Sunday, October 2, 2011
Thanks, AT. We Still Think Tearing Down 630 Would Make a Better City
Thanks to the Arkansas Times for the shout out yesterday. In honor of Max's hat tip, I thought I'd reprint & link to the piece that started our conversation about transportation in Arkansas & Pulaski County. I still believe it'd make for a better capital city.
Tear down I-630
Like all long-lasting revitalizations, Central Arkansas's traditional commercial core is amidst a slow renewal. But the process is disconnected. We have separate groups working in the South Main neighborhood and downtown and in the River Market. Because we're divided. I-630 separates our city.
So tear it up and start over. Expensive? Sure. But necessary for long-term holistic revitalization? Absolutely. It's not without precedent either. All over the country — in Oklahoma City, Portland and San Francisco — cities are in the process of destroying poorly planned highways. (Really, name another interstate that ends in a traffic light.)
Build a boulevard in place of 630. It could accommodate similar traffic flow, but at lower speeds; reconnect our neighborhoods, and spark new revitalization. Every once in a while, smart growth means starting over.