Freeway Fighters Digest (week 1/23)

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.

Check out the ten nominees for Congress for the New Urbanism’s 2023 Freeways Without Futures report! The featured campaigns represent communities advocating for equity and reconnection during a time of reckoning for North American urban freeway infrastructure and offer a roadmap to better health, opportunity, and connectivity in every neighborhood, while reversing decades of decline and disinvestment.
Meet the nominees.

Freeway Fighters news

Push underway to bring $5.4M to Yonkers for greenway – Westfair Communications
Westfair Communications January 21, 2023
Smith O’Hara Levine Memorial Park on Lawrence Street in Yonkers served as the background on Jan. 20 for U.S. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer to announce a push to obtain $5.4 million in federal funding to convert a section of the abandoned New York & Putnam Railroad right-of-way into a greenway.

Schumer in Yonkers, Asks DOT- Buttigieg to Fund Shovel-Ready $5.4 million Yonkers …
Yonkers Times January 21, 2023
Standing at the abandoned old Putnam Railroad’s former Lowerre Station alongside advocates that worked tirelessly to transform it into the Yonkers Greenway Park, U.S. Senate Majority Leader Charles E. Schumer today announced his major new push to deliver over $5.4 million to the City of Yonkers through the U.S. Department of Transportation’s (USDOT) first-ever Reconnecting Communities Pilot Program.

Q&A: How removing the Inner Loop changed east Rochester – Democrat and Chronicle
Democrat and Chronicle January 21, 2023
How has the city changed since part of the Inner Loop highway was filled in?

NY Awards First Contract for $2.3B Syracuse I-81 Viaduct Project
Engineering News-Record January 21, 2023
New York officials have awarded the first construction contract for a controversial $2.3-billion highway project in Syracuse that would remove the I-81 viaduct running through the city. 

‘Cap and Stitch,’ an above-highway greenspace project, presented to Austin City Council
KVUE January 21, 2023
The City of Austin’s Corridor Program and the Downtown Austin Alliance are looking into a “cap and stitch” proposal, a project in addition to the Texas Department of Transportation’s I-35 expansion and revamp project.

How Austin aims to bridge the I-35 gap as state highway expansion rolls forward
Community Impact January 21, 2023
As the Texas Department of Transportation forges ahead on its $4.5 billion expansion of I-35 in Austin, city leaders and transportation planners are focused on ensuring the project also provides new connections across the historic divide through the city center.

Will Parson’s proposed expansion of I-70 reduce congestion? Here’s what research shows
The Kansas City Star January 21, 2023
When Missouri Gov. Mike Parson proposed spending $859 million to widen I-70 to six lanes near Kansas City, Columbia and St. Louis as the first step toward expanding the highway across the entire state during his State of the State speech, lawmakers in both parties applauded.

What Goes on Top of a Highway? – Austin Towers
Austin Towers – January 21, 2023
The widening and lowering of Interstate 35 in Central Austin isn’t gonna be pretty.

Congress’s Messy ‘Fix-It-First’ Fight Heats Up – Streetsblog USA
Streetsblog USA January 23, 2023
A long-fought effort to get states to spend more of their federal infrastructure dollars on fixing highways rather than building new ones is in peril in the newly GOP-lead House — and it could force President Biden to take an unprecedented stand in favor of progressive road priorities.

Induced Demand Be Damned: Missouri Governor Proposes I-70 Expansion – Planetizen
Planetizen January 24, 2023
Missouri Governor Mike Parson proposed a widening of Interstate 70 near Kansas City for an estimated cost of $859 million during a recent State of the State address.

22 Homes, 35 Businesses Could Be Seized by TxDOT’s US-380 Bypass – NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth
NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth January 24, 2023
Although plans are not yet final, TxDOT hopes a new freeway will alleviate traffic along Highway 380 from Prosper to McKinney.

Highways have damaged communities of color | Commentary |
The Philadelphia Tribune January 24, 2023
Last year, Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg unveiled new efforts to address the problematic racial legacy of interstate highway construction, dedicating $1 billion to “reconnect cities and neighborhoods racially segregated or divided by road projects.”

El Paso to reconnect neighborhoods divided by highway with deck plaza – Smart Cities Dive
Smart Cities Dive January 26, 2023
El Paso, Texas, is taking steps to advance a proposed deck plaza over Interstate 10 in the city’s downtown.

Interstate 794 Named Freeway Without A Future – Urban Milwaukee
Urban Milwaukee January 26, 2023
Livable cities organization the Congress for the New Urbanism (CNU) will name Interstate 794 in downtown Milwaukee as one of its 10 “Freeways Without Futures” in an upcoming report.

The Governor of Missouri Wants to Spend $859 Million on Highway Expansion
Strong Towns January 26, 2023
The state of Missouri has a $6 billion budget surplus due to an increase in tax revenue and unspent federal aid.

I-980 Makes List of Top Freeway Removal Proposals – Streetsblog SF
Streetsblog SF January 27, 2023
The Congress of New Urbanism, the Washington-based advocacy group dedicated to illuminating and cultivating best practices in urbanism, has released its 2023 list of the ten-top freeways that need to be ripped out.

Replacing I-275 with boulevard in Tampa killed by transportation panel
Tampa Bay Times January 27, 2023
The debate surrounded an application for a $1.2 million federal grant. But the real issue was whether to study the long-discussed but highly remote possibility of tearing down Interstate 275 north of downtown Tampa and replacing it with a street-level boulevard.

City looks for silver lining in TxDOT’s I-35 expansion – Austin Monitor
Austin Monitor January 27, 2023
With the Texas Department of Transportation circling in on finalized plans for Interstate 35, city staffers are racing to seize opportunity of a number of cap-and-stitch projects that could come to be a silver lining in the largely unpopular interstate expansion.