Freeway Fighters Digest (weeks of 7/25 & 8/1)

Lauren MayerWeekly News Digest

Hi all,

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

Save the date for our next webinar “Creating a Community-Driven Reconnecting Communities Application” on August 16th from 3:30-4:30pm ET. Beth Osborne, director of Transportation for America, will join us with a primer on how to put your best foot forward on Reconnecting Communities applications. Please register here if you’d like to join us, so we have a sense of how many people to expect and can plan accordingly.

Freeway Fighters news

No one’s happy with the I-5 bridge project. And that’s a good thing? – BikePortland
BikePortland July 23, 2022
On Thursday, the Interstate Bridge Replacement project received the approval of state lawmakers and the heads of all of the regional authorities, giving it the green light to move forward into the environmental review process with their Locally Preferred Alternative (LPA) design.

Skeptics fear Interstate Bridge will be too high for bikers and walkers – BikePortland
BikePortland July 23, 2022
In response to climate and transportation activists who are wary of expanding I-5, both Interstate Bridge Replacement Program (IBRP) leadership and politicians who voted ‘aye’ on the project have gestured to a consolation prize.

Where should I-35 be covered? Neighbors fight for relief from planned highway expansion July 25, 2022
With I-35 in Central Austin on course for its most dramatic transformation since opening in 1962, the city is scrambling to find hundreds of millions of dollars to blunt the impact of a multibillion-dollar highway widening.

Twin Cities Boulevard Update, July 2022 |
Streets.MN July 26, 2022
It’s hard to hold public officials accountable at an Accountability Forum if they don’t attend.

A New Orleans Planner Builds Community as an Anti-Highway Activist – Metropolis July 26, 2022
Amy Stelly is a planner by profession. But her beef with the Claiborne Expressway—the roughly two-mile elevated highway that cuts through the historic neighborhood of Tremé, in New Orleans, essentially splitting its heart—isn’t theoretical, it’s personal.

Texas is skirting federal environmental law to push for highway expansion | Grist
Grist July 27, 2022
After college, Michael Moritz got a job in Houston analyzing fatal car crashes.

Texas has $85B plan for expanding highways, but Houston I-45 project foes say no thanks
Houston Chronicle July 27, 2022
One year ago, opponents of the state’s plan to rebuild Interstate 45 in Houston criticized the “take it or leave it” option state officials offered regarding amending plans for the mega-project.

Kensington Expressway project comes into focus, but some say ‘generational’ plan falls short
Buffalo News July 28, 2022
The estimated $1 billion Kensington Expressway tunnel and related roadwork would be one of the most complex projects the state Department of Transportation has ever undertaken – but the likely plan is less ambitious than Gov. Kathy Hochul has at times indicated when discussing the project.

Rep. Troy Carter on the Fate of New Orleans’ Claiborne Expressway – Common Edge
Common Edge July 28, 2022
In the course of writing an article for Metropolis on New Orleans’ citizen planner, Amy Stelly, and her efforts to tear down the elevated highway that runs through her neighborhood, I talked to New Orleans’ congressman, Troy Carter.

Could the US highways that split communities on racial lines finally fall? – The Guardian
The Guardian July 29, 2022
Amy Stelly can see the on-ramp for the Claiborne Expressway from the second-floor porch of her childhood home, a block and a half away from the highway.

I-45 expansion is paused, but residents are still being displaced – Houston Chronicle
Houston Chronicle July 29, 2022
State plans for expanding Interstate 45 in Houston have officially been paused for over a year. 

As billions pour into Texas highways, activists want to know the real environmental impact
Texas Standard July 29, 2022
Over the next 10 years, the Texas Department of Transportation plans to spend more than $74 billion on new roads and highway construction across Texas.

What’s in the New ‘Climate’ Deal for Sustainable Transport — And What’s Not
Streetsblog USA July 29, 2022
The Senate is on the brink of passing one of the most robust climate spending bills in U.S. history — but sustainable transportation advocates say it won’t do enough to confront the nation’s car dependency crisis or decarbonize the transportation sector.

Poor, minority communities more likely to have bad roads, study finds – The Washington Post
The Washington Post July 30, 2022
Poor communities, urban areas and those that are home to few White residents are more likely to have potholed, cracked and rutted roads, according to a new analysis of 220,000 miles of heavily traveled streets and highways across the country.

City seeks feedback on draft ten-year “We Will Chicago” plan including transportation goals
Streetsblog Chicago August 4, 2022
On July 14, the Mayor Lori Lightfoot administration issued a draft of an ambitious citywide plan for community feedback.

40 years ago, Old Chinatown was booming. Now the I-45 project could erase it entirely.
Houston Chronicle August 5, 2022
There were ghosts in EaDo before the Interstate 45 rebuild was announced, but up to that point, Long Sing Supermarket had stood strong.

Senate Deal Has $3B for Communities Cut Apart by Highways – Route Fifty
Route Fifty August 5, 2022
More help could be coming from Washington for neighborhoods that have long been cleaved apart by highways and other infrastructure, if a major spending bill now before Congress becomes law.