Freeway Fighters Digest (week of 10/2)

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.

There have recently been multiple reports produced about the future of transportation in California that have relevance to Freeway Fighters nationwide. Check them out!

California at a Crossroads: Unleashing Climate Progress in Transportation Planning: “When we measure driving levels in vehicle miles traveled (VMT), the trendline in the data is clear: despite urgent calls and promises from the state to reduce car dependence, vehicle use continues to rise. The good news is that practical solutions to these problems are available, should elected officials and agency leadership choose to invest in smarter transportation policy.”

Closing the Climate Investment Gap: California Must Prioritize Climate-Smart Transportation Projects: “The danger of climate change to Californians is more obvious than ever, with extreme weather and climate-related disasters making it clear that the status quo cannot continue. Because transportation is the largest source of GHG emissions in California, reaching these goals will require both rapid vehicle electrification and reducing vehicle miles traveled (VMT) by investing in low-carbon mobility like public transit, bike paths, and pedestrian safety improvements across the state.”

Freeway Fighters News

Saturday Essay: Highway use doesn’t justify I-475 project – Toledo Blade
Toledo Blade September 30, 2023
It’s interesting to compare Ohio Department of Transportation’s plan to expand I‑475’s northern leg, through dense residential neighborhoods, to multiple highway projects from around the country.

Can city help ease the I-37 divide between East Side and downtown? – San Antonio Express-News
San Antonio Express-News October 2, 2023
Interstate 37 has long stood as a barrier separating San Antonio’s East Side from downtown.

Confronting the Racist Legacy of Urban Highways – The Dirt (ASLA)
The Dirt (ASLA) – American Society of Landscape Architects October 2, 2023
Highways, in their inanimate state, cannot be racist. However, the forces that located them and the consequences of their placement are inextricably connected to race.

Mobility Committee airs financial, environmental concerns over I-35 expansion – Austin Monitor
Austin Monitor October 3, 2023
City Council members expressed a variety of concerns about the Interstate 35 expansion through downtown Austin, including a desire that the state and Capital Area Metropolitan Planning Organization delay funding approvals on the $4.5 billion project until concerns over construction-related greenhouse gas emissions can be addressed.

‘Let’s think long-term’: Public feedback sessions held on Brewers bill, Stadium Freeway future
CBS 58 October 3, 2023
Everyday people had the chance Monday evening to be heard on a pair of issues that could drastically change how Milwaukee looks for decades to come. 

Renowned consultant sees a bright future for Akron’s Innerbelt that honors its past
Crain’s Cleveland Business October 4, 2023
Akron is about to learn more about what could be its most important new development in decades — one that could produce recreation space, honor local history, and result in new housing and commercial development.

Caltrans official says she was demoted for objecting to highway expansion – POLITICO
Politico October 4, 2023
A top California transportation official who was reassigned last month told POLITICO she was demoted for objecting to highway expansions that will increase driving.

Are States Misusing Sustainability Infrastructure Project Funds To Expand Highways?
For Construction Pros October 5, 2023
In September, the deputy director of planning and modal programs, Jeanie Ward-Waller, was unceremoniously removed from her position at the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans). 

California Spends Too Little on Environmentally Friendly Transportation Options
Streetsblog California – Streetsblog USA October 6, 2023
Transportation is the largest contributor to climate emissions and pollution in California.