Monday, April 28, 2008

The "Tri-State Transportation Campaign" Apparantly Looses It

A beautiful thing about the internet is its ability for people of differing opinions to communicate openly.

The "Tri State 'Transportation' Campaign" (TSTC) has an article about a real estate development/right of way violation scheme for New Haven, CT's Route 34 freeway: a short spur from the I-95/I-91 interchange that crosses over a railroad corridor before dropping down to pass beneath several cross street overpasses and truncated beneath an Air Rights Garage that as its name implies, respects this segment of below grade freeway. A right of way for this freeway's unbuilt segment continues further west to West River Memorial Park, where the freeway extension was to rise up as an elevated structure to cross over as a bridge, with earlier plans having the western continuation as a divisive earthen berm through the Horseshoe Lagoon- an area near the Yale University Athletic Center. Later plans deleted this westerly extension, and would have continued the freeway for only a few blocks as a below grade facility to rise up only to connect to the existing surface street, North Frontage Road. However, that would be blocked by the sale of the already cleared right of way, with Pfizer placing a $35 building immediately to the west of the Air Rights Garage, irresponsibly without a platform to preserve the freeway extension's subterranean right of way. This Pfizer building is envisioned as the first of a series of new buildings to be so constructed upon both the unbuilt extension's right of way, and upon the existing below grade highway- not as platforms, but rather by dumping tons of dirt to eliminate this highway and to relocate its traffic upon the existing parallel service roads.

To their credit, the TSTC article has a comments section, which I used (excerpts below)

#5 Douglas Willinger
Posted April 21, 2008 at 7:46 pm | Permalink

The positive benefits sought can be achieved via new buildings that respect the Route 34 freeway’s subterranean right of way.

What was done with the Pfizer building fiasco should not be allowed to hold this public right of way hostage.

#6 Chris H
Posted April 27, 2008 at 9:03 pm | Permalink


I don’t know if you are going to check this because it was awhile ago but experience has shown that your scenario hasn’t really played out in practice.

#7 Douglas Willinger
Posted April 28, 2008 at 11:17 pm | Permalink


The plan adds large buildings that will attract people. These are far larger buildings then those displaced by the freeway decades ago.

Are these buildings to be all mixed use, with most or all of the people having both their residences and jobs in these buildings?

I then check out the link in #6 , "From Induced Demand to Reduced Demand" by Charles Siegel, before attempting to make the following post:


Your link talks about under-grounding existing freeway corridors via complete reconstruction, such as Boston's Big Dig.

But it says nothing about the far, far easier and inexpensive task of constructing platforms over existing below grade freeways.

I looked forward to an enlightening discussion/debate. For instance the Siegel article states:

In Great Britain, where there is a very active anti-freeway movement, transportation planners are no longer allowed to count reduced travel time as a benefit of building a new freeway. The Department of Transport has adopted a guidance document saying that cost-benefit studies on new freeways must assume that elasticity of demand may be as high as 1.0 with respect to speed - which means that average trip length increases as much as speed increases, so building freeways and increasing speeds just lengthen trips and does not save any time.2

Interestingly, this anti freeway movement lies to itself and others by prohibiting a consideration of time savings, instead submitting to a parochialist doctrine against allowing people a choice to travel further increasing choice over such things as jobs.

I write attempting, because the TSTC comments page then refuses to allow this to be posted, giving me a single word message:


Apparantly someone at the TSTC site could not handle this discussion.


Unknown said...

Hi, Kate Slevin from Tri-State here. Try posting again. This is not something we edited out- if anything it is our blog host wordpress malfunctioning. We only edit/censor comments if they defame us or others and that rarely happens. We never edit comments due to a difference of opinion. Feel free to speak your mind and give us a call or email if you have trouble posting comments in the future.

Douglas Andrew Willinger said...


I tried posting several times afterwards without success, and this happened shortly after I had posted successfully IIRC, so I wrote "apparently".

The internet is wonderful for developing better policy by doing so openly- away from the medievalesgue darkness.

I look forward to such open discussions.

Best Regards
Douglas A. Willinger