View Full Version : If he could only have lived to see it...

02-17-2009, 09:13 AM
Neat article about NYC taking back the streets from cars...

Because Robert Moses Would Have a Coronary If He Were to See Our Streets Now (http://nymag.com/news/articles/reasonstoloveny/2008/52954/)

I love what follows this part...

Robert Moses, who didnít drive, nevertheless believed that the well-made street should speed the car
Happy Reading!

02-17-2009, 06:21 PM
My NYC wannabe self lives vicariously and soley through bikesnobnyc's blog.. oh how I wish there was a Portland equivalent! Great article though.. cars in Manhattan will never make sense. Buses, Cabs, delivery trucks and cyclists are the only ones who have any purpose on the streets there.

02-17-2009, 11:33 PM
There's an interesting thread about the aborted Portland Freeways master plan from the 50's on the main thread, where R Moses impact on urban planning is mentioned. I haven't read the books about R Moses that are suggested in some of the comments, but I've some awareness of his work.

R Moses was a visionary with an extraordinarily dynamic and forceful personality. He got big things done through a brutal insensitivity to the people in the path of his vision of a modern city, as in gutting old neighborhoods to install huge, noisy freeways right through the middle of the town. He's a contradictory kind of guy. If I remember correctly, he's the guy that came up with the idea for NYC's huge swimming pools, so that citizens would have relief from the summer's unbearable heat readily accessible to them.

Rather than irrevocably chop up long standing neighborhoods and diminish the lives of their residents, R Moses probably thought the streamlined highways and throughways would make the lives of people easier and better. In the fantasy world of some futuristic movies, it works out that way(in reality, it's not so pleasant.). Moses seems to have been more deluded by such a vision, rather than evil.

With the hindsight he would have had if he still lived today and could see the consequences of some of his grand plans, he might have understood better, the importance of not disrupting the human scale and accessibility of cities and their neighborhoods.