Author Topic: Five urban core expressways ripe for a makeover  (Read 805 times)

thelakelander

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Five urban core expressways ripe for a makeover
« on: November 19, 2021, 08:59:27 AM »
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Five functionally obsolete expressways in Jacksonville's urban core that are ripe for a makeover.


Read More: https://www.thejaxsonmag.com/article/five-urban-core-expressways-ripe-for-a-makeover/
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Charles Hunter

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Re: Five urban core expressways ripe for a makeover
« Reply #1 on: November 19, 2021, 12:41:30 PM »
MLK Expressway
I think reconstructing the 20th Street portion of this facility, from I-95 to the new interchange at 21st Street, will be a tough sell, as it provides truck access to the port facilities along Talleyrand. However, an argument could be made for the portion west of I-95, and the north-south Haines Street segment. Some of the push-back would be in the form of the access it provides to the Sports Complex.

Union Street Expressway (don't think I've ever heard that name for it, but is good as any)
If, as discussed in another thread, the capacity of the Mathews Bridge is increased, the limited-access nature probably needs to be kept. A solution that will allow reconnecting the adjacent neighborhoods and improving the flow of Hogans Creek, would be to rebuild the whole thing as an elevated facility, on piers, not embankment. The current facility on embankment is an effective wall, with only a couple openings - at Palmetto Street and A Philip Randolph Blvd. If the entire road remains elevated from the Mathews to Liberty Street, the area beneath could be developed as community facilities. This is being done under the rebuilt I-4 near downtown Orlando.

I would like to see origin-destination information on where traffic from the Mathews Bridge goes once it gets west of the river. How much goes north on MLK (Haines), and where is it going? How much is going to I-95, and where is it going? Do State and Union need to be 4 lanes each with synchronized signals? Or could some of that real estate dedicated to cars be diverted to bicycles and pedestrians?

Roosevelt Expressway
I'm not sure what can be done here. I think the traffic justifies it as a limited access roadway, and the neighborhoods would reject having that traffic forced onto their neighborhood streets.

Arlington Expressway
A few years ago, the North Florida TPO did a study that presented some alternatives to the current configuration. Since they only keep about 3 years of studies on their website, I can't look it up - would have to request a copy from them.  I don't recall if any of the alternatives proposed removing the frontage roads and allowing direct driveway access to what are now the through lanes.

jaxlongtimer

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Re: Five urban core expressways ripe for a makeover
« Reply #2 on: November 20, 2021, 10:16:06 PM »
^ One additional complication might be how, over the decades, development and neighborhoods have adjusted to the presence of these expressways.  Clearly, many people who were adversely affected still are.  But, like a wound, is there a certain degree of "healing" taking place over the cut that would now be difficult to reopen?

Some things, once broken, can not be repaired or restored.  Is that the case with these roads today?  Does the law of unintended consequences also play out here?  If these roads are removed, would it promote gentrification vs. restoration of the harmed citizen's neighborhoods?  After so many years, sadly, has that past neighborhood fabric been forever lost as the original people moved or faded away?

Would it take an initiative on the scale of creating "reservations" a la the Indians, to bring back these areas to their glorious past and compensate the displaced families?
« Last Edit: November 21, 2021, 03:32:37 PM by jaxlongtimer »

thelakelander

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Re: Five urban core expressways ripe for a makeover
« Reply #3 on: November 20, 2021, 11:11:07 PM »
There's talk in New Orleans about taking out I-10. None of these old outdated highways carry the amount of traffic that I-10 carries through the heart of that city. Some of these old roads would likely become more effective in moving traffic if upgraded to modern standards.
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vicupstate

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Re: Five urban core expressways ripe for a makeover
« Reply #4 on: November 21, 2021, 03:10:20 PM »
^ One additional complication might be how, over the decades, development and neighborhoods have adjusted to the presence of these expressways.  Clearly, many people who were adversely affected still are.  But, like a wound, is there a certain degree of "healing" taking place over the cut that would now be difficult to reopen?

Some things, once broken, can not be repaired or restored.  Is that case with these roads today?  Does the law of unintended consequences also play out here?  If these roads are removed, would it promote gentrification vs. restoration of the harmed citizen's neighborhoods?  After so many years, sadly, has that past neighborhood fabric been forever lost as the original people moved or faded away?

Would it take an initiative on the scale of creating "reservations" a la the Indians, to bring back these areas to their glorious past and compensate the displaced families?

You ask some very valid questions. Can damages done 60 years ago be undone?  Seems doubtful to me.
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thelakelander

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Re: Five urban core expressways ripe for a makeover
« Reply #5 on: November 21, 2021, 03:35:46 PM »
They can't be undone but things can get worse when the same mistakes are repeated and enforced upon a historically excluded population. A lot of tax money continues to be lit on fire in the process. The way I approach it is, if you know better, you do better moving forward.
« Last Edit: November 21, 2021, 03:38:17 PM by thelakelander »
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thelakelander

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Re: Five urban core expressways ripe for a makeover
« Reply #6 on: November 24, 2021, 08:38:36 AM »
Interesting article. Highlights a plan to cap I-94 a few blocks through a neighborhood it ripped apart. Doing so would allow for park space and a reconnected street grid, while still allowing the highway to move significant volumes of traffic.

https://www.bloomberg.com/graphics/2021-urban-highways-infrastructure-racism/?cmpid=BBD111421_CITYLABMP&utm_medium=email&utm_source=newsletter&utm_term=211114&utm_campaign=citylabmostpop

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Ideas for how to do that range from tearing down viaducts and replacing them with boulevards, to burying highways beneath a new tract of affordable housing, or elevating freeways to build public space beneath them. But in no city will any single construction project bring back the bustling corridors that were lost. Residents who remember well the recent history of highways fear further infrastructure changes could bring further displacement. Meanwhile, some communities are simply fighting to keep more highways from being built.

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ReConnect Rondo hopes to restore land that was taken away, and in doing so provide commercial, residential and open space for the benefit of the community. Most of the organization’s board members are descendants of, or current, Rondo residents. “The community owning land is a motivating factor here. We need to create and generate wealth within Rondo,” says Marvin Anderson, co-founder and board chair of ReConnect Rondo. Rondo has changed over the half-century since I-94 cut through the neighborhood, with many residents forced to move, he said. “We want an opportunity to build a community that reflects what Rondo lost,” says Anderson.

« Last Edit: November 24, 2021, 09:06:33 AM by thelakelander »
"A man who views the world the same at 50 as he did at 20 has wasted 30 years of his life.” - Muhammad Ali