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  1. #1
    Señor Member Dave's Avatar
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    Default The future of I-95

    Why does everyone keep bringing up the "Big Dig" in Boston

    Changing Skyline: Odd silence on options for altering I-95

    ...
    I asked Cutler the same question recently. Her response was that Philadelphia can't afford to alter the status quo. Many here have proposed burying I-95 in a tunnel, as Boston did with its Big Dig. But that $14.8 billion project ran so far over budget, and required so much additional money from the state, that it nearly bankrupted Massachusetts' highway authority.
    ...
    When other cities have done things that would be a huge improvement over the current state of I-95 for a fraction of the cost.

    Columbus highway cap at forefront of urban design trend - Chicago Tribune

    ...
    The cap in Columbus is much more modest in scope, so it cost a fraction of that amount — less than $10 million, by some estimates. And experience shows a substantial upside, as measured in increased pedestrian traffic and more business for local stores — all courtesy of a clever design that makes the highway disappear.
    ...
    Same/similar article, plus photos:

    http://featuresblogs.chicagotribune....-offers-m.html

    Ha!

    ...
    Could Chicago and other cities do something comparable? A case study by a real estate developers group, the Washington-based Urban Land Institute, said the cap shows that the following ingredients are necessary: an active road reconstruction project, well-organized citizens, an eager developer, a city government that makes the project a priority and a strong retail environment.
    ...
    Last edited by Dave; 02-17-2012 at 07:11 PM.
    It's all Corbutt's fault

  2. #2
    Señor Member Dave's Avatar
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    Default

    Columbus highway "cap" (last two images taken from Chicago Tribute blog linked above)





    What it looked like previously:

    It's all Corbutt's fault

  3. #3
    Appetizer supersupper's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dave View Post
    Columbus highway "cap"


    Too bad it has no bike lanes.
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  4. #4
    Philly Remixed mixiboi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dave View Post
    Why does everyone keep bringing up the "Big Dig" in Boston
    Because its the last boondoggle that people remember...
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  5. #5
    Señor Member Dave's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mixiboi View Post
    Because its the last boondoggle that people remember...
    Somebody like Cutler should know better. Or maybe it's Inga's fault for not asking better questions.
    It's all Corbutt's fault

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by mixiboi View Post
    Because its the last boondoggle that people remember...
    there are other boondoggles, but the big dig was epic, and worth remembering. spending billions sinking 95 is a waste of money, without a doubt. all that money for the big dig and they didn't even bother to connect north and south station.
    the columbus cap is interesting, taking it's cues from ancient bridge design..something of that sort would be pretty cool on market st over the schuylkill or on broad st over 676. she's right about the parks, all parks from the era suck...dilworth, LOVE...redoing those and adding, perhaps, another block of park cap would be a vast improvement. removing the bus bridge at penn's landing and adding a pedestrian bridge and some capstone development might also work. the city also needs to cap 676 at logan sq. for $15 bn I'll take that 38 min ride to ny from market east
    "It has shown me that everything is illuminated in the light of the past"
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  7. #7
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    Which stretch of 95 are we talking about here? Directly adjacent to Penn's Landing?

  8. #8
    Junior Old Fart Jayfar's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Naveen View Post
    Which stretch of 95 are we talking about here? Directly adjacent to Penn's Landing?
    Yes.
    “Guys like you I would dispatch with my roofing axe.” -- BootsywannabeACretin

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    The next question is, what do we put on top of that cap? A park or buildings (probably short, relatively lightweight structures)? A park could become a hangout for the homeless and buildings would be opposed by condo owners immediately west of I-95 for blocking their river views. Sigh, it's a sign I'm a true Philadelphian, that I think of the downside of every option instead of the upside.

  10. #10
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    How come everyone always talks about our "lost" waterfront (which is historically industrial, not recreational) and never about the Schuylkill, which is one of the best waterfronts in America? Kelly Drive and the Schuykill Banks is a real Philadelphia success story. I'd rather see investment doubled down on the Schuykill than any huge project on the Delaware, though improving the caps is worthwhile.
    Last edited by BarryG; 02-18-2012 at 09:21 AM.

  11. #11
    Senior Member luchobucho's Avatar
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    Money should be spent on the schuylkil. It's our thames. It's much more manageable and we control both sides of it. The Delaware is more of a coastline than a river. It's verywide and we don't even control what's on the otherwise. So we could spend a whole lot of money to develop a nice riverfront and Camden could meltdown further. Great view.

    I agree with barry. Our schuylkil water front should be better developed and managed. It should be bank stabilized and developed right up to the river. The path is a great start.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by BarryG View Post
    How come everyone always talks about our "lost" waterfront (which is historically industrial, not recreational) and never about the Schuylkill, which is one of the best waterfronts in America? Kelly Drive and the Schuykill Banks is a real Philadelphia success story. I'd rather see investment doubled down on the Schuykill than any huge project on the Delaware, though improving the caps is worthwhile.
    Quote Originally Posted by luchobucho View Post
    Money should be spent on the schuylkil. It's our thames. It's much more manageable and we control both sides of it. The Delaware is more of a coastline than a river. It's verywide and we don't even control what's on the otherwise. So we could spend a whole lot of money to develop a nice riverfront and Camden could meltdown further. Great view.

    I agree with barry. Our schuylkil water front should be better developed and managed. It should be bank stabilized and developed right up to the river. The path is a great start.
    This times a thousand.
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  13. #13
    Philly Remixed mixiboi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Naveen View Post
    Which stretch of 95 are we talking about here? Directly adjacent to Penn's Landing?
    From Race St to Walnut St.

    And people talk the Delaware over the Schuylkill for three reasons:

    1. Its an open area for the majority of the Delaware. All the areas that are around the Schuylkill are taken already or too tiny or has active train lines and companies.

    2. More people live near the Delaware and can see it(Old City, Port Richmond, Northern Liberties). Not so much for the Schuylkill, where the areas people see it, no one lives near it(Kelly Drive, Art museum).

    3. People can't even say Schuykill.
    Last edited by mixiboi; 02-18-2012 at 11:18 AM.
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  14. #14
    Junior Old Fart Jayfar's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mixiboi View Post
    3. People can't even say Schuykill.
    Let alone spell it. Schuylkill.
    “Guys like you I would dispatch with my roofing axe.” -- BootsywannabeACretin

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    I wonder what the District Plan will show for this area then.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hospitalitygirl View Post
    This times a thousand.
    it's also not without it's issues, some as insurmountable as 95. the west bank is dominated by highways and major train lines (the nec), the east is an active freight route. still, it would probably be cheaper to relocate the old B&O rail line than bury 95. I'd also point out, it's only a short stretch of 95 that cuts the city off and, to be fair, penn's landing didn't used to exist at all (and we'd probably be better off had they never built it). still, much of the delaware waterfront from richmond to race st needs no burying to realize a better future.
    "It has shown me that everything is illuminated in the light of the past"
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  17. #17
    Señor Member Dave's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nytecat View Post
    The next question is, what do we put on top of that cap? A park or buildings (probably short, relatively lightweight structures)? A park could become a hangout for the homeless and buildings would be opposed by condo owners immediately west of I-95 for blocking their river views. Sigh, it's a sign I'm a true Philadelphian, that I think of the downside of every option instead of the upside.
    I think we should complete the street grid on one or more major city streets, similar to what countess columbus, oh did (i vote for at least market and south). This would... well... help complete the street grid that was broken by I-95 and make center city a more vibrant place. I guess it might also have something to do with the Delaware riverfront, but not necessarily.
    It's all Corbutt's fault

  18. #18
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    Aren't sections of this already "capped"? And some streets like South Street already continue across 95, albeit walking only (at the end of which you have to take stairs to go down to Columbus Blvd level).

    It seems like we would just need more capping. Say from Dock St. up to Walnut St and a way to fill in the gap there. That would take us as far south as Delancy since Dock to Delancy is already capped. And then of course, the big gap between Delancy and South.

  19. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by Naveen View Post
    Aren't sections of this already "capped"? And some streets like South Street already continue across 95, albeit walking only (at the end of which you have to take stairs to go down to Columbus Blvd level).

    It seems like we would just need more capping. Say from Dock St. up to Walnut St and a way to fill in the gap there. That would take us as far south as Delancy since Dock to Delancy is already capped. And then of course, the big gap between Delancy and South.
    The problem is, once capped, you have to deal with the reality that the area along the Delaware between Race and Catherine really doesn't have much potential. The problem isn't getting there, it's that, once there, it's just not a good experience. Dump all the money you want into the Great Plaza at Penn's Landing and it will never be much more than an Okay Plaza. The Race Street Pier is really well done and a nice space, but in the end it's not the sort of place I'd go out of my way for. The Delaware simply isn't a destination quality river. That's okay, I don't think we need that. If we're going to cap something, covering the Vine between 10th and 22nd offers much more bang for the buck.
    Jesus died for somebody's sins, but not mine.

  20. #20
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    Inga Saffron has no credibility with me. She proposes that I-95 be shut down and the traffic be diverted onto Columbus Blvd. According to her, Columbus can handle it because it is six lanes wide. Really? Has anyone ever been on Columbus at rush hour, let alone when there is an accident on I-95 and traffic is even diverted in part to local roads. Even if the City was to try to close I-95, the federal gov't would never allow it. I-95 is the major artery carrying commerce along the Eastern seaboard. You simply cannot close a 6 lane superhighway and expect surface city streets with cross trafiic and stoplights to handle that volume. Gee, why don't we just reroute the Delaware River?

 

 

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