Highway, gutting a town (or not)
Urban designer and architect Tom Low recently drew this side-by-side comparison of how a highway can gut, or work in harmony with, a city or town. The cloverleaf option, at left, is ideal for a highway interchange in the country, but creates an enormous barrier in or between neighborhoods. In the last half of the 20th Century, transportation engineers used designs that were appropriate for rural areas and brought them into the city. Research and experience has debunked that approach, but we still seem stuck in that old paradigm. Better designs, such as an urban, mixed-use traffic circle—designed for walking and slow-moving traffic—are available but difficult to get approved through Departments of Transportation.