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Home » Archives » February 2011 » Making Freeways Obsolete

02/25/2011: "Making Freeways Obsolete"
GRID project overview
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I have been following an extremely interesting development lately, the slow emergence into public view of GRID (formerly the [San] Gabriel River Infrastructure Development project, now expanding to Green Rail, Intelligent Development), which is a brilliant out-of-the-box concept that could make at least two of the Los Angeles area's most oppressive freeways--the 605 and the 710--obsolete, and viable candidates for teardown and replacement with something economically, socially, and environmentally healthy.

Using current technology, much of which is headquartered in Southern California, GRID is a comprehensive mobility system that would increase efficiency in freight handling, passenger movement, and utility delivery through a visionary comprehension of multi-level channeling technology that would reach, unobtrusively, from the great ports in San Pedro Bay to the railyards in the Inland Empire.

GRID would begin with an entirely new and far more compact system of integrated cargo cranes that would move containers directly between ships and railcars right on the docks, taking up far less space than the current ship-truck-train sequence; it would then place the following into bunker-strength concrete tunnels placed within the concrete banks of the San Gabriel River:
  • A tunnel for electric freight shuttle trains moving containers to the inland distribution centers
  • A second tunnel for light or heavy passenger rail, tying into existing Metro Rail, Metrolink, and Amtrak systems, as well as neighborhood stations
  • A greenway with bikepath along the full length of the river
  • Pleasing transit-oriented mixed-use developments providing healthy communities along a formerly bleak industrial corridor
The result?
  • Fewer trucks and cars on the road, polluting the air, arrogating valuable space, destroying community, and sucking down foreign oil
  • Faster and more efficient cargo movement both in and out of the ports, leading to greater economic activity
  • Healthy neighborhoods providing much-needed housing that is not dependent on expensive and soul-crushing automobile-oriented infrastructure
  • A more complete transit network, benefiting the entire region
  • The benefits of both increased parkland and increased tax receipts from greenway development along the river
  • The opportunity to tear down one and possibly two eyesore freeways and open the land they previously occupied to healthy development
  • The cancellation of billions of dollars in proposed "improvements" such as the ridiculous 710 tunnel that would only worsen congestion through induced demand
And it would use local labor and mostly local materials in its construction.

To read more, view or download the PDF at the link below:

GRID Project Overview