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Transportation

Like It or Not, Most Urban Freeways Are Here to Stay

The challenge is to design ways to soften the effects of these necessary evils.
relates to Like It or Not, Most Urban Freeways Are Here to Stay
Congress for the New Urbanism

This spring — April 27, to be exact — marks the 75th birthday of the Interstate era. On that date in 1939 came the first unambiguous signal from Washington that a coast-to-coast grid of superhighways was soon to be a national priority.

The news came quietly, in a wonky and table-laden report prepared by technocrats in the federal Bureau of Public Roads. Flip through Toll Roads and Free Roads today, and its status as early blueprint of the world's greatest public works project is unmistakable. Here are maps that seem dead ringers for the overland routes the finished expressways would travel. Here are radical design details — broad and banked curves, gentle grades and wide medians — that have become ubiquitous elements of the American commute.