New Urbanists Duke it Out With Mayor Over Expressway Conversion

"We should not let the lame be the enemy of the perfectly adequate," says one critic of the New Haven mayor's proposal.

In a session last Friday at the Congress for New Urbanism in West Palm Beach, Florida, New Haven Mayor John DeStefano Jr. butted heads with a gathering of new urbanists over what they believe are flawed plans to replace a less than one-mile-long expressway on the edge of the city's downtown with a pair of surface streets, writes Philip Langdon.

"Whenever (CNU president and CEO John) Norquist or an audience member suggested, even mildly, that further changes are needed in the plan, DeStefano, a Democrat who has been in office for 18 years, curtly rejected their ideas. Norquist suggested, for example, that the vehicular route coming off of I-95 should slow down and mesh with pedestrian-oriented city streets immediately. Citing an example from another city, Norquist said 'You get off the freeway, it's urban, in a place with a freeway with 120,000
vehicles a day.'"

"'Bring the check, John,'" DeStefano shot back. 'There's lots of things I'd like to do,' DeStefano added, making it clear that he regards such ideas as too expensive or impractical.

Thanks to Rob Steuteville

Full Story: New Haven mayor butts heads with new urbanists



Building crap is not inevitable

You had to be there. The mayor's remarks started out with how half a loaf is better than none, don't let the perfect project be the enemy of the good....pretty grim.

Brand new! Urban Grid City Collection

Each city has its own unique story. Commemorate where you came from or where you want to go.
Grids and Guide Red book cover

Grids & Guides

A notebook for visual thinkers. Available in red and black.
City Plate table setting

New Arrival! City Plates

City downtown cores printed on gorgeous decorative collectible porcelain plates.

Get the "Green Bible" of educational planning books

Understand the complexities of planning at the local level while preparing for the AICP* exam. Find out why this edition is included in the APA's recommended reading list.