Wednesday, September 19, 2012

28 Square Miles. How Many Will Be Paved?

Wired magazine's Adam Rogers gets it:
Tear it all down! Well, OK, not all of it. Let’s start with the freeways. They look permanent, sure, but most highways, especially the ones cutting through city centers, aren’t that old -- only a few decades. And in some towns, they do more harm than good.
Source: Wired.
The movement against freeways appears to be picking up followers slowly. It's not enough to reverse the growth of freeways, at least not yet, but maybe it soon will be enough to bend the curve.

After the jump, what this has to do with Richardson.

I've blogged about my quixotic dream of replacing Central Expressway through Richardson with a grand central boulevard, lined with trees, shops and sidewalk restaurants. But I'm sober enough to realize that's not going to happen. Richardson has embarked on a study of what to do with the Main Street/Central Expressway Corridor, but I doubt that "tear it down" will even be one of the options on the clicky pads the community volunteers are given to express their opinion. I'm not even saying that option should win out. But at least it should be on the table for discussion, so we at least understand what drawbacks we introduced when we first sliced Richardson in two with that freeway.

I can't help but note that Richardson is 28 square miles. It's not getting any bigger. God isn't making any more land. I don't realistically expect the city council and city staff to tear down any freeways (any time soon), but I do hope that they will at least become sensitive to the fact that every street that's widened, every turn lane that's added, every gas station and self-storage warehouse with vehicle storage that's approved, every such action locks up another little bit of that 28 square miles and devotes it to cars, leaving a little bit less for people to walk, to enjoy, to make productive, and leaving Richardson itself a little less attractive overall.

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