Aaron Renn at the Urbanophile has been looking at the devastation wrought on different cities by highways. And he’s uncovered a pretty dramatic example in these pre- and post-highway photos of Cincinnati’s West End.
Here’s a view of the neighborhood in the 1950s, the “before” photo:
And here’s a satellite view of how it looks today:
It’s almost unrecognizable, but on the left in both photos you can see Cincinnati’s in-tact Union Terminal train station. In the later version, a lovely City Beautiful-style plaza in front of the station has been converted to parking. Much of the rest of the area has been converted to industrial parks.
Over the Rhine is one of America’s most stunning historic districts. When I visited the city last year, one of the locals explained that there had been “miles” of neighborhoods just like it obliterated by freeway construction. I found this difficult to credit until I came across the photographic proof.
If the West End was still walkable and people-centered, would it be undergoing a renaissance today like Cincy’s Over-the-Rhine? We’ll never know.
Elsewhere on the Network today: Mobilizing the Region reports that Camden, NJ, recently cut the ribbon on a series of active transportation projects funded by a federal TIGER grant. The Green Lane Project shares a graphic showing which American cities have both protected bike lanes and bike-share. And Second Avenue Sagas posts some intriguing fantasy maps of New York City subways.