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Opinion: Don't Forget the Benefits of Urban Freeways

After reading this recent opinion piece by Bill Fulton, some pro-transit and anti-highway advocates might be thinking, "Et tu, Bill Fulton?"
April 18, 2017, 6am PDT | James Brasuell | @CasualBrasuell
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A recent opinion piece by Bill Fulton, author, planner, and former politician, looks for something to love about urban highways, and finds it in the reverse commute.

"Many of the people who choose to live downtown actually work in the suburbs," writes Fulton. "And, ironically, it’s the much-maligned urban freeway system that makes this lifestyle possible."

While advocates from groups like the Congress for New Urbanism celebrate areas that have torn down freeways in urban areas, Fulton takes the perhaps less popular (among progressive urbanists, anyway) position that urban freeways are at least partly responsible for the urban renaissance. In addition to the oft-cited benefits of culture and commerce, urban housing is made more attractive by the ability to get out of the city—the reverse commute made possible by freeways like the 527 Spur in Houston or Interstate 5 in San Diego, both places that Fulton has lived.

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Published on Saturday, April 1, 2017 in Governing
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