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Houston benefitted from having access to a natural resource in demand (oil) and spawned several powerful energy companies as a result.
Atlanta was the historical center of the Federal Reserve Bank of the southeastern US; its powerful financial sector there solely because of the Fed.
I, for one, prefer to live in a row home among fire fighters, plumbers, retired steel workers, and yuppies, than to drive along an interstate to a home in a subdivision and live next to people who work in office parks (I know Im making generalities, Im only trying to make a point). Are The Highway Haters going to ruin the city or are highways going to run across the land and finally make the city and state into the economic juggernaut that it can be? Sooner or later these Highway Haters secretly trying to reduce population in Baltimore with their anti-Growth, anti-Highway, and preserving ugly building schemes just to bar new upscale development will lose the battle........
Will it happen in my Lifetime, that I don't know.......
The roads to the future website has an excellent history of the planning process for Baltimore's highways.
If the original plans had been followed thru, the result would have been as pictured below, and the Inner Harbor as we know it would not exist today.
Sooner or later these Highway Haters secretly trying to reduce population in Baltimore with their anti-Growth, anti-Highway, and preserving ugly building schemes just to bar new upscale development will lose the battle........
The FDR Drive have Major Interchanges crossing the Brooklyn and Manhattan Bridges which has not damage the Beauty of the East River Waterfront......... I somehow think you and I will disagree about the merits of its intended use, but the fact remains, that as it stands now, it really doesn't go anywhere (that's figurative language by the way.
hat tip: right through the Pier Six Concert Pavilion, the Marriott Inner Harbor, and the new Legg Mason tower. It literally goes "somewhere" but because it is the result of a half baked idea and only goes a mile and a half or so, it does not go anywhere for most Baltimore drivers or connect anything in a meaningful or convenient way) or serve a purpose.
Since these highways disrupted the cohesiveness of these communities, many have become ghettos affecting by all of the common urban ills: drugs, violent crime, hopelessness, etc.
The neighborhoods who once stood in the way of the highway but were spared (Midtown Manhattan, River North in Chicago, and of course Fells/Canton here in Baltimore) did not become the ghettos of the Bronx, South Side, Cass Corridor (Detroit) or Poppleton here in Balto.
For uptown's information, I-695 (the Beltway) was the very first circumferal highway built around a major city in the country...predating the Capital Beltway by a few years.