In 1957, New Haven tore down a neighborhood near its waterfront to build a freeway. It created a barrier between downtown and Union Station, cut off streets, created dark shadows under huge ramps, and fostered more car-oriented and pedestrian-unfriendly development in the hospitals and huge parking garages that were built there.


Pre-freeway, post-freeway, and hopefully post-post-freeway.


The freeway never went anywhere, with other neighborhoods successfully fighting the destruction that the freeway wreaked on Oak Street. Now, Tri-State Transportation Campaign reports that New Haven is proposing to tear down the freeway, develop new mixed-use buildings in the space, and reconnect the street grid.

Why is Washington DC’s Mayor instead intent not only on keeping those freeways that should be boulevardized, like the Whitehurst, but also rebuilding long-gone roads through our parks?

David Alpert is the founder of Greater Greater Washington and its board president. He worked as a Product Manager for Google for six years and has lived in the Boston, San Francisco, and New York metro areas in addition to Washington, DC. He lives with his wife and two children in Dupont Circle.