mmmm. Crisitunity.

So, I've got to make this a pretty quick post, but I wanted to react to something that Driver 2165 said on his blog regarding the recent 35W bridge collapse in Mpls:
"Unfortunately they're going to rebuild it as a freeway. It's not like when the Embarcadero and the Central Freeway in San Francisco collapsed twenty years ago; they were able to scrap those unnecessary freeways and turn them into functional streets and public space."

Responding to that comment, Bill said:
"I love the freeway removal project in S.F. I was there this spring, and walking around down by the embarcadero is so lovely now. It's almost impossible to imagine a raised interstate existing there."
and I responded as well that if people are interested they should mobilize to do something different (like in SF, BOS, Portland, ect).

Ryan responded (and in some ways I agree with him):
"I don't think there's anything that can be done regarding the freeway. It's still freeway on both sides of the river, and you can't really connect that with with anything other than a freeway bridge. San Fran lost the whole highway, not just a 300 foot long bridge."

I did want to point out the other possibilities though. For example, what if 280 was renumbered 35W and widened slightly:
This would eliminate what seems to be a fairly redundant highway anyways. 35W from the south would still feed commuters to downtown, and from the north there is still 280 or 94. The major benefit would be the improved movement between neighborhoods like four corners and downtown and generally between the university and northeast and north mpls. And unlike the current alignment, which severs neighborhoods, 280 runs through mostly industrial land. It would also be a possibility to keep a little of the current 35W on the northside to serve that industrial park.

These are just thoughts of course, but I would hope that if this sort of thing is something that Minneapolitans want that they would speak up instead of being bullied by the status quo.


Ryan 9:46 PM  

There is a movement underfoot to get rid of that half-mile long highway that goes from 35W to Lyndale near Hwy 62. They're trying to make Lyndale go through again and to redevelop the land. We might still end up with a long highway offramp, but it sounds like it will be at least smart planning in spots.

Benjamin 3:47 PM  

Even if they do ditch 35W between the river and 94E, there's still the tangle of 55, 3rd St, Washington, et al that they would have to demolish and redevelop to some extent. At least that's my initial thought. That whole little tangle is designed to complement(?) the freeway.

onetenchelsea 5:06 PM  

It would definitely take some work to tie the opposite sides of the highway back together, but I don't think there'd be a lot to demolish, a lot of the blocks surrounding the highway are underutilized already. If anything, the sale of the land (that the highway sits on) would probably pay a good portion of any other work that needs done (honestly, it might even turn a profit, which would allow for the upgrades on 280)

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