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nashscan

I had an urban dream that I want to share

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I had a dream last night about an urban landscape in Nashville. I want to know what you think and if it's possible.

How about completely covering the I-65/40 corridor from 8th Ave S to Church St. Allow grand avenues and boulevards with lots of trees to cross over this new "tunnel". It would leave the interstate intact, while increasing the beauty and value of that area.

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I like that idea. They did that with I-10 in downtown Phoenix with a park on top.

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I had a dream last night about an urban landscape in Nashville. I want to know what you think and if it's possible.

How about completely covering the I-65/40 corridor from 8th Ave S to Church St. Allow grand avenues and boulevards with lots of trees to cross over this new "tunnel". It would leave the interstate intact, while increasing the beauty and value of that area.

Did your dream include feasibility and cost-analysis ? :blink:

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With arching and terraced landbridges this shouldn't be too difficult. I would be a great way for connectivity between Music Row/Gulch/Downtown. I like your dream.

Creativity might be able to provide some of this without huge expense.

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I like the concept. This kind of possibility is one of the reasons I liked the Plan of Nashville's placement of a new convention center.

How about this as a budget version of your idea: instead of covering the whole stretch with a deck, build out really wide shoulders beside the existing bridges; landscape them with walkways, pocket parks, bike lanes, etc.

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Ive often thought about this whlie passing through the area. I also love the budget idea I think that would be awesome. Possibly even building one more bridge would be cool. The interstate really put a damper on the urban fabric of the areas of dt it passes through.

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It's a great idea! One potential problem is the fact that TDOT plans to widen that interstate before too long. It's a project that scares the devil out of me. Imagine the disruption to Nashville transportation system when the inner loop is widened. Why don't they have as a part of the project the bridge that Nashscan dreams about. What a wonderful result to that project!

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You would think more cities would do this. I am all for more public space. Freeway Park in Seattle is a good example of this.

If my memory serves me well, I remember seeing a plan from the 70's that did this along a portion of I-40 that parallels Jefferson Street as an effort to reconnect Jefferson Street to the neighborhoods. Obviously, it did not get anywhere.

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Seems the Seattle park is an example of almost overdoing the aesthetic thus rendering it an under-used, under-maintained pocket of unfortunate neglect. I certainly hope the initiatives to fix it are successful. The park itself sounds extraordinary and a masterpiece. Only proper forethought and proper scale will succeed. I would love to see this happen on some level, but would hate to see an new urban forest become a hiding place for illicit and dangerous activity, the homeless camps, and who knows what else. Open, loose, and lively might be the adjectives to consider first in what could be a grand plan.

Hank brings up a good point about TDOT. If one studies the current construction patterns, the sizes and widths of new bridges/lanes from 40e/24e into the city, there are some huge plans in the works. I'm not against freeways, I've always found them fascinating (except at rush/accident time), but I certainly hope that most of the sins of the past are not repeated and the current sensibilities and sensitivities in modern urbanscape are followed to not just make what we have bigger, but make what we will have better, more functional, and less destructive to the fabric of our community. The Seattle park, and I'm sure some others, can teach us some valuable lessons on how this can be accomplished.

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Great dream. Too bad T Dots vision always seems to be a nightmare. Maybe someone with a little vision can read this and get some inspiration.

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From the pictures in the article, it looks like the Seattle Freeway park goes thru a largely office area. If is were residential, I would predict a much successful result. I'd like to see Nashscan's dream built and be lined with dense residential ala Central Park NYC on both sides. :thumbsup:

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I don't have any special info on plans to widen I-40 in the gulch other than it is not scheduled or budgeted by TDOT right now. In my own opinion, it would be extremely costly to do so. You would have to widen the 'canyon' that it is currently buried in and push the connector roads further to the east and west, requiring some extremely expensive right-of-way.

I-440, Briley Parkway and even State Route 840 are being and were built to relieve the load off that particular piece of highway anyway.

However, I think utilization of air rights would be a great idea. I saw several examples in Boston where buildings were built over the Interstate. I know Philadelphia has a couple of parks built over the interstate near the the Independence Hall area.

Some notable conversions of freeways to parks and boulevards can be found in San francisco and Boston.

In Boston, the 'big dig' made a portion of the above-ground JFK Expressway unnecessary. It is being converted to the Rose Kennedy Greenway.

The original concept

future03.jpg

More

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Underway: from excheese' photos on UP Big Dig in Progress

IMG_0772.jpg

Some of the proposed useage from Bobliocatt's photo site on UP at Boston

bigdig3zu.jpg

The original mess can be seen at JFK Expressway

Also, San Francisco took an elevated expressway and converted it into the Embarcadero. It is a beautiful drive I had the pleasure of making a couple of years ago. Click on this photo (Embarcadero) to see the beautiful results.

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The Big Dig is an amazing project, but you have to wonder if it will be worth it. About 10 years of construction, $15 Billion and still counting, and all for less than 10 miles of roadway. It all boggles the mind! :shok:

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The Big Dig is an amazing project, but you have to wonder if it will be worth it. About 10 years of construction, $15 Billion and still counting, and all for less than 10 miles of roadway. It all boggles the mind! :shok:

It's a lot longer than 10 years, as funding by Congress began in 1987. I was last in Boston 12 years ago ('94) and they were already well underway and it had already run into the billions. From what I understand, once that nightmare (albeit a pretty one) is finished, it will be the most expensive public works project ever undertaken. If the true costs had been known at the start, there's no way in hell it would've gotten the green light.

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It's a lot longer than 10 years, as funding by Congress began in 1987. I was last in Boston 12 years ago ('94) and they were already well underway and it had already run into the billions. From what I understand, once that nightmare (albeit a pretty one) is finished, it will be the most expensive public works project ever undertaken. If the true costs had been known at the start, there's no way in hell it would've gotten the green light.

Imagine all the public transit that could have been built for that 15+ Billion dollars.

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It's a pretty good idea, but like the other guys, probably also expensive. I tend to agree with those that say the pre-interstate urban fabric should have been left intact. I really hope TDOT doesn't try to widen the downtown loop further. The actual inter-state through traffic on that road is not what causes it to be snarled with traffic every afternoon, it's local commuter traffic- - - -and that is something that should be solved with commuter rail.

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Imagine all the public transit that could have been built for that 15+ Billion dollars.

Interesting to note that the Reagan Administration did NOT want to fund that monster, and it took 5 years until the Democrats won control of the Senate (with Teddy and Frenchie back in the drivers' seat) that the administration was forced to capitulate. They'd have been better off giving $50 to every man, woman, and child in America (the cost per person for this monster).

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The actual inter-state through traffic on that road is not what causes it to be snarled with traffic every afternoon, it's local commuter traffic- - - -and that is something that should be solved with commuter rail.

The problem remains that until you can somehow convince the bulk of commuters to abandon their cars, which most folks have little intention of doing outside, say, Manhattan, this situation is unlikely to change. Unless you intend to quadruple the cost of gas to nearly $10 per gallon, which would cause a civil war in this country, people aren't going to do it. Sadly, the biggest disaster in this country where this subject is concerned was seeing the decline of rail service and the wholescale removal of city trolley routes.

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I think there should be a way to widen the interstate and build a park over the top at the same time. Yes, it would be costly. However, that result would be far, far better than just widening the road.

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