CNU Members Identify Freeways Without Futures

First Round of Highways to Boulevards Survey Results Go to Panel

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CNU is pleased to announce the results of our most recent Highways to Boulevards survey.

As highways across North America reach the end of their design lives, many communities have opportunities to eliminate the worst of their inappropriately-placed urban expressways.

CNU’s Freeways without Futures list—last updated in 2010—targets several highways with high potential for conversion to boulevards or avenues. As part of this initiative, we recently asked our members to keep us up-to-date about thoroughfares which should be targeted on our next list.

The survey received a total of forty-eight responses. Twenty—more than 40%—recommended removal of Interstate 70 running through Downtown St. Louis (a highway on our current top-twelve list). This segment, the subject of a major design competition, currently divides downtown St. Louis from the iconic Gateway Arch, historic Laclede's Landing entertainment district, and other riverfront amenities.

City to River, an all-volunteer group, points out that the planned New Mississippi River Bridge Project will reroute I-70 from its current path and permit a more urban-friendly boulevard in the downtown. Unfortunately, the favored designs as currently proposed would keep or even expand the riverfront expressway.

The remaining twenty-eight responses on the Highways to Boulevards survey covered twenty-five different stretches of highways throughout the United States and Canada. Three—the Gardiner Expressway in  Toronto, I-64 in Louisville and I-84 in Hartford, Connecticut— are on our current list. An additional twenty-three others include highways such as the Whitehurst (Washington, DC), I-787 (Albany, NY) and segments of the Inner Loop (Rochester, New York).

With the initial survey results in hand, CNU has assembled a panel of experts to help create the new Freeways without Futures list. Criteria will include structure age, redevelopment potential, predicted cost savings, impact on overall mobility and local access, existence of pending infrastructure decisions, and local support.

We thank our members for responding, and will keep you updated as we complete our 2011 list.

See below for the survey results:

Photo Credit: Chris McCahill. I-84, Hartford, CT.