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Before-and-after photos reveal transformation following major roadway expansion: 'From terrible to even worse'

"Was 6 lanes not plenty?"

"Was 6 lanes not plenty?"

Photo Credit: Reddit

A frustrated Redditor shared images of a highway transformation that decimated the trees lining both sides of the road. 

The post in the r/UrbanHell community reveals the before-and-after photos of a roadway expansion in Xalapa, Mexico, showing the tall trees and grass divide that originally lined the highway. In the second photo, all the trees and grass have been replaced by grey roads to create additional lanes.

"Was 6 lanes not plenty?"
Photo Credit: Reddit

Redditors were appalled by the destruction of the trees and discussed the problem of car-centric urban design. 

"Was 6 lanes not plenty?" wrote one user.

"From terrible to even worse," commented another Redditor.

When cities continue constructing highways, it has devastating effects on the environment and the communities that live in the surrounding towns. Highways divide neighborhoods, increase the risk of road deaths, and contribute to worse air pollution. 

By exacerbating car dependency, highway expansions increase road traffic and make it more difficult for locals to utilize public transportation. 

A recent study also found that individuals who live near highways are exposed to roadway pollutants that can result in a higher risk of developing respiratory problems.  

Some cities are transitioning toward being cleaner and safer by banning cars on some streets. Banning cars in areas that have restaurants and shops allows pedestrians to enjoy these local businesses without the noise and air pollution of driving cars. 

Limiting car traffic in cities also helps to boost community and connection, as locals feel safer to walk, bike, and enjoy time outside. 

Other potential steps to reduce car dependency include implementing a congestion pricing plan. By imposing a toll on cars entering the busiest part of town, cities can significantly reduce traffic and the pollution it creates. 

Redditors continued to emphasize the problem of car-centric cities

"You have gained two minutes," wrote one user, referencing a scene from the Australian comedy series Utopia.

"Car culture at its finest," responded another Redditor.

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