NPR Reports On Freeway Conversion Movement

WCPN reporter interviews a commuter who is annoyed by a plan to make her commute longer - but it becomes clear that the suburbanite's faster commute is at the expense of an urban neighborhood.
March 23, 2011, 5am PDT | Irvin Dawid
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The commuter takes the West Shoreway each day from her home in the nearby suburb of Lakewood into Cleveland. "When she learned that the city plans to convert this freeway into a slower, tree-lined boulevard, she was not amused."

"Bob Brown, Cleveland's city planner, says this is not the traditional highway project. "The traditional highway project is obviously speeding things up, adding more capacity, but often ignoring the character of neighborhoods," he says. Now, taking down freeways has gone mainstream."

"For many cities, Manhattan's SoHo neighborhood represents the ideal because it's dense and wealthy.

The uber-planner Robert Moses, famous for the freeways he built in New York, wanted to stick a 10-lane freeway there.

But Moses' freeway plan never got built, and today urban planners have come full circle. Now that most cities are far less industrial, planners like Cleveland's Brown remain focused on sustainability and about being able to walk places."

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Published on Monday, March 21, 2011 in NPR
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