Rebuilding Place in the Urban Space

"A community’s physical form, rather than its land uses, is its most intrinsic and enduring characteristic." [Katz, EPA] This blog focuses on place and placemaking and all that makes it work--historic preservation, urban design, transportation, asset-based community development, arts & cultural development, commercial district revitalization, tourism & destination development, and quality of life advocacy--along with doses of civic engagement and good governance watchdogging.

Friday, March 31, 2017

Time Magazine focused coverage on US Infrastructure needs: Cover date, April 10, 2017 (on sale now)

I still haven't published the follow up piece to "Trump Administration Infrastructure Program Priority List: Part One, the list" although the outline and notes for the piece are constantly being tweaked.

Therefore, it's very timely (no pun intended) that Time Magazine has published a set of articles in their just published issue (April 10, 2017) on the issue.

Interestingly, over the decades their sister magazine Fortune has published many important articles on the broad topic--I've picked up issues from the 1930s, 1940s, and 1950s with pathbreaking articles, especially on highways.

I definitely plan to pick up a copy of this issue.

From email:

25 Smart Ways to Fix Our Infrastructure
(registration required)

Watch an animation of the cover

This week’s issue features a special report on rebuilding and modernizing America’s ailing infrastructure. After President Donald Trump pledged to unlock $1 trillion in infrastructure investments,

TIME reports on the state of his promise—and whether he can persuade Congress to go along with it. TIME writers break down the critical projects we need to invest in now, from air traffic control to internet access, and leading experts share their big ideas.

TIME Editor-at-Large David Von Drehle writes: “When President Trump declared, in his first speech to Congress,
‘The time has come for a new program of national rebuilding,’ the applause was loud and long.

This pledge to spend what it takes to fix roads and bridges, rails and broadband, dams and airports—a staple of his campaign speeches—struck a chord with public opinion. The legacy of past generations that sustained the world’s largest economy is aging and needs repair…..

So if everyone agrees, if the need is great and the will is there, if America’s very quality of life is at stake, as well as safety, jobs and economic competitiveness, then one would think that this is where all of Washington has a chance to step up. An embattled President could prove whether his record as a developer is relevant; Republicans in Congress could practice governing; Democrats could deliver long-promised results….

After the failure by Trump and congressional Republicans to deliver on their pledge to repeal Obamacare, the questions were written across Washington in neon. Does the President actually have a plan, and can he persuade even people who may agree with him to go along with it?”

-- Inside the White House’s infrastructure plan
-- TIME asked leading experts to share their big infrastructure ideas
-- TIME’s Josh Sanburn on why detangling Chicago’s rail mess would benefit the entire nation
-- TIME’s Karl Vick on the need to close America’s digital divide
-- TIME’s Zeke Miller on revolutionizing air traffic control
-- TIME’s Sean Gregory on a plan to fix a critical Hudson River rail passage
-- The state of bridges
-- A safer, smarter electrical grid
-- Guarding coastal cities against the threat of climate change
-- Water and wastewater treatment systems across the nation
-- Fixing outmoded locks and dams to unclog the water highway
-- Improving batteries that could transform clean power
-- A timeline of history of American infrastructure
-- McKinsey & Company proposes four steps on how to get infrastructure investment right

With regard to the infrastructure timeline, it would have been very cool had they linked back file articles and photos from Time, Fortune, Life, and Architectural Forum (a magazine that Time Inc. stopped publishing in 1964, but Jane Jacobs had worked there) to various points on the timeline.

... I've never systematically searched the backfile of these magazines, but I occasionally find back issues of interest.
Spread on ideal highway construction, Fortune Magazine, August 1936
Spread on the ideal design for a network of highways, Fortune Magazine, August 1936

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At 7:33 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

How can we expect anything constructive out of Congress when they allow travesties as this to occur, with no cost benefit analysis, or even regard for safety?

At 9:33 AM, Blogger Richard Layman said...

while there is no question that your writings on tunnels have influenced me significantly (along with the NY Ave. Transportation Study c. 2005), so that I now believe in some undergrounded "freeways" (North Central; New York Avenue; Southeast-SW Freeway; Anacostia Freeway; maybe even 16th St.), as a necessary element of the city's transportation network, we often disagree on details.

e.g., I-395's capacity is way overdesigned vis a vis demand and the decking is a worthwhile tradeoff because of how the freeway scars and cuts that area apart.

That being said, were "I-95" undergrounded through DC via New York Avenue to I-395, then capacity demands would increase, so maybe you're right about losing some of the width...

In the context of a post I've been writing in my head, about how Comp. Plans need a separate element for "catalytic projects," undergrounding the through traffic elements of these roads is on the list.


At 8:21 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The decking is not a necessary trade off. Such a project could have been designed correctly to respect the underground right of way.

The decking is a perfectly fine concept.

But allowing that project to place its support columns inches from what would have been the middle dashed lines, constricting it to even virtually eliminate the shoulders was despicable. How much extra profit did that give the developer, and how much will it cost to restore the now blocked capacity?

That should be seen as criminal, and those within the USFHW that permitted it should be prosecuted, and the parties involved be fined to pay for the cost of the correction.

Also note that the idea of not extending I-395 was not the popular position as per the cir 2005 public meetings.

Most favored tunnel, and NYA itself could easily accommodate a 6-7 lane interstate highway with full shoulders. Blocking that to instead shift extra traffic burden upon the Anacostia Freeway should be seen as a violation of environmental justice.

At 8:28 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

16th Street would be good for something similar to the existing depressed and cut and cover tunnel roads that we already have in DC, such as beneath DuPont Circle, though with some extra width for a right and shoulder.

At 9:06 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"... I now believe in some undergrounded "freeways" (North Central; New York Avenue; Southeast-SW Freeway; Anacostia Freeway; maybe even 16th St.), ..."

Your upcoming articles on each of these should be good reading.


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