Exit133 is about Tacoma

The Future of Urban Freeways Is Playing Out Right Now in Syracuse

What does the future hold for the urban freeway? I-81 in Syracuse, a freeway viaduct built right through the middle of downtown, is only a few years from the end of its functional life. Now Syracuse has to decide whether to rebuild it, re-design it, or re-route it around the downtown altogether.

Tacoma has an urban freeway too. Perhaps I-705 isn't on quite the same scale, but it does beg some of the same questions about what an urban freeway does for (or to) the downtown it cuts through. The improved commute times are obvious, but at the cost of a swath of dowtown real estate. In a 2009 Imagine Tacoma, David Boe imagined some potential benefits of knocking down I-705.

Is the improved commute time worth the disruption of downtown Tacoma's urban fabric? Is it an ugly scar or a necessary arterial? Both? Neither? Can we learn anything from the conversation in Syracuse? Read more at The Atlantic Cities


Comments

Jesse

If only Tacoma could get the railroad freight trains redirected up the hill parallel to the Sounder tracks instead of across the Foss waterfront… Then we could take out the I-705 Freeway north of South 21st Street and make that all surface streets.  We’d have a more true waterfront downtown.

February 21, 2014 at 4:10 pm / Reply / Quote and reply


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