This morning, Ron Sims retweeted this link from Streetsblog.net about the other Portland:

Maine DOT is in the process of rebuilding Interstate 295 through downtown Portland, section by section, and a portion of the road that separates the city from the waterfront might be a prime candidate for a highway teardown.

Could it happen? C Neal at Rights of Way points out that Portland has already begun relieving itself of some 1950s road infrastructure, and “so far, drivers have hardly noticed the difference.”

Of course our situation is totally different and just going with a surface and transit solution on the waterfront would never have worked in Seattle because we're a west-facing city and not an east-facing city like Portland and so on and so forth. But it's always nice to have a reminder that the infrastructure of the 1950s and 1960s is not a sacred thing. It wasn't placed there by a benevolent god. It's something that we did without, and it's something that we got used to. There are other solutions than these giant concrete strips we slapped everywhere just because Dwight Eisenhower told us it was the right thing to do.