Freeway Fighters Digest (weeks of 12/26 and 1/2)

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.

Freeway Fighters news

The group opposing TxDOT: ‘Widening highways actually makes traffic worse’
Texas Standard December 23, 2022
Last month, the Texas Department of Transportation hosted a groundbreaking ceremony for the I-35 Capital Express South project in Austin. 

Federal Memo on State Highway Spending Faces Sharper Criticism – Route Fifty
Route Fifty December 23, 2022
A controversial memo that has guided the Biden administration’s handling of new highway projects for the last year is on shaky footing, after Republicans secured two victories in recent days that undermine the basis for the policy blueprint.

Grant Frazier: Bigger highways don’t fix traffic. Why won’t we stop building them?
The Salt Lake Tribune December 23, 2022
The Utah Department of Transportation recently unveiled its plan to spend $1.6 billion to expand the I-15 between Farmington and Salt Lake City in order to reduce congestion on the highway. 

Fixing Claiborne — the highway that split a Black neighborhood — could come down to 2 proposals
WWNO December 23, 2022
Louis Charbonnet III’s family prides themselves on having one of the biggest Black-owned funeral homes in New Orleans – and the prettiest.

Opinion: $750 million lane widening won’t solve congestion – The Virginian-Pilot
The Virginian-Pilot December 27, 2022
In a recent unanimous vote, the Central Virginia Transportation Authority voted to commit federal, state and local dollars toward the widening of a 29-mile stretch of Interstate 64 through New Kent County.

In 2023, Akron will work toward redeveloping Innerbelt property – Crain’s Cleveland Business
Crain’s Cleveland Business December 28, 2022
Akron’s roughly 30-acre Innerbelt property has been vacant for more than five years now, leaving an empty chasm of presumably valuable real estate in the middle of downtown. 

Harris County to End Lawsuit Blocking I-45 Expansion Project | The Texan
The Texan December 28, 2022
A long-debated multibillion-dollar update to one of the state’s most dangerous roadways has been resurrected after local leaders reached some compromises regarding the Interstate 45 improvement project.

Halted Interstate Expansion Could Proceed in Houston | Planetizen News
Planetizen December 29, 2022
The controversial expansion of Interstate 45 in Houston could go forward in as soon as two years after officials reached an agreement about the project, reports Dug Begley, who has been following the freeway saga for the Houston Chronicle.

In D9, Qadri wants to ensure “an abundance of affordable housing” – Austin Monitor
Austin Monitor December 29, 2022
Just past 10 p.m. on Dec. 13, after a night frantically pacing around the Whip In shaking hands, posing for pictures and checking on election updates, Zohaib Qadri – more commonly known as Zo – felt comfortable declaring victory in the District 9 race for City Council.

TxDOT narrows option for widening I-35 through Austin – January 4, 2023
The Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) has released the most detailed description yet of plans to widen I-35 through the core of Austin — explaining how the agency believes its multibillion-dollar highway expansion could affect everything from parks to pollution.

Turnpike authority votes to continue expansion work amid threat of lawsuit
The Oklahoman January 4, 2023
The revolving door between Oklahoma transportation officials and the engineering firms they hire for projects proceeds… 

TxDOT central I-35 expansion project puts businesses at risk of displacement, loss of 625 jobs
KVUE January 5, 2023
The Texas Department of Transportation released the environmental impact statement (EIS) draft for its proposed Interstate 35 Capital Express Central project.

Portlanders speak out against I-5 expansion at ‘People’s Public Hearing’ – BikePortland
BikePortland January 5, 2023
When up against a state agency with vast resources and a track record of misleading tactics that is desperate to push a controversial project forward, activists sometimes have to get creative.

Washington Snubs MassDOT’s Proposed Cape Cod Highway Expansion
Streetsblog MASS January 6, 2023
On Thursday morning, the U.S. Department of Transportation announced that it would not commit any funding from its new Bridge Investment Grant program for MassDOT’s “Cape Bridges Program,” a $4 billion proposal to widen several highways and intersections in the vicinity of the Cape Cod Canal in Bourne.

100+ properties along I-35 are being displaced. What happens next? – KXAN
KXAN January 6, 2023
 The Texas Department of Transportation released its draft environmental impact statement in late December, a 500-page document outlining its expansion plans along Interstate 35 through the downtown corridor.

Montlake Highway Lid Heads Into the Home Stretch in 2023 | The Urbanist
The Urbanist January 6, 2023
Fewer corners of Seattle are set to look more starkly different between the beginning of 2023 and the end than the area around SR 520 in Montlake.

Plan to rebuild Hartford highways gaining support, waiting for DOT – CT Mirror
CT Mirror January 6, 2023
If brought to fruition, it could be the most ambitious public works project in Connecticut this century, a radical redesign and reconstruction of the infrastructure in the core of the capital region.