I am of the opinion, which is by no means universally held, that the Interstate Highway System, whose construction was begun in the 1950s, was good for America, or at least a net plus when it comes to travel between cities. But that’s regarding travel between cities and metro areas. Within metro areas has been another matter altogether.
There, the story has been mixed at best, and I would argue that within large cities, freeways – which have never really been free, by the way – have proven to be a perhaps well-intended but often decidedly bad idea. For the most part, they do a terrible job of conveying traffic within densely populated areas. As many a harried soccer mom, delivery driver, commuter or contractor can attest, getting to one’s destination within a reasonable amount of time has become largely a matter of luck.
There may be cases where urban freeways have been a net plus, but my guess is that they are few and far between.
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Earthgarage – Greener Car. Fatter Wallet