Urban Velo

Tear the Mother*&$%er Down

“Widening roads to decrease traffic congestion is like loosening your belt to fight obesity.”

I love that quote referencing the absurdity of highway expansion policy. I used to take part in the Chicago Break the Gridlock alternative transportation conferences that went down years ago (do they still happen?), where “radical” ideas like cycling and highway destruction were adamantly discussed and debated. This video from Wired’s The Observation Deck, quickly summarizes the value of taking out highways to make a city’s quality of life rise. These points, mind you, aren’t just idyllic daydreaming, but are supported by real-world examples of the positive change cities undergo when their highways are removed, coupled with the sobering effects of building highways on top of neighborhoods whose inhabitants were powerless and easily exploited.

If you live in a city who tore their mother&$*%er’s down, feel free to share the changes (good or bad) you’ve witnessed or experienced. I currently live in a city that has only built highways, but just maybe I’ll get to see one of these suckers dismantled in my lifetime. Here’s to hoping.

About Scott Spitz

Commuting, touring, kid hauling, couriering, mechanic work, sales, advocacy, fixed, free—Scott has had his hands in it all over the years.

View all posts by Scott Spitz →

One Comment

  1. JymSeptember 19, 2012 at 9:31 pm

    =v= After a little nudge from Mother Nature during a 1989 earthquake, San Francisco and Oakland have both torn down freeways. In every case, a revived neighborhood has blossomed where concrete blight once stood.

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