbia Canada.  The city made a conscious effort during those freeway building years to say no.  The result is a more vibrant city with more vibrant neighborhoods and less crime.

The ability to reclaim land for tax valuation contributes to the common good, and the result increases property values.

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