Freeway Fighters Digest (week of 3/6)

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

USDOT ‘Reconnecting Communities’ Grants Aim to Undo Highway Damage – Bloomberg March 4, 2023
In 1969, hundreds of Black residents of Baltimore’s West Side received a notice from the city: Their houses were going to be demolished to make room for a new highway. 

City of Birmingham awarded $800K planning grant to reconnect communities – Bham Now
Bham Now March 4, 2023
The City of Birmingham—in partnership with the Birmingham-Jefferson County Transit Authority (BJCTA)—has received a planning grant award of $800,000 from the U.S. Department of Transportation. 

Kansas City receives $1M to study reconnecting Westside – FOX4
FOX4 March 4, 2023
Just one day following U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg‘s visit to Kansas City to welcome in a new $1.5 billion airport terminal, the Secretary on Tuesday announced the city has more to look forward to in terms of transportation.

Freeway Fighters List Their Top Five Needs For 2023 – Streetsblog USA
Streetsblog USA March 4, 2023
2022 was a historic year for the nationwide movement to reconnect communities divided by highways, but successes on the national stage have not yet translated into conclusive victories at the local level.

MDOT gets $21.7M grant to replace pedestrian bridge over I-696 in Oak Park – Detroit News
Detroit News March 4, 2023
A pedestrian bridge regularly used by Oak Park’s Orthodox Jewish community to walk over Interstate 696 is getting an overhaul thanks to a $21.7 million federal grant, the Michigan Department of Transportation announced Friday.

Austin to use federal government grant money to help fund I-35 expansion study
FOX 7 Austin March 4, 2023
The Biden-Harris Administration announced a $1.12 million grant for Austin as part of a program to reconnect communities.

$1.6 million to study removal of I-244 over Black Wall Street
The Black Wall Street Times March 5, 2023
On Friday, Oklahoma State Rep. Regina Goodwin announced North Peoria Church of Christ has been awarded a $1.6 million grant from the federal government to conduct a feasibility study on the removal of a stretch of highway that cuts directly through the original Black Wall Street.

North Tulsa church awarded $1.6 million to study removal of I-244 from Greenwood
Public Radio Tulsa March 5, 2023
A north Tulsa church beat out both the city of Tulsa and the state department of transportation for a federal grant.

California Lawmakers Seek to Mend Neighborhoods Torn Apart by Highways
Times of San Diego March 6, 2023
A new select committee  in the California Legislature will explore ways the state can reconnect neighborhoods that decades ago were torn apart by interstates and highways.

The $1 billion push to remove highways dividing communities – Axios
Axios Marc 7, 2023
In an attempt to reverse the socioeconomic harm of planning decisions made decades ago, the federal government is doling out $1 billion over five years to remove highways that divide communities.

Future Highways Don’t Have to Divide Neighborhoods or Nature – Jalopnik
Jalopnik March 7, 2023
Highway expansion is seemingly a fact of life.

What’s next after the Inner Loop? – WXXI News
WXXI News March 7, 2023
What’s next after the Inner Loop? That question is the focus of the next Reshaping Rochester conversation at the Community Design Center Rochester. 

Reconnect Jackson Ward gets federal funding boost – VPM
VPM March 8, 2023
The U.S. Department of Transportation recently announced the city of Richmond would receive $1.3 million to devise a plan for building a cap over Interstate 95.

Can unbuilding highways undo the legacy of racism? – The Week
The Week March 8, 2023
America’s interstate highway system is one of the country’s greatest infrastructure achievements, but it also inflicted great harm on minority communities. 

How To Effectively Fight for Freeway Removal | Planetizen News
Planetizen March 8, 2023
Lessons from community activists around the country provide insight into how ‘freeway fighters’ can leverage recent momentum against road expansions to have more impact in 2023.

Rondo land bridge gets federal boost – Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder
Spokesman Recorder March 8, 2023
ReConnect Rondo has become the first and only Minnesota recipient, so far, of a federal grant to address the Interstate 94 freeway that divided the Black neighborhood of Rondo in St. Paul decades ago. 

Why Cincinnati won’t see highway caps on Fort Washington Way, I-75 any time soon
FOX19 March 8, 2023
 Cincinnati’s application for federal money to advance the capping of Fort Washington Way came up short last week, sending local officials back to the drawing board yet again.

After a two-year pause, feds give Texas the go-ahead to resume a major Houston highway expansion
The Texas Tribune March 8, 2023
Texas has resolved a two-year federal civil rights complaint and will move forward with a major highway expansion in Houston, a project neighborhood groups fear will displace residents and lead to more pollution.

Rest In Pieces, ‘Fix-it-First’: Biden Caves to GOP’s Highway Expansion Obsession
Streetsblog USA March 8, 2023
The Biden administration has caved to GOP pressure and will no longer push states to repair existing highways before building new ones, a move that angered livable cities advocates and rewarded the political pressure of conservative lawmakers.

I-35 expansion divides Austin – Axios
Axios March 8, 2023
The road that’s both bane and lifeblood of Austin could soon get a makeover — despite objections from many quarters of the city.

Philly plans to cap the Vine Street Expressway to reconnect Chinatown – Philadelphia Inquirer
Philadelphia Inquirer March 9, 2023
They’re calling it the Chinatown Stitch, a modest name for a massive construction project that would reconnect the north and south sides of the neighborhood by physically capping the below-ground Vine Street Expressway.

Grant to help connect neighborhoods in Birmingham
WVTM 13 Birmingham March 9, 2023
As the city prepares to get federal grant money to make Birmingham more pedestrian-friendly, leaders said it is an opportunity to build a more equitable city.

Philly wants to ‘stitch’ together Chinatown by capping the Vine Street Expressway – WHYY
WHYY March 9, 2023
Philadelphia could start construction on a highway cap over the Vine Street Expressway in 2028, city officials announced Wednesday.

Texas Highway Project Proceeds Despite Neighborhood Backlash – Bloomberg Law News
Bloomberg Law News March 9, 2023
A controversial highway project in Houston is moving forward after the Biden administration delayed it to probe concerns from environmental and social justice advocates.