As Vancouver begins reconsideration of Georgia Viaduct, US cities begin their own freeway teardowns

As the City of Vancouver’s engineering department begins to review the future of the Georgia Viaducts, other North American cities are reconsidering the future of their freeways as well.

As this report on Planetizen points out, the cost of upgrading and maintaining freeways is crushing for cash-strapped communities looking for economic development, not more traffic.

A case in point is New Orleans, now wondering why to continue the existence of the Claiborne Expressway. That elevated highway destroyed the centre of the Treme district, now the focus of HBO’s post-Katrina series of the same name.

Vancouver’s viaducts landed right on top of Hogan’s Alley, erasing the remains of a vital black community that flourished there for decades. Last month, city staff collected a load of original wooden cobbles from Union St. at Main for future use in a Hogan’s Alley heritage marker.