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"I can remember when the first pulsars were discovered. I was able to go and sit down and listen to graduate students talking about what their theories, to explain what pulsars really were."
- Vernor Vinge

King's Free Park  
  A park in which anarchy reigned; a very long, narrow park.  

Science fiction writers do more, much more, than merely examining problems of the present. They also help to solve problems we don't even have yet.

The modern transportation systems cleaned the air and made traffic jams archaic and left the nation with an embarrassing problem. What to do with ten thousand miles of unsightly abandoned freeways?

King's Free Park had been part of the San Diego Freeway, the section between Sunset and the Santa Monica interchange. Decades ago the concrete had been covered with topsoil. The borders had been landscaped from the start.

Within King's Free Park was an orderly approximation of anarchy.

From Cloak of Anarchy, by Larry Niven.
Published by Analog in 1972
Additional resources -

People who come to this country from Europe, where land is at a premium, are stunned at the amount of land occupied by our modern highway system. Niven takes a reasonable premise and runs with it in the story.

This solution works with today's version of the "trench" freeway, as well as the freeways that wind through the countryside. However, you probably wouldn't get a very anarchic or liberating feeling in a park made from the first "trench" freeway - the Davison freeway in Detroit, Michigan. Imagine a four lane divided highway squeezed (barely) into a tunnel. Now take just the roof off; that's the Davison freeway.

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Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from Cloak of Anarchy
  More Ideas and Technology by Larry Niven
  Tech news articles related to Cloak of Anarchy
  Tech news articles related to works by Larry Niven

King's Free Park-related news articles:
  - Rebuild Highways - Or Think Differently
  - Niven's King's Free Park - In Toronto

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