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  #501  
Old Posted May 23, 2020, 8:39 PM
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What exactly are "approaches to cities" supposed to look like?..

If anything this has more to do with the surrounding natural landscape than anything development related.

Edit: Well if we are specifically talking about the routes of Airports to Downtowns then yeah you probably don't want that going through an industrial area...
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  #502  
Old Posted May 23, 2020, 10:34 PM
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The natural landscape definitely plays a role. One factor is the scale of the city relative to the scale of natural features like mountains and hills.

Vancouver has a great approach from the north along the highway through North Van.

Saint John NB is a city that fits its geography pretty well.
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  #503  
Old Posted May 25, 2020, 12:08 PM
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The natural landscape definitely plays a role. One factor is the scale of the city relative to the scale of natural features like mountains and hills.

Vancouver has a great approach from the north along the highway through North Van.

Saint John NB is a city that fits its geography pretty well.
The drive from Saint John Airport is awful though. Loch Lomond Rd has some relatively OK residential areas off of it, but the road itself is depressing and the only alternative route is to take NB-111 all the way to Rothesay and Route 1 back into town, which is a terrible idea if you want to avoid congestion.
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  #504  
Old Posted May 25, 2020, 12:31 PM
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Ottawa has the Airport Parkway which is a two-lane road through greenery with some city buildings (often high-rises) visible beyong the trees.

If you actually follow the signs to downtown you then take Colonel By Drive along the Rideau Canal into the heart of the city. It's one of the nicest drives in the capital and offers views of some of its priciest real estate.

If you miss the signs and continue straight onward, the parkway turns into Bronson Ave. It's definitely urban as opposed to suburban. Not necessarily soul-sucking but still pretty meh.
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  #505  
Old Posted May 25, 2020, 12:44 PM
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^ When I made my initial post on the subject I was actually thinking of Ottawa as one of the airport drives that is more on the flattering side. Most of the others are neutral (Calgary, Vancouver) or bad (Edmonton, Winnipeg).
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  #506  
Old Posted May 25, 2020, 1:55 PM
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Originally Posted by harls View Post
This ugly hunk of horse doody is supposed to be renovated.

https://www.link2build.ca/news/artic...r-renovations/

Oops, the buildings to the right of this monstrosity.

Ugh, this is so much worse. Place du Portage might not be to everyonee's taste, but at least it is a notable example of the Brutalist style. Even if you think it's a turd, at least it's an architecturally coherent turd. This renovation is just a glazed turd.

Its biggest problem though is not the cladding or the materiality, but the inwardness of its street-level interface - which as far I can tell is not really rectified in the renovation anyway. More importantly, the all-glass reclads of seemingly every old building only serves to homogenize our skylines. Far more soul-sucking than a skyline with honest representation from all of its past eras, styles, and materials.
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  #507  
Old Posted May 25, 2020, 2:01 PM
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Most Canadian cities don't have direct freeway connections from downtown to the airport.

You could do this in Toronto from Pearson down the 427 then along the Gardiner although right now Google Maps recommends a circuitous route partly along Bathurst to avoid traffic. The Gardiner route is considerably more impressive than the suggested surface streets.

427 & Gardiner aren't so much something "you could do" as it is the default route from Pearson to the core. Certain traffic events of course may complicate things, but most of the time it would be the fastest & easiest route.

It's a pretty good entrance though.


https://www.stockaerialphotos.com/me...ber-bay-shores


Woot
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  #508  
Old Posted May 25, 2020, 2:51 PM
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Originally Posted by esquire View Post
^ When I made my initial post on the subject I was actually thinking of Ottawa as one of the airport drives that is more on the flattering side. Most of the others are neutral (Calgary, Vancouver) or bad (Edmonton, Winnipeg).
Ottawa does have the advantage of being the capital, so an easily protected route for visiting dignitaries to the airport is quite useful. If that wasn't a thing, one could only contemplate the mediocrity that would have resulted.

For Toronto, the 427 and Gardiner are the best/quickest route by far. I do like coming into the city that way - the twinkling of skyscrapers on the horizon at night and then becoming immersed in the cityscape is great.

Otherwise, you're using city streets from the 401/Allen Road which is tedious.

Hamilton's got a decent drive from the airport to downtown - winding down the escarpment on the 403.
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  #509  
Old Posted May 25, 2020, 2:55 PM
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I like the ones through industrial areas, so I see what kinds of things people actually do in the city.
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  #510  
Old Posted May 25, 2020, 3:08 PM
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Montreal has 2 routes from the airport into town.

Neither is particularly pretty but both give off a "big city" feel.

The southern route via A-20 and A-720 is a mix of commercial and lots of decent density residential, with some glimpses of industrial uses like large areas devoted to rail transportation for example.

I prefer that one to the A-520 and then A-40 and A-15 route to the north, which is initially through the Mississauga-esque warehouse wasteland of Dorval and Ville St-Laurent.

Even if it's concrete city I do like Décarie (A-15) as an entry into the city, for its similarity to parts of the Périphérique around Paris.

Then both routes converge at the Turcot interchange and then the A-720 which gives great views from up high of vast rowhouse areas interspersed with church steeples here and there, before entering a tunnel with skyscrapers just above your head as you reach downtown.
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  #511  
Old Posted May 25, 2020, 6:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MonkeyRonin View Post
427 & Gardiner aren't so much something "you could do" as it is the default route from Pearson to the core. Certain traffic events of course may complicate things, but most of the time it would be the fastest & easiest route.

It's a pretty good entrance though.

Woot
The Gardiner is one of the great urban North American expressway experiences. Maybe not top tier, as that would be New York on its own I think, but definitely second tier.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Acajack View Post
The southern route via A-20 and A-720 is a mix of commercial and lots of decent density residential, with some glimpses of industrial uses like large areas devoted to rail transportation for example.
As is the A-720. We always take that on car trips to Montreal from southern Ontario.
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  #512  
Old Posted May 25, 2020, 7:19 PM
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The Gardiner is one of the great urban North American expressway experiences. Maybe not top tier, as that would be New York on its own I think, but definitely second tier.
.
New York has no one freeway that's as dramatic as the Gardiner. FDR Drive is cool, but there's no elevated route through downtown or midtown (thank god) and the former West Side Highway is now a boulevard once you get to the cool bit. NYC (much like most Canadian cities) cancelled its most damaging projects which was a godsend for the city's future but puts a damper on fun drives. A worthy trade-off. The only thing that could arguably put FDR over the Gardiner is NYC having a bigger and better skyline to begin with.
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  #513  
Old Posted May 25, 2020, 8:11 PM
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Originally Posted by Franco401 View Post
New York has no one freeway that's as dramatic as the Gardiner. FDR Drive is cool, but there's no elevated route through downtown or midtown (thank god) and the former West Side Highway is now a boulevard once you get to the cool bit. NYC (much like most Canadian cities) cancelled its most damaging projects which was a godsend for the city's future but puts a damper on fun drives. A worthy trade-off. The only thing that could arguably put FDR over the Gardiner is NYC having a bigger and better skyline to begin with.
NYC has some pretty bleak cityscapes near their airports... my first trips to NYC were via La Guardia, and those have you going through some drab parts of Queens before finally emerging on the Queensboro Bridge which has an impressive view of Manhattan.

The area around Newark is grim but at least you can see the city off in the distance.

I've never entered the city from JFK so I can't speak to that one, although I'd imagine it must bear some similarities to La Guardia?
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  #514  
Old Posted May 25, 2020, 8:34 PM
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Originally Posted by esquire View Post
NYC has some pretty bleak cityscapes near their airports... my first trips to NYC were via La Guardia, and those have you going through some drab parts of Queens before finally emerging on the Queensboro Bridge which has an impressive view of Manhattan.

The area around Newark is grim but at least you can see the city off in the distance.

I've never entered the city from JFK so I can't speak to that one, although I'd imagine it must bear some similarities to La Guardia?

I can't think of any city that isn't bleak around the airport - New York isn't a particularly bad offender. Coming in via the Grand Central Parkway from La Guardia is a bit dull as it courses through the trenched roadway; but when it starts to incline into the Hell Gate Bridge and you get a glimpse of the surrounding neighbourhoods and the view down the length of the east side of Manhattan, it's a truly gasp-worthy urban moment.
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  #515  
Old Posted May 26, 2020, 1:35 AM
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Originally Posted by MonkeyRonin View Post
I can't think of any city that isn't bleak around the airport - New York isn't a particularly bad offender. Coming in via the Grand Central Parkway from La Guardia is a bit dull as it courses through the trenched roadway; but when it starts to incline into the Hell Gate Bridge and you get a glimpse of the surrounding neighbourhoods and the view down the length of the east side of Manhattan, it's a truly gasp-worthy urban moment.
Airports by their nature are kind of unwanted thing, so they end up away from the city by design. So, yeah, the industrial parks and whatnot are kind of a feature of the design of areas near airports as they don't care about the noise.

Out of all the airports I can think of, Billy Bishop airport in Toronto would be the most dramatic entry to the city I can think of - you're basically downtown right then. The arrival into Phoenix also offers a great ride over the core of it as one lands from the west and downtown is mere minutes away.

I'm struggling to think of others - maybe Midway Airport in Chicago? London City?
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  #516  
Old Posted May 26, 2020, 4:22 AM
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Since quarantine I've been going for many walks. Mostly around my neighbourhood but occasionally we've ventured into other nearby suburbs. One of the most soul sucking things I have seen are entrances and main streets in communities where the houses all have their backs turned to you.

Here are some examples:

https://www.google.com/maps/@50.9021...7i13312!8i6656

https://www.google.com/maps/@50.8797...7i13312!8i6656

This is the absolute most soul crushing walk or drive that you can take in all of Calgary:

https://www.google.com/maps/@50.9139...7i13312!8i6656

Keep going...

https://www.google.com/maps/@50.9140...7i13312!8i6656

Further...

https://www.google.com/maps/@50.9140...7i13312!8i6656

A bus stop in hell:

https://www.google.com/maps/@50.9153...7i13312!8i6656

Thank God a strip mall to break up the monotony!

https://www.google.com/maps/@50.9159...7i13312!8i6656

Still going...

https://www.google.com/maps/@50.9184...7i13312!8i6656

Almost there...

https://www.google.com/maps/@50.9222...7i13312!8i6656

You have arrived! Your destination is ahead. Don't mind the smell of the landfill on your way out of Poo Brighton and Crapperfield.

https://www.google.com/maps/@50.9279...7i13312!8i6656
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  #517  
Old Posted May 26, 2020, 5:03 AM
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The drive outside the neighbourhood is equally soul destroying. Car dealerships with giant sale flags on one side and landfill on the other.

https://www.google.com/maps/@50.9286...7i13312!8i6656

https://www.google.com/maps/@50.9286...7i13312!8i6656

No that building with the arched window was not built in 1992. It's new.

https://www.google.com/maps/@50.9287...7i13312!8i6656

Why do car dealers all have giant Canadian flags?

https://www.google.com/maps/@50.9286...7i13312!8i6656


Once you are expelled from this hellscape you enter the true gauntlet of 130th Ave. Big Box Barf.

https://www.google.com/maps/@50.9296...7i13312!8i6656

https://www.google.com/maps/@50.9314...7i13312!8i6656

Swiss Chalet vs. Montana's. FIGHT!

https://www.google.com/maps/@50.9320...7i13312!8i6656
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  #518  
Old Posted May 26, 2020, 12:39 PM
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Somehow Kenmount Road looks even uglier when the roads and parking lots are empty.
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  #519  
Old Posted May 26, 2020, 1:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wave46 View Post
Airports by their nature are kind of unwanted thing, so they end up away from the city by design. So, yeah, the industrial parks and whatnot are kind of a feature of the design of areas near airports as they don't care about the noise.

Out of all the airports I can think of, Billy Bishop airport in Toronto would be the most dramatic entry to the city I can think of - you're basically downtown right then. The arrival into Phoenix also offers a great ride over the core of it as one lands from the west and downtown is mere minutes away.

I'm struggling to think of others - maybe Midway Airport in Chicago? London City?

Midway is pretty cool. The neighbouring houses are packed so tightly up to the runways that when you're landing it almost feels like you could jump out into someone's backyard. It's still a fairly drab and suburban area though.

Never flown through London City, but that seems like probably the closest comparison to Billy Bishop.

Too bad Hong Kong's Kai Tak isn't around anymore - doesn't get more dramatic than that:


https://br.pinterest.com/pin/8149404...implified=true


https://www.atlasobscura.com/article...-scary-landing
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  #520  
Old Posted May 26, 2020, 2:01 PM
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Indeed. Especially post-911.

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