More cities with a different idea on freeways | Arkansas Blog

Thursday, December 3, 2015

More cities with a different idea on freeways

Posted By on Thu, Dec 3, 2015 at 11:28 AM

Arkansas doesn't get to its 49th and 50th rankings without working at it. See the state freeway department's insistence that a 10-lane freeway through the heart of the state's largest city is the best possible plan for moving traffic around, particularly from homes down in Highway Director Scott Bennett's Saline County neck of the woods and back.

Sadly, Little Rock city officials like Vice Mayor Lance Hines think moving people quickly to and from flight suburbs is better for the city than respecting the burgeoning downtown redevelopment, acknowledging the past destructive impact of freeways, and looking for a different plan for Interstate 30.

That other bigger cities have found different approaches is of no interest to Bennett or Hines, but perhaps it will be to you.

From CEOs for Cities comes an article on the case against high-speed corridors through cities. Thanks to Rep. Warwick Sabin, among a small band of politicians and civic leaders who are running against the status quoism of Arkansas highway thinking. Snippets from an article about making a current high-speed corridor in Miami more people friendly:

* "Milwaukee, San Francisco and other major cities razed elevated highways that had torn apart their urban fabric. Boston paid billions to put its in-town highway underground, with acres of urban park space and connectivity built above."

* "PlusUrbia advocates for Calle Ocho as a destination, not as a pass-through corridor scarring one of the oldest, most authentic neighborhoods left in Miami."

* "By early 2016, the state transportation agency will pick a team of consultants to conduct a $2 million study and redesign of the corridor."

Imagine. Planners who put people ahead of cars.

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