Freeway Fighters Digest (week of 9/12)

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.

The September Freeway Fighters meetup will be on Friday, September 30th at 2pm ET. We’ll have some time for new people to introduce themselves, hear updates from campaigns, and get together in some smaller breakout groups to network with similar campaigns. Feel free to send Ben Crowther ( other ideas and agenda items you want to cover!

In case you missed it: You can access last week’s New York Times opinion piece “Mr. Biden, Tear Down This Highway” for free thanks to a link provided by a fellow freeway fighter. The interactive opinion piece provides visual evidence of the mark left by freeways and highways on dense urban communities.

Freeway Fighters news

A chance to solve our highway problem is slipping away – MinnPost
MinnPost September 10, 2022
Interstate 94 between downtown Minneapolis and downtown St. Paul is an urban transportation nightmare from which its neighbors are struggling to wake up. 

‘Freeways Without Futures’ Spotlights Freeway Removal Efforts | Planetizen News
Planetizen September 10, 2022
Writing in the Congress for New Urbanism’s (CNU) Public Square, Lauren Mayer reports on some of the freeways most nominated for CNU’s next biannual Freeways Without Futures report.

States Propose Expanding Highways With Federal Infrastructure Funds Intended to Reduce …
EcoWatch September 10, 2022
In November 2021, President Joe Biden signed the Bipartisan Infrastructure Package into law, which allocates $1.2 trillion toward infrastructure and was meant to reduce transportation emissions. 

State to keep I-45 expansion project in infrastructure plans | City Government September 10, 2022
State leaders are moving forward with a $7 billion plan to expand Interstate 45 through Houston, despite stiff opposition from some area residents.

Texas Transportation Commission OKs Downtown I-10 expansion despite Stout’s opposition
El Paso Times September 10, 2022
A last-ditch effort by El Paso County Commissioner David Stout failed to stop the four-member Texas Transportation Commission from approving the Interstate 10 expansion project in Downtown as part of its $85.1 billion Unified Transportation Program (UTP) this week.

Texas freeway foes band together against TxDOT, calling plans to widen highways ‘insane’
Houston Chronicle September 10, 2022
Opponents of some of Texas’ largest transportation projects are unifying their messaging, pushing state highway officials to think differently about metro regions, where road widening can claim hundreds of homes and businesses, and urging them to consider alternatives to automobiles rather than adding more lanes.

Metro Denver’s shift away from highway expansions is set by plans – The Denver Post
The Denver Post September 11, 2022
Get used to fewer freeway-widening projects and more street redesigns meant to speed up buses on major corridors.

The Case for Urban Highway Removal | Planetizen News
Planetizen September 13, 2022
The New York Times recently published an interactive opinion piece that provides visual evidence of the mark left by freeways and highways on dense urban communities with maps and historic aerial photography superimposed with contemporary images.

The City Planner Comes to Uptown: A Conversation With Author and Designer Jeff Speck
D Magazine September 13, 2022
Last week, Jeff Speck was looking at a map of Uptown and trying to make sense of McKinnon Street.

Shocker: U.S. Highways Continue Segregate, Destroy Communities – Jalopnik
Jalopnik September 13, 2022
This New York Times opinion piece will tell you everything you need to know about inequality in infrastructure.

How the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law Could Fast-Track Harmful Highway Boondoggles
Streetsblog USA September 13, 2022
The bipartisan $1.2 trillion infrastructure deal signed into law in November 2021 has provided a previously near-unimaginable opportunity to invest in transportation in America. 

Highway Boondoggles, Part I: Maryland’s Misguided Highway Extension
Streetsblog September 14, 2022
M-83, otherwise known as the Midcounty Highway Extended, has been included in Montgomery County’s Master Plan of Highways since the 1960s.

Milwaukee development promised if surface street replaces I-794
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel September 15, 2022
Support for removal of I-794 is building.

Highway Boondoggles, Part II: Induced Demand Across the Ohio River – Streetsblog USA
Streetsblog USA September 15, 2022
Opened in 1963, the Brent Spence Bridge carries Interstates 71 and 75 across the Ohio River between Covington, Ky., and Cincinnati.

Highway Boondoggles, Part III: Two Big Garden State Mistakes – Streetsblog USA
Streetsblog USA September 15, 2022
Since it opened in 1951, the New Jersey Turnpike has undergone a seemingly endless series of expansion projects, beginning just four years into its existence when unanticipated traffic volumes prompted the New Jersey Turnpike Authority to add a raft of new lanes along an 83-mile stretch of the roadway. 

Detroit wins grant to remove interstate that wrecked a Black community
Washington Post September 15, 2022
Detroit’s Paradise Valley was a buzzing nightlife district, home to jazz clubs and hundreds of other Black-owned business.

‘Highway Boondoggles’ Report Highlights Nation’s Most Wasteful Projects – Planetizen
Planetizen September 16, 2022
In part one of an annual series from the Public Interest Research Group titled “Highway Boondoggles,” James Horrox, Bryn Huxley-Reicher and Matthew Casale of Streetsblog describe how the federal infrastructure bill passed last November could accelerate some of the worst, most wasteful highway expansion projects.

Mile-High City Halts Two Highway Expansions — And Gives the Money to Transit Instead
Streetsblog USA September 16, 2022
Colorado will cancel two planned highway expansions, citing a new climate rule that advocates say should be a model for communities across America.

Highway Boondoggles, Part IV: Erie’s ‘Mistake by the Lake’
Streetsblog September 16, 2022
In the early 1990s, the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation built the Bayfront Parkway, a two-lane road connecting Interstate 79 with the Lake Erie bayfront of Erie, Penn.