Traffic Report Condemns Underpass, Two-Level Streets As Solution For Congestion--Lauds Mechanical Garages
"Wider streets must not be accompanied by higher buildings, for all traffic improvements will depend on the zoning of buildings" reads a report recently submitted to the Harvard Engineering School and the Albert Russel Erskine Traffic Research Bureau, by three students, H. F. Hammond, L. E. McClintock, and D. G. Mickie. After visiting 15 cities, travelling on Sheldon Fellowships, they drew up a report of the information gathered with a view to formulating an ideal city planning scheme.
The report condemns the use of two-level streets, and underpasses at street intersections, and suggests the restricting of all foot traffic to second-story arcades. The extended use of mechanical parking garages was felt to be the most economical automobile parking solution. A new invention, the Vertical Parking Machine, similar to a Ferris Wheel in design, was highly recommended.
The problem was divided into three parts: the adjustment of streets which was undertaken by Mickle, vehicular parking, studied by Hammond, and the "zoning" or special adjustment of building in traffic congested areas, taken by McClintock.
The cities visited were Boston, New York, Philadelphia, Baltimore, Washington, Pittsburgh, Cincinnati, St. Louis, Kansas City, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, Detroit, Cleveland, and Buffalo. At each place they spent from three to seven days, talking with traffic engineers, architects, city planners, police officials, and civic traffic committees.
Mr. McClintock found an increasing trend towards large-scale buildings in every one of the cities. The report cites, as "probably the most spectacular instance of this tendency to large-scale building, the Cleveland Terminal Building. Here on the 'air-rights' over the tracks of the union terminal, seven large buildings, all connected with passage-ways and arcades, are being built, consisting of a complete community."