Skip to Content
Streetsblog USA home
Streetsblog USA home
Log In
Network Roundup

Highway Fallout: Images of Cincinnati Before and After the Road Bomb

10:39 AM EDT on August 30, 2013

Aaron Renn at the Urbanophile has been looking at the devastation wrought on different cities by highways. And he's uncovered a pretty dramatic example in these pre- and post-highway photos of Cincinnati's West End.

Here's a view of the neighborhood in the 1950s, the "before" photo:

false

And here's a satellite view of how it looks today:

false

It's almost unrecognizable, but on the left in both photos you can see Cincinnati's in-tact Union Terminal train station. In the later version, a lovely City Beautiful-style plaza in front of the station has been converted to parking. Much of the rest of the area has been converted to industrial parks.

Renn says:

Over the Rhine is one of America’s most stunning historic districts. When I visited the city last year, one of the locals explained that there had been “miles” of neighborhoods just like it obliterated by freeway construction. I found this difficult to credit until I came across the photographic proof.

If the West End was still walkable and people-centered, would it be undergoing a renaissance today like Cincy's Over-the-Rhine? We'll never know.

Elsewhere on the Network today: Mobilizing the Region reports that Camden, NJ, recently cut the ribbon on a series of active transportation projects funded by a federal TIGER grant. The Green Lane Project shares a graphic showing which American cities have both protected bike lanes and bike-share. And Second Avenue Sagas posts some intriguing fantasy maps of New York City subways.

Stay in touch

Sign up for our free newsletter

More from Streetsblog USA

Understanding Car Culture ‘Denialism’ Can Help Safety Advocates Respond

Opponents of change sow confusion with fake experts, logical fallacies, impossible expectations (moving goalposts), conspiracy theories, and selectivity (cherry picking). We can fight back.

March 4, 2024

PROWAG Can Make Cities More Accessible — So Here’s What You Need to Know

America has waited more than 12 years for the Public Right-of-Way Accessibility Guidelines to be implemented. Here's why they matter.

March 4, 2024

Monday’s Headlines Don’t Throw Money at Roads

States are flush with cash from the bipartisan infrastructure bill, but they've opted to spend most of it on roads and bridges, and very little on transit.

March 4, 2024

Experts Urge Feds To Get Impaired Driving Tech Right — And They Need Your Help

A new vehicle safety tech requirement could save 10,000+ lives a year, a new working group says – but only if we implement it in a thoughtful way that wins public acceptance.

March 4, 2024

NYC Debuts Public E-Bike Charging for Delivery Workers

Finally, they’re taking charge! The city’s first public e-bike charging station opened in Cooper Square on Thursday — the start of an overdue six-month pilot that is part of a “Charge Safe Ride Safe Action Plan” for delivery workers that Mayor Adams announced last year.

March 1, 2024
See all posts