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Part 1: Mark Baumer Reflection: Impounding Vehicles & Immigrant Rights

This is part of a multi-part reflection I've been doing following the death of my friend, Mark Baumer . There's nothing graphic i...

Before: #610Boulevard

These are some "before" shots of the highway. My hope is that they show how the highway impacts many neighborhoods of the city, and give depth to why we should remove the highway and go for a less car-oriented approach to whatever replaces it. These photos jump around a bit, but they span Manton, Silver Lake, Olneyville, the West End, and Federal Hill.

Maybe if we're really lucky and work really hard there will be a noticeable change in the "after" pictures.

From Merino Park: this part of Rt. 6 would stay.
I took these shots because I definitely try to capture the decay of the area near the highway, but it was clear that residents worked hard throughout all the neighborhoods to keep their streets looking nice. This is in Silver Lake, on a street cut-off by the highway. A ramp is head of us, and the highway itself is to our left.
This was a really nice art piece. To our left is the connector, and it's also ahead of us behind the houses, and down Atwood St. a bit, it picks up behind the Atlantic Mills site as well.
This is on Atwood, in Olneyville. Right across from this was a dumped couch, and there were several abandoned-looking properties on this street (as in, semi-empty plots of land strewn with trash). Again, you can tell that people are trying to maintain.
Dean Street leading up to Atwells. This has its problems, but is a much more functional street than on the other side, where it widens to accommodate peak auto traffic to and from the highway.
In the distance you can see where Rt. 6 is: This neighborhood is bordered to the west (left) by Dean Street's mini-highway, to the east (right) by I-95, and to the north by Rt. 6. It could be a really nice area of Federal Hill, but this area always feels dead, certainly due in no part to the residents.

From one side of Spruce to the other: a canyon. This is a tourist district!
Dean Street is like a highway here.

This is Cedar Street. This street is also wasted, since it basically becomes an alleyway  or service road to the Dean Street on-ramp.
A perfunctory walk signal, with beg buttons.

This street is W. Exchange Street, just a few blocks from where that street is the heart of the city. Views of downtown and Capital Center from here could be striking, with the right design.

I think of streets that function as "service roads" as almost another set of lanes for the highway. So If you take this street into account, and the highway, and then Harris Ave. on the other side, you get quite a lot of driving space.
Just beyond the perfunctory walk signal with beg buttons is the sidewalk, which is extremely narrow, and blocked by a bunker-like cage of steel. I had to pick my bike up to cross this.
A two-lane road with two lanes of BRT would still leave a lot of developable land.

Eat yer heart out, Shel Silverstein. This is where the sidewalk ends on the Dean Street Bridge. A view of the train tracks below and the off-ramp to the right.
I thought this shot captured an attempt by the neighborhood to make a nice space near the highway. The potential view north is obstructed by trees, most likely due to the fact that it's not much of a view with the noisy on-ramp there. This park was empty, and anecdotally, I've found it to be empty whenever else I've visited. It was an adventure crossing Dean St. to get here.
A section of Spruce Street near Pastiche Bakery is fairly lively, but is also cut off on one side by Dean Street (behind us in this shot) and on the other two by the highway. The dominant mode of arrival is definitely by car.

One shot showing the huge area of land taken up by just one modest on/off-ramp, at Dean Street. 
Spruce Street: bunkered down for high speed driving--but actually, very few cars or people.
Spruce Street has only a tiny portion of it, around DePasquale Square, that feels lively. Towards the western end of the street, it feels more like an alleyway, no doubt because all its natural connections are cut off by the highway.
What's the lost connection between Atwells Avenue and Harris Avenue? You can see it from this parking lot.
People attempting to bike on a fairly un-bike-friendly street. Empty property in the background.
Atwells Ave.
This shot unsuccessfully captures the relative width of the train tracks of the Northeast Corridor versus the highway (there's actually quite a bit more bridge off-camera to the right). You do get the sense of how having a six-lane highway and breakdown lanes cuts the city apart, adds to the cost of bridges, etc.
This shot does a little better, from the Atwells St. bridge.

Ridge Ave. has another example of a neighborhood street clearly bunkered down for fast-paced highway-like traffic patterns.
Local businesses try to upkeep what is a very unpopular location due to the cars darting down Tobey Street to the highway.
This ramp goes from Tobey Street over Harris Ave., and offers some really beautiful views. Potential bike path on-ramp in the future?

Broadway, on the West Side.

Broadway is really contrasted with itself just a block away.

So much land.

From Broadway, adjacent to Harris Avenue.

Beautiful but not totally well-kept buildings.

This shot from Olneyville into the West Side really underscores how narrow the rail bed is relative to the size of the highway. Would connecting these streets be possible if there were no Connector?

Lots of open and half-open parcels near the highway.
Looking to the West Side from Olneyville.
On the Olneyville side of the Connector, near the border with the West Side.
The Connector passes over Service Road 3: Gotta' love the sharrows.
Olneyville, just on the other side of the Connector from Silver Lake.
Lots of pedestrians, considering the conditions. There are huge on/off-ramps on either side of this.
View of the Armory, from Silver Lake.
This is from the opposite side of the previous Atwood Ave. shot of Atlantic Mills. You can see how disorienting the geography of Olneyville becomes, because the highway seems to surround everything from all angles (and does).
Atwood Street: The highway is behind us, to our left, and ahead of us from this shot. The Atlantic Mills towers are ahead.
Service Road 3.
Temporary support structures from the 1990s, between Olneyville and the West Side.