Sunday, October 22, 2017

NY Times: All the news that fits the storyline

Embarcadero Freeway, 1965


...If it sounds counterintuitive, if not crazy, to tear down a highway that still carries thousands of cars and trucks each day, there are a number of case studies to point to. One of the earliest and, to advocates, most successful, was San Francisco’s double-decker Embarcadero Freeway. It skirted the city’s waterfront and was demolished instead of rebuilt after the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake.

“The Embarcadero came out of the waterfront, and now the waterfront real estate is seeing tremendous value,” said Peter Park, a city planner in favor of removing highways in cities where neighborhoods have been “significantly disconnected.”

Not only in San Francisco but also in every case where a highway has been removed, Mr. Park argues, “the city has improved.”

Rob's comment:
"Swooshy"? And "in every case"? Nope. Interesting that tearing down the Central Freeway overpass in Hayes Valley isn't mentioned, probably because that clearly hasn't "improved" San Francisco at all; it's made the city worse, since much of the traffic that used to go over Hayes Valley is now coming through the middle of that neighborhood on Octavia Boulevard.


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3 Comments:

At 9:18 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

But removing the Hayes valley freeway was a windfall for property owners and businesses, except those whose leases ended and then were forced out by new sky high lease. I do remember Hayes Valley along Hayes street and surround alleys was a dangerous place after dark...things change.

 
At 1:03 PM, Blogger Rob Anderson said...

Yes, but the question is whether that change is better than what it placed. True, the ugly overpass is gone, but most of the traffic that used to go over the neighborhood is now on Octavia Blvd. and other surface streets in Hayes Valley, causing area-wide traffic congestion for most of the day.

 
At 9:39 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yep i agree. The traffic went from above ground to grade...

When Embarcadero freeway debate was happening, as limited as it was, it was noted that for the most part during commute the freeway served as a queue to keep cars up off service streets and meter them up/down depending on the time of the commute, with signals.

 

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