Freeway Cap Book Manuscript Online for Review and Comment

The first comprehensive manual for planning, funding, and building a freeway cap is put online for review and comment.

2 minute read

May 27, 2018, 11:00 AM PDT

By wadams92101

Nearly every major city is contemplating reconnecting neighborhoods divided by a highway built under The Federal Highway Act. Many cities already have one or more parks or civic buildings built over FHWA funded highways.  Some of the more notable projects include the Rose Kennedy Fitzgerald Kennedy Greenway (Boston aka “The Big Dig”), the Klyde Warren Park (Dallas), Bartle Hall Convention Center (Kansas City), and Freeway Park (Seattle).  However, as cities are again popular places to live, there has been even greater interest in covering the highways that divide and pollute urban neighborhoods. Many of these highways were built in trenches that evoke visions of covering them with parks, civic buildings, or even private development. 

Freeway benefits to the surrounding communities include:

  • Increased property values
  • Increased density and housing
  • Increased retail sales
  • Increased hotel development and occupancy
  • Increased area jobs
  • Increased property tax, payroll tax, hotel tax, and sales tax revenue
  • Improved park and recreational opportunities
  • Improved air quality

However, there is little documentation on how to accomplish these large and daunting projects.  This is the circumstance confronting participants of local movements to build over a highway or freeway, and this was the circumstance encountered by the author of a draft book on the subject as he participated in a San Diego movement to reconnect the city’s urban park (Balboa Park) and urban neighborhoods with downtown over Interstate 5.  He decided to document what he learned in a guide book.  He has put his first draft online to share what he has learned and to source additional information from those who might have useful information to contribute to the effort.  

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