Freeway Fighters Digest (week of 10/30)

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

Phase one components of downtown’s Stitch start to emerge | Urbanize Atlanta
Urbanize Atlanta October 28, 2023
Concrete plans are starting to emerge for how downtown Atlanta’s ambitious, highway-capping greenspace project might initially come together.…

I lost my job for speaking out against a California freeway widening
San Francisco Chronicle October 28, 2023
Last month, I was removed from my executive role at California’s Department of Transportation, Caltrans, because I spoke out — again — about the agency’s mindless impulse to add more freeway lanes.

Metro Equity Assessments find Metro Freeway Widening Projects are Good for Low Income …
Streetsblog LA October 28, 2023
Metro adopted its Equity Platform in 2018. 

Column: What a refusal to study turning a freeway into housing says about LA’s future
Los Angeles Times October 28, 2023
Until a few days ago, Michael Schneider truly believed that his nonprofit, Streets For All, had solid enough political support to pursue what was certain to be an unpopular idea in L.A.: a study of whether it makes sense to rip up a Westside freeway and replace it with affordable housing and a humongous park.

Reckoning 375: How New Orleans prioritized people over pavement – WDET 101.9 FM
WDET October 28, 2023
In the latest installment of Detroit Today’s special series, Reckoning 375, we continue our look at the plans to replace I-375 with a six-lane boulevard, and how the city is engaging community members affected by the freeway’s initial construction — which tore through the predominately Black communities of Paradise Valley and Black Bottom.

The I-35 Expansion in Austin, Texas Shows Why States Should Never Control Their Own …
Streetsblog USA October 30, 2023
A little-known loophole in federal law allows states like Texas to rubber-stamp their own environmental reviews — even when the projects they’re reviewing are harmful highway boondoggles.

Colorado built a park over I-70 to contain pollution. Is the air safe to breathe?
Colorado Public Radio October 30, 2023
Asthma is a fact of life for Yadira Sanchez. The longtime north Denver resident shares the condition with her three children.

Confronting the Racist Legacy of Urban Highways | ArchDaily
ArchDaily October 31, 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. 

Alabama accused of ‘highway robbery’ following flooding of predominantly-Black community
ABC News November 1, 2023
In a small Alabama community, residents claim state officials have dodged accountability for what they call environmental racism.

Lansing seeks federal grant to reconnect communities affected by I-496 – WKAR
WKAR November 1, 2023
The city of Lansing is seeking a federal grant to support communities that have been harmed by the construction of I-496.

Local leaders plan to reconnect South St. Pete, downtown
St Pete Catalyst November 1, 2023
When construction of Interstate 175 began in the late 1970s, South St. Petersburg neighborhoods were bifurcated.

Should NYC build a park on a sunken stretch of the BQE? – Gothamist
Gothamist November 1, 2023
The Department of Transportation laid out some of its proposals for the reimagining of the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway at a community workshop Monday night — including one to cover the sunken stretch of the road by building a park on top of it.

Sacramento’s Highway 50 construction: What are we suffering for?
The Sacramento Bee November 2, 2023
Just after 9 a.m. on a Wednesday, a sign before the Stockton Boulevard exit warned Sacramento drivers that the speed limit was 55 mph in the construction zone.

LA Mayor Bass caves to Freeway to Nowhere NIMBYs, and new fed bill aims to protect … – BikinginLA
BikinginLA November 2, 2023
Los Angeles Times columnist Erika D. Smith asks why the city won’t even study removing the 90 Freeway stub to nowhere, after the mayor and other local officials caved to LA’s notorious NIMBYs.

Why Freeway Fighters Will Hold the Biggest Anti-Highway Rally in Texas – Streetsblog USA
Streetsblog USA November 3, 2023
In August 2022, I met freeway fighters from all across Texas at the State Highway Building in downtown Austin. 

An Interview With the Producer of WGBH’s ‘The Big Dig’ Podcast – StreetsBlog Mass
StreetsBlog Mass – Streetsblog USA November 3, 2023
Earlier this fall, GBH News and PRX launched “The Big Dig,” a nine-episode podcast that tells the history of Boston’s turn-of-the-century highway expansion that became the most expensive road project in the nation’s history.