San Francisco, California: Embarcadero Freeway

State Route 480 used to travel down the middle of San Francisco until 1989 when it was damaged by an earthquake. Post-earthquake, in the face of costly repair, much debate arose about what to do with it.

The city decided to remove it for good and the result was an increase in scenic views of the bay, the creation of urban success story Octavia Boulevard, and an economic boom. The removal created miles of public space in the city, room for walking and biking paths, and new transit routes that replaced the freeway. The project also saved the city substantial money in reconstruction and maintenance cost of the highway, and increased property values and brought in new business.