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Origins of Motordom: As seen by Ford in 1955

October 4, 2013

Henry Ford II introduces this film designed to encourage private citizens to unite and support road improvement.

Part of the lobbying campaign that culminated in legislation authorizing the Interstate Highway system in 1956, this film shows community efforts to improve and increase safety on the Bayshore Highway in the San Francisco Bay Area; congestion in Pittsburgh and the Golden Triangle redevelopment area; the economic benefits of Boston’s circumferential highway, Route 128; and safety education in St. Joseph, Missouri.

Best part: How to deal with congestion.  Case study: Pittsburgh.  Starts at 9:04.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. October 4, 2013 1:31 pm

    Motordom and its ugly tentacles invoke memories of an unsatisfactory experience I had in Charlottetown PEI.

    BTW I eschewed Motordom in 1985 and have lived happily ever after.

    Anyway, I had been invited to speak at a three-day assembly celebrating Confederation. Contiguously the huge Northumberland crossing had been approved, this was spring of 1990, and needless to say everyone was very excited: EXCEPT ME!

    Prior to my speech I made it quite clear, in my professional opinion, the bridge was, is, a huge mistake and PEI would come to regret such a monstrous environmental intervention.

    Can’t you see? Evidently not!

    Ooooooh what heresay! Even retired old civil servants, of which Charlottetown is replete, confronted me during the course of events.

    My speech was boycotted. Somewhere in the dark cavern of that ugly gray concrete Confederation foursome I could see four or five huddling in the audience.

    Indeed the inner part of the town with its Oglethorpe-style quadrangules, equidistance from the central Provincial Building, is indeed, in concept, an urban design marvel, however because Motordom has throttled an semblance of good planning they are lost in a run down 1960’s melee of sprawl and neglect: I’ll bet they still are!

    A nice lady, federal govt. employee I assume, came up on the stage and told me how wonderful PEI is and I shouldn’t talk like that.

    To hell with that, I thought, and walked out.

    I wonder how I would be received now!

  2. October 5, 2013 7:21 pm

    “You tear down the old and put in the new, with modern muscle” (at 11 minutes in to this video). That’s the rational to decimate Pittsburgh’s downtown point district and replace with huge highways and parking garages in the 1950’s.

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