Friday, July 15, 2011

Southwest

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Southwest 2

One difference between American cities and those in other parts of the world is the highway system. In most of the planet there are few or no superhighways inside of a beltway. Nothing like that in Paris inside the Périphérique and just a bit within London's M 25. Beijing has its many ring roads but there are no spokes into the heart of the city. The autopista from Buenos Aires' airport just disolves into city streets in the outskirts.

Not so in the U.S. Our Interstate highways dissect the hearts of our cities. Look at Chicago's "Spaghetti Bowl" from the air, just west of the Loop. My home town, New York, has roads sometimes called the Cross-Bronx Distressway and the Long Island Expressway, a/k/a the longest parking lot in the world (or sometimes the Big LIE). Let's not even get into Los Angeles, where Carmageddon is scheduled for this weekend.

Same here. Although we're smaller scale. Interstate 70 cuts off downtown from the Arch in the heart of the city. The highway rolls out through the Soulard neighborhood to the south, where these pictures were taken from a pedestrian crosswalk. The road doesn't just go southwest. One lane goes south down I 55, the other west along I 44, cutting the city into different sections. That's American urban planning.

Southwest 1


7 comments:

Olivier said...

bien vu cette serie, le grillage donne une impression de mouvement et de vitesse

Dave-CostaRicaDailyPhoto.com said...

The last segment of Interstate 10, running from Jacksonville, Florida to Santa Monica, California, to be completed was the portion through downtown Phoenix. Fortunately, it was delayed so long that its design was changed from an elevated freeway to a sunken freeway, with a deck park placed on top of it. The park now contains the main library, a Japanese garden, and other enhancements that are much better than a freeway.

PerthDailyPhoto said...

That is just way too much highway Bob, I would never find my way off once I got on. I know it's probably necessary to accommodate the traffic flow but still...eeek!! I love my Mitchell Freeway even more now that you've shown me that!! Horrific!!!

cieldequimper said...

I'm just sooo glad that we don't have them in the city. But I love your shots.

Birdman said...

Hahahaha Distressway! That says about it all. And the US is all about SPEED!

Oakland Daily Photo said...

Interesting post. I've been on that stretch of I70 and plenty more in San Francisco, Seattle, and points east. They're all a little scary. We should follow the examples of world cities. When the Central freeway in SF became too unstable after the '89 quake, the city decided to tear it down. Many predicted eternal gridlock on the city streets if it weren't rebuilt. As you know, with no freeway we now have a beautiful bay front esplanade and the streets absorbed the traffic with little problem.

Paula said...

I love overpass photos, especially since I know how exhilarating/dangerous it can be to take them.

Speaking of Carmageddon, I don't know if this is your idea of funny but if you know anything about traffic in LA you might like this:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xlLZ4RWyyAw