Jack Neely has recently opined that, if the James White Parkway extension is not to happen, perhaps some removal of the existing portions would be desirable. ["Death to James White Parkway," Secret History, Sept. 5, 2013] That reminded me of a now 10-year-old initiative that promoted removing the I-40 viaduct from its divisive location and, in essence, making I-640 into I-40. Of course that never got very far, and SmartFix is now long in place.
Back in the spirit of those times I had done a sketch plan, complete with an admitted lack of traffic engineering expertise, to promote three goals. The first two were maximum preservation of the Fourth & Gill district, and development of Magnolia Boulevard as an east-west connector, permitting a reconnected urban grid. The third was daylighting First Creek as centerpiece of a park that, with removal of questionable and inefficiently aligned roadways, could permit both a substantial urban greenspace and upwards of 2 million square feet of future development.
I fully admit the unrealistic nature of the scheme, but offer it these years later in case there are more feasible improvements that it may suggest.
Kenneth M. Moffett, AIA