Freeway Fighters Digest (week of 9/25)

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 Devou Good Foundation has offered to match up to $10,000 in contributions to ensure that our national in-person convening of Freeway Fighters is a success. This convening is a critical step to building our movement. And for it to work, we need to make sure that frontline advocates can attend, regardless of their financial means.

Meeting the match will not only make the conference a success – it will also demonstrate to major funders that there is strong grassroots support for our mission. So please consider making a contribution before the match closes! If you have already donated – thank you!

Freeway Fighters News

In Harrisonburg, reconnecting Northeast will help heal urban renewal’s old wounds
Virginia Mercury September 23, 2023
Before 1960, Harrisonburg’s Northeast neighborhood was a vibrant, predominantly Black community filled with homes, businesses and families striving toward a brighter future during the height of America’s Civil Rights Movement. 

To Subduct the Viaduct – The Broadsheet
The Broadsheet September 23, 2023
Manhattan Borough President Mark Levine is proposing to demolish the FDR Drive viaduct between the Brooklyn Bridge and the Battery, replacing it with a grade-level boulevard that would feature new park space and lanes for cyclists and pedestrians.

This L.A. freeway is the butt of many jokes. Can it have new life as parks and housing?
Los Angeles Times September 23, 2023
The Marina Freeway has long been a peculiarity on the map of Southern California.

Austin vying for federal grant for I-35 Cap and Stitch program
KXAN September 23, 2023
Austin City Council approved Thursday submitting a federal grant application for construction funding assistance with its Our Future 35 Cap and Stitch program.

Austin competing to get $105 million to build caps & stitches over I-35
CBS Austin September 23, 2023
The City of Austin is trying to get $105 million in federal dollars to transform Interstate-35 through downtown Austin.

Joe Louis Greenway, I-375 projects providing chance for Detroit to ‘act with equity’
Crain’s Detroit September 23, 2023
Taking lessons from the city’s past, leaders behind two major projects taking shape in Detroit are looking at ways to ensure Detroiters benefit and aren’t harmed by them.

Could a Marina del Rey freeway become a park? – Santa Monica Daily Press
Santa Monica Daily Press September 23, 2023
The 90-freeway in Marina Del Rey is a vestigial roadway left over from a bygone era’s freeway expansion boom and like an appendix or wisdom teeth, a new group thinks the community would be better if it were removed.

CDTA CEO on connecting Capital Region’s major communities – Spectrum News
Spectrum News September 25, 2023
When it comes to reconnecting upstate New York communities with their underutilized waterfronts, our In Focus conversation expands to transportation and transit opportunities across entire regions. 

I-35 remains a work in progress | BusinessNorth Exclusives
Business North September 25, 2023
Many recently reported ideas for modifying I-35 through downtown Duluth put the cart ahead of the construction horse, according to the director of the district for the Minnesota Department of Transportation and a city planner.

Manhattan BP proposes razing part of FDR Drive and replacing it with green space – 6sqft
6sqft September 26, 2023
Manhattan Borough President Mark Levine has a plan to revitalize Lower Manhattan’s waterfront by tearing down part of FDR Drive. 

Split by I-37, San Antonio seeks federal funds to reconnect East Side to downtown
San Antonio Report September 27, 2023
The City of San Antonio plans to compete for a piece of $4 billion in federal funding aimed at reconnecting historically disadvantaged communities that have been divided by highways or other transportation facilities.

Proposal Would Transform L.A.’s ‘Freeway to Nowhere’ Into Park, Housing – Planetizen
Planetizen September 27, 2023
A Los Angeles freeway segment—alternately known as the Marina Freeway, “the Slauson Freeway, the Richard M. Nixon Freeway and, as Johnny Carson once mocked it, the Slauson Cutoff”—could make way for housing and a massive park, if a group of community activists has its way.

California Has to Stop Building Freeways. Now.
Streetsblog California – Streetsblog USA September 27, 2023
“We’re not the first ones to point this stuff out,” said David Weiskopf, Senior Policy Advisor with Next Gen, about its new report “California at a Crossroads,” which calls for an end to “California’s traffic-creating, pave-the-earth approach to transportation.”

Austin in Race Against Time to Secure Freeway Cap Funding | Planetizen News
Planetizen September 27, 2023
As the Texas Department of Transportation plows ahead with plans to expand Interstate 35 through downtown Austin in spite of local opposition to the project, local leaders hope to secure federal funding for freeway caps to mitigate the impact.

‘A lot of unanswered questions’: opposition to Kensington Expressway Project – WKBW
WKBW September 29, 2023
 The proposed Kensington Expressway Project will get a $1 billion makeover to reconstruct the highway that has divided Buffalo’s East Side community.

Buffalo residents vocalize array of concerns with Kensington Expressway project – Audacy
Audacy September 29, 2023
Residents and activists in Buffalo shared many concerns and thoughts with the New York State Department of Transportation at the Buffalo Museum of Science via public hearing on Wednesday in regards to the NYSDOT’s proposed draft plans and environmental assessment for the $1 billion Kensington Expressway project.

Austin I-35 Highway Expansion Moves Ahead, Despite Climate Fears – Bloomberg September 29, 2023
In 2021, when Eileen McGinnis learned that the Texas Department of Transportation wanted to expand Interstate 35 through the heart of Austin, she didn’t initially think about climate change.

Report: Bike Lanes Can’t Make up for New Roads | Planetizen News
Planetizen September 29, 2023
A new report calls on California to rethink its “traffic-creating, pave-the-earth approach to transportation,” highlighting the environmental and public health impacts of rampant freeway construction.

TxDOT ignored I-35 expansion health concerns, county says – Austin Monitor
Austin Monitor September 29, 2023
The Travis County Commissioners Court says the Texas Department of Transportation has ignored their concerns about the impact of Interstate 35 expansion on the health of Austin residents.