Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Phase One: Prep

How to Remove I-10 from N. Claiborne Avenue as Painlessly As Possible (And Get a Bunch of Roadwork We Already Need In the Process)

While commentary and debate about the overall idea can be found at Adrastos and Library Chronicles (thanks for the links, guys), I just can't get over mapping everything I've thought about concerning New Orleans' highway infrastructure over the last few years.

Let me be clear: the reasons to remove the elevated interstate over N. Claiborne must be rooted in return on investment, economic development and transportation efficiencies. Removal will not automatically turn the area into an urban paradise, but it will remove one very significant artificial barrier to economic development in a previously dynamic, historic and strategically located neighborhood.

It should also be noted that this section of I-10 will need serious maintenance in the next few years, and like all major southern cities with internal interstates, the costs and disruptions will already be astronomical.

Third, there is no shortage of infrastructure projects needed around the city. We can set all of these up to support a removal of I-10 over N. Claiborne or we can set them all up as if they were not part of an American city's transportation network. Having an actual plan and strategy for urban transportation will save enormous amounts of money in the long run.

Having said that, if a plan to remove I-10 from N. Claiborne were to be adopted, here is a list of both major necessary and minor optional projects that might come along with a Phase One of implementation. The three major projects are separated from each other, and most of the minor projects feed directly in support of the major projects. The focus of this phase would be to ready I-610 to handle increased traffic during both the process and the eventual removal of I-10 over N. Claiborne.

If phase one took place in eastern or northern Georgia, I would expect it to take two years. It could be done here in that time if people who live here begin to demand and expect such things.


View Phase One: Prep in a larger map

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