Freeway Fighters Digest (weeks of 5/29 & 6/5)

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 Limitations of ‘Reconnecting Communities’ | Planetizen News
Planetizen May 27, 2023
Recognizing the impacts of rampant highway construction and other infrastructure on urban neighborhoods and communities of color, the Reconnecting Communities Act and other recently created federal programs aim to redress the damage.

Through the Eyes of a Journalist: Megan Kimble Reflects on Covering Food Systems …
Planetizen May 28, 2023
Austin, Texas, is feeling the pressures of intense growth and lack of affordable housing.

Highways have sliced through city after city. Can the U.S. undo the damage?
The Seattle Times May 29, 2023
Anthony Roberts set out to walk to a convenience store on the opposite side of a busy highway one afternoon. It wasn’t an easy trip.

Researcher suggests alternatives to widening I-15 – The Salt Lake Tribune
The Salt Lake Tribune May 29, 2023
Research shows that while highway expansion cuts travel times at first, traffic returns as people change their behaviors.

Tulsa Race Massacre: Ramifications of what happened in 1921 can still be seen today
Utah Public Radio May 31, 2023
It was May 31, 1921. It saw the beginning of one of this country’s most horrifying episodes of racist mob violence.

Albany Freeway Ramp Reimagined as Park, Trail | Planetizen News
Planetizen May 31, 2023
An underutilized former freeway ramp in Albany, New York was converted into a linear park, providing a model for how freeways and their surrounding infrastructure can be transformed into useful neighborhood amenities.

New legislation protects Hmong farming collective in Dakota County – Sahan Journal
Sahan Journal May 31, 2023
The future of a Dakota County farming collective run by Hmong American families is secure thanks to recently passed legislation.

DOT’s Reconnecting Communities highway removal program lacks performance measures
Smart Cities Dive June 1, 2023
The Department of Transportation’s Reconnecting Communities Pilot Program lacks measurable objectives, methods to assess data and evaluate plans, and ways to share lessons learned to inform future decisions, the U.S. Government Accountability Office found in a May 24 report.

Utah DOT Plans to Expand Interstate Despite Local Concerns | Planetizen News
Planetizen June 1, 2023
An article by Megan Banta in The Salt Lake Tribune describes the growing opposition to the widening of Interstate 15 in Salt Lake and Davis counties, with some local residents and advocates including Salt Lake City Mayor Erin Mendenhall questioning the utility of adding roadway capacity.

With $9B in Transportation Funding, Minnesota Looks to Meet Climate Goals – Route Fifty
Route Fifty June 1, 2023
Minnesota lawmakers this year did not just pass a huge increase in transportation funding.

Rail, mass transit projects are needed – The Nevada Independent
The Nevada Independent June 1, 2023
Whichever locomotive excursion you think is more fun, what isn’t fun is Interstate 15 between Southern California and Las Vegas. 

Biden made big promises about fixing America’s racist highways. What happened?
Fast Company June 2, 2023
Two years ago, federal transportation officials invoked a 1960s law in response to a 1960s-style highway project.

New promo emerges for downtown’s highway-capping Stitch project | Urbanize Atlanta
Urbanize Atlanta June 2, 2023
If there was any doubt where Atlanta’s 61st mayor stands on whether downtown’s highway-capping park concept is a sound use of energy and resources, that should be erased now.

Researchers, activists sound alarm on highway widening – Davis Enterprise
Davis Enterprise June 3, 2023
The Yolo Causeway commute is no joke.

I-475 expansion leaving Toledo neighbors worried about their homes – WTVG
WTVG June 3, 2023
Expansion plans for I-475 in west Toledo are underway and some people living near it have some serious concerns about losing their homes.

Why It’s So Hard to Tear Down a Crumbling Highway Nearly Everyone Hates
The New York Times June 4, 2023
These days, hardly anyone in Syracuse sees the hulking Interstate 81 viaduct as anything but a menace, an ugly 1.4-mile overpass that spews noise and pollution and has steadily worsened race relations in the city.

The road ahead | KPBS Public Media
KPBS June 7, 2023
San Diego is closer to removing a freeway than you might realize.

Our Way – AND – The Highway – Buffalo Rising
Buffalo Rising June 8, 2023
Since the very first shovel hit the ground, the Kensington Expressway has been the center of controversy – controversy for its destruction of the city’s urban fabric – controversy for its disruption of neighborhood life – controversy for its concentration of noise and toxic pollutants into a narrow channel – controversy for draining the lifeblood from some of the city’s most important business arterials – and finally, controversy for its savage obliteration of Olmsted’s grandest parkway.

Federal Infrastructure Dollars Funding Road Expansions | Planetizen News
Planetizen June 9, 2023
Far from kickstarting a transformative change in transportation policy, the 2021 bipartisan infrastructure law continues to fund traditional road-building projects.