Freeway Fighters Digest (week of 8/15)

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.

For those of you who were unable to join us (and for those of you who just want to review it!), here’s the recording of our Tuesday afternoon workshop, “Creating a Community-Driven Reconnecting Communities Application” with Beth Osborne of Transportation for America.

Meeting Recording
Access Passcode: WJ@n8k+Z

Freeway Fighters news

Hoboken + JC Officials Oppose Project to Widen the NJ Turnpike
Hoboken Girl August 13, 2022
Both Hoboken and Jersey City officials have recently spoken out against a $4.7 billion project to widen the New Jersey Turnpike between exits 14A and 14C in Jersey City, an area that feeds into the Holland Tunnel.

Controversial Turnpike widening project could force Murphy to choose between Hudson …
New Jersey Globe August 15, 2022
Opposition to a $4.7 billion proposal to widen the eight-mile section of New Jersey Turnpike between Exits 14A and 14C will likely force Gov. Phil Murphy into choosing between local officials and progressive activists  in Jersey City and Hoboken and blue-collar construction unions.

Metro Denver set to drop I-25 and C-470 expansions as planners shape climate-minded transportation future
Colorado Public Radio August 15, 2022
After decades of pouring billions of dollars into a transportation system that favors moving vehicles quickly above all else, the Denver region could see a significant funding shift away from road expansions and toward public transit, pedestrian and bicycle infrastructure.

Freeway Removal Movement Slowly Gains Steam | Planetizen News
Planetizen August 16, 2022
Although the concept of freeway removal is picking up steam as more communities call for a reversal of the car-centric policies that led to rampant highway construction over the last half century, the movement still faces some challenges.

Politics intensify over tunnel vision – Politico
Politico August 16, 2022
A $4.7 billion plan by the New Jersey Turnpike Authority to expand eight miles of highway leading to the Holland Tunnel is facing a new wave of criticism from city councils in Jersey City and Hoboken worried about the traffic jams, air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions it may cause.

Op-Ed: L.A. is spending tens of billions of dollars to make climate change and traffic worse
Los Angeles Times August 16, 2022
Los Angeles County’s transportation agency, Metro, is building over 100 miles of rail in the next 30 years.

4 underrated parts of the Inflation Reduction Act – Vox
Vox August 17, 2022
President Joe Biden signed the Inflation Reduction Act into law today, making it official that the US will spend a historic $370 billion to tackle climate change over the next decade. 

Rhode Island Funding Highway Expansion Despite Poor Road Conditions – Planetizen
Planetizen August 17, 2022
“Instead of prioritizing the proper maintenance of Rhode Island’s transportation systems, transportation officials are spending the bulk of their resources on expansion,” writes Charles Marohn in a pointed essay for Strong Towns.

The Human Cost Of TxDOT’s I-45 Expansion Plan – Houston Press
Houston Press August 17, 2022
Chris Sonnier spends his nights sleeping in a grey tent underneath Interstate 59 on the northern edge of downtown when he isn’t crashing at his uncle’s place in the Kelly Village public housing project in Fifth Ward.

5 projects moving forward in Philly thanks to new federal infrastructure funding
Billy Penn August 18, 2022
With Tuesday’s signing of the Inflation Reduction Act, the Biden administration has now enacted two laws that will have a sizable impact on infrastructure nationwide.

Engineer: How a huge park capping Atlanta’s I-20 could work
Urbanize Atlanta August 18, 2022
With a federal initiative underway to reconnect urban America communities severed by highways, and with the possibility of more than $1 billion in grants being floated to get such projects off the ground, a feeding frenzy of sorts has broken out among potential highway-capping parks in Atlanta from downtown to Midtown and Buckhead.

RAISE Grants Move Away From Road Expansion, But Not In Seattle Metro | The Urbanist
The Urbanist August 18, 2022
Last week, the US Department of Transportation (USDOT) announced 166 projects that have been selected to receive $2.2 billion dollars in Federal funding through the Rebuilding American Infrastructure with Sustainability and Equity (RAISE) grant program. 

UPDATED: City of Norman to challenge OTA at Oklahoma Supreme Court
The Norman Transcript August 19, 2022
Citing council input, the City of Norman has hired an outside law firm to take legal action against Oklahoma Turnpike Authority, an official memo from the city attorney indicates.

South Bend plan to remove cloverleaf ramps, redesign Indiana 23 hits early checkpoint
South Bend Tribune August 19, 2022
A $2.4 million federal grant will pay for the first official step in a process that could end with the removal of cloverleaf road interchanges that impede pedestrian use of a riverfront district, city officials say.

Austin at Large: More Land, or a Big Ditch?
The Austin Chronicle August 19, 2022
My old friend and colleague Sinclair Black, a grand duke in the aristocracy of Austin architecture, is the founding father (literally) of Reconnect Austin, the longest-­running community initiative to reimagine I-35 as it runs through Central Austin.

The Bottom-Up Revolution Is…Campaigning to Get Rid of an Urban Highway
Strong Towns August 19, 2022
Urban highways are ubiquitous in pretty much every city across America.

Metro Report: Metro Freeway Expansion Negates Agency’s Other Greenhouse Gas Reduction Efforts
Streetsblog LA August 19, 2022
In a damning report assessing Metro’s contribution to the climate crisis, Metro found that its transit initiatives are inadequate to offset the significant increase in greenhouse gases resulting from Metro’s own freeway expansion projects.