Freeway Fighters Digest (week of 4/4)

Lauren MayerWeekly News Digest

Hi all,

Here is what is being said about the Highways to Boulevards movement this week. If you come across any articles, feel free to share and please let me know if you have any questions.

Please save the date for our April meetup, which will be Tuesday April 19th at 3pm ET. If you’re new to the group, come say hello! We’ll also set aside some for group updates and talk about the public rollout of the Freeway Fighters website the following week on April 26th. If you have any other items you’d like to add to the agenda, send a message to Ben at Looking forward to seeing many of you there!

April meetup calendar invite:

Direct Zoom link:

Highways to Boulevards news

Chamber eyes “big moves” to transform Omaha’s urban core
Omaha World Herald March 2021
If you think Omaha’s plans for a streetcar system and a downtown skyscraper were ambitious, wait until you hear what else local business leaders are dreaming about.

I-45 expansion project remains stalled due to federal investigation – ABC13 Houston
ABC13 April 2, 2022
State transportation officials want to push forward with the stalled I-45 expansion project, initially estimated to cost $7.95 billion.

Opinion: Did we learn nothing from the Katy Freeway expansion? – Houston Chronicle
Houston Chronicle April 2, 2022
My jaw dropped to the floor when I read in that the I-45 rebuild project might cost up to $9 billion.

schumer, gillibrand announce major push to revitalize syracuse’s 15th ward neighborhood …
Chuck Schumer April 2, 2022
Building on their tireless advocacy for Central New York & the redevelopment of I-81 into a community grid, U.S. Senate Majority Leader Charles E. Schumer and U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand today launched a major push to secure an additional $50 million in federal support for Syracuse’s transformation of the 15th Ward Neighborhood through the Choice Neighborhoods Initiative Program. 

Induced demand: Alternatives to turnpikes | News |
The Norman Transcript April 4, 2022
As the Oklahoma Turnpike Authority moves forward with a statewide expansion of toll roads, transportation experts say new roads can increase congestion while other alternatives reduce it.

America continues to expand its automobile dependance with interstate highways – The Prairie News
The Prairie News April 4, 2022
On March 15, 2022, President Biden signed into law a bill that extends local Interstate 27 from Raton, New Mexico to Laredo, Texas.

Tell WSDOT What the Future of the State Highway System Should Look Like | The Urbanist
The Urbanist April 5, 2022
When it comes to highway projects in Washington, the legislature holds all of the authority to decide how to allocate transportation funding.

TxDOT: Downtown I-10 expansion design includes city’s wishes – El Paso Matters
El Paso Matters April 5, 2022
The design options for the Downtown I-10 expansion project incorporate elements of what El Paso City Council outlined in a recent resolution aimed at asking the Texas Department of Transportation to change its plans for parts of the project, according to state officials.

YIMBYtown coming to Portland to strengthen housing and transportation connection
Bike Portland April 6, 2022
At first blush, someone might not think housing and bicycling have much of a relationship. Indeed, that’s often how these two issues are framed – as separate realms within urban planning that can operate relatively independently.

Why Australia needs to have a conversation about removing freeways – The Fifth Estate
The Fifth Estate April 7, 2022
Today in Australia, the idea of demolishing a freeway is pretty much unthinkable. 

New highways headed to Seattle area despite drive to fight climate change – KUOW
KUOW April 7, 2022
Even as Washington state tries to clamp down on climate-harming pollution, it’s building new highways in its two biggest counties.

The Bottom-Up Revolution Is… Stopping a Harmful Highway Project – Strong Towns
Strong Towns April 8, 2022
A few years back, we published an op-ed from a Strong Towns reader who was fighting a proposed highway project in San Jose, California, near his child’s school—mere yards away, to be exact. 

U.S. 380 highway bypass plan faces opposition in north Collin County. Here’s a look at the plans
Dallas Morning News April 8, 2022
Government leaders in Collin County and the state’s highway authority in 2017 identified the expansion of U.S. Highway 380 as a priority to support growth in the area.

Tear Down Urban Highways and Bid the Land Out | Scott Beyer – Catalyst
Catalyst – Independent Institute April 8, 2022
For decades, the urbanist movement has had a fiery—albeit niche—passion for tearing down highways that carve through U.S. cities.

Highway Removals: Restoring the Urban Fabric and Unlocking New Development Opportunities
ArchDaily April 8, 2022
Over the past two decades, urban highways’ social and economic ramifications have been brought into focus as a large part of this mid-century infrastructure comes to the end of its lifespan, prompting conversations over its role in contemporary urban planning.