It would be helpful if there were another word for “infrastructure”: it’s such an earnest and passive word for the blood vessels of this country, the crucial conveyors and connections that get us from here to there (or not) and the ports that facilitate our trade (or don’t), as well as the carriers of information, in particular broadband...
The word “crisis” is also overused, applied to the unimportant as well as the crucial.
But this country has an infrastructure crisis. — the New York Review of Books
Elizabeth Drew considers several recent books on American infrastructure, with an eye to both the material reality and the political system producing it. She concludes that fixing our infrastructural systems "may require even more widespread paralyzed traffic, the collapse of numerous bridges, and...
An elevated park filling a retired stretch of freeway may sound reminiscent of the High Line, the hugely popular park built along an abandoned elevated train line in Manhattan.
In symbolic and practical terms, the potential of a remade 2 spur is greater than even that project. It would take a working stretch of freeway in Los Angeles, a city still synonymous with car culture, and reinvent it as a vibrant, diverse urban landscape. — LA Times
Critics rarely take advantage of their position to propose urban initiatives of their own, but when they do, it usually merits some serious consideration.Christopher Hawthorne has issued an inventive, but well-reasoned, proposal to remake the awkward terminus of the 2 Freeway, where it "bends...
Southern Californians have a distinctive — 'Saturday Night Live's' Fred Armisen and Kristen Wiig might say funny — way of giving directions. To get from Santa Monica to Hollywood, take the 10 to the 110 to the 101. Burbank to San Diego? The 134 to the 5. And, if you can, always avoid the 405. Why the definite articles?...Most of North America, in fact, omits the 'the' before route numbers. — KCET
More about L.A. freeways on Archinect:Christopher Hawthorne on repairing L.A.'s long-broken relationship with its freewaysLargest wildlife overpass in U.S. proposed for L.A.'s 101 Freeway, could ease area's roadkill problemOde to the Stack, Los Angeles's iconic infrastructureSouthern California...
Mountain lions, bobcats and other wildlife would have less chance of becoming roadkill if [California] adopts a plan to build a [165-foot-wide, 200-foot-long] landscaped bridge over the 101 Freeway in Agoura Hills...Urbanization has taken a toll on Southern California’s mountain lion population, spurring battles over shrinking territory and a depletion of genetic diversity because of inbreeding. — Los Angeles Times
More on Archinect:33-story endangered species picture showFancy $48M animal terminal to open in JFK Airport next yearChinese sinkhole develops its own eco-systemOur infrastructure is expanding to include animalsHummingbird Drones and other Bio-inspired Robotics
The truth is that Los Angeles, once a pioneer in defining the freeway’s place in urban life, has fallen behind other cities. From Dallas to Paris to Seoul, the most innovative ideas about freeways and how they can be redesigned are coming from places far from Southern California. It’s time for L.A. to catch up... — Los Angeles Times
Following his recent review of the 405 Freeway expansion through the Sepulveda Pass, Christopher Hawthorne sums up why the time is ripe for Angelenos to refresh their perspectives on the city's freeways.More on Archinect:Archinect's critical round-up: the week's best architectural critiques so...
...the $1.1 billion question hangs in the air: Is the 405 any more relieved of congestion than when Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, Congressman Brad Sherman and County Supervisor Gloria Molina demanded in 2006 that L.A.'s "fair share" of state bond money be used to add carpool lanes to the 405? The answer is no. A traffic study by Seattle-based...Inrix has shown that auto speeds during the afternoon crawl on the northbound 405 are now the same or slightly slower... — LA Weekly
Los Angeles' vast freeway system is incomplete — at least by the standards of its architects. In the 1940s, freeways were sketched through Santa Monica Boulevard, along Melrose, Highland and La Brea avenues, and near the Griffith Observatory. Many of L.A.'s freeways were built during the 1960s, but a combination of a freeway revolt, skyrocketing costs and a failure to increase the gas tax doomed the expansion of the freeway system during the 1970s. — LA Times
It’s been named one of the top “Freeways Without Futures” in the nation and described as a “perfect example of obsolete infrastructure.” [...]
Now, nearly half a decade later, the project to remove a large portion of the Terminal Island (TI) Freeway in West Long Beach has officially gone out to bid in an RFP with an estimated bid value of $225K. It marks a major event in Southern California’s urban design history, being the first freeway removal project [...]. — longbeachize.com
The story of Boyle Heights reminds us that urban highway teardowns don't always end in victory. [...]
"What we don't know, however, is the story of the losers, the urban men and women who fought the freeway, unsuccessfully, on the conventional terms of political struggle, who weren't able to pack up and move on, and who channeled expressive cultural traditions to register their grievances against the presence of unwanted infrastructure." — citylab.com
While searching for images of highway interchanges in urban areas, I came across these historic aerial photos of Detroit on a message board, showing how the city fabric has slowly eroded. It’s a remarkable record of a process that has scarred many other American cities. — usa.streetsblog.org
You can’t build your way out of congestion. It’s the roads themselves that cause traffic. The concept is called induced demand, which is economist-speak for when increasing the supply of something (like roads) makes people want that thing even more. [...]
What [economists] Turner and Duranton (and many others who’d like to see more rational transportation policy) actually advocate is known as congestion pricing. This means raising the price of driving on a road when demand is high. — wired.com
So it is that nearly a third of the interstate system consists of stretches through our cities, in the form of loops, spurs and freeways. So it is that American motorists drive nearly twice as many miles on urban interstates as they do the lengthier rural legs. So it is that every metropolis in the country has reorganized itself around these roads, and that they've shaped where we live and work, how we shop, what we eat, and how we pass our time. — theatlanticcities.com
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