Freeway Fighters Digest (week of 12/18)

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.

*Please note the CNU offices are closed next week and you can expect the FFN Digest to return on 1/5/24.

*Please note the December Freeways Fighters Monthly Meetup has been cancelled and meetups will resume in the New Year!

Freeway Fighters News

How do you address highways that have cut through communities? – NPR
NPR December 16, 2023
There’s a federal fund to address highways that cut through minority and low-income neighborhoods, like the Claiborne Expressway in New Orleans. 

Transportation Transformations: How Highway Conversions Can Pave the Way for More Inclusive and Resilient Places
Urban Land Magazine – Urban Land Institute December 16, 2023
Urban highways in the United States have contributed to many of today’s pressing issues, including structural inequities, racial and economic segregation, increased greenhouse gas emissions, elevated exposure to shocks and stresses, and disparities in health outcomes.

Opening of Denver’s New Freeway Cap Park Triggers Gentrification Fears – Planetizen
Planetizen December 16, 2023
Denver’s new four-acre cover park, part of the controversial $1.2 billion reconstruction and widening of Interstate 70, opened earlier this month.

Princeton council pass resolution opposing turnpike expansion – Asbury Park Press
Asbury Park Press December 16, 2023
The Princeton Borough Council and mayor voted this week to oppose New Jersey Turnpike Authority plans that would widen a portion of I-95, citing environmental and traffic congestion concerns.

Austin Allocates Over $15 Million to Spark I-35 ‘Cap and Stitch’ – Hoodline
Hoodline December 16, 2023
Austin City Council has greenlit a substantial financial push for the I-35 overhaul, signing off on more than $15 million to jumpstart the ambitious “cap and stitch” project designed to revitalize and reconnect parts of downtown Austin, as per KXAN.

A New Orleans neighborhood confronts the racist legacy of a toxic stretch of highway – NPR
NPR December 17, 2023
Aside from a few discarded hypodermic needles on the ground, the Hunter’s Field Playground in New Orleans looks almost untouched. 

Christensen: The real threat to the Rio Grande Plan is zero-sum thinking – Building Salt Lake
Building Salt Lake December 18, 2023
A driver, a bicyclist, and a pedestrian were sitting at a bar. 

Pressure builds to put brakes on BQE ‘boondoggle’ – Brooklyn Eagle
Brooklyn Eagle December 19, 2023
An increasing number of Brooklyn civic organizations, transportation experts, and officials are urging Governor Kathy Hochul and the state to put the brakes on what they call a rushed and ill-considered city plan to replace and enlarge “BQE-Central,” a deteriorating, city-owned 1.5 mile section of the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway between Atlantic Avenue and Sands Street.  

California Commission Rejects Highway Expansion Funding | Planetizen News
Planetizen December 19, 2023
In an uncommon move, the California Transportation Commission (CTC) denied funding to a Southern California highway expansion project, reports Melanie Curry in Streetsblog California, serving as “a warning to highway builders that they need to stop fooling around with the California Environmental Quality Act and state climate policy requirements.”

Critics of Kensington project want DOT to step aside – Buffalo News
Buffalo News December 19, 2023
When the New York State Department of Transportation could not reach a community consensus on the redesign of the Scajaquada Expressway, it asked a regional planning agency to step in.

BONUS: Reconnecting Communities (with David Alvarez) | KPBS Public Media
KPBS December 20, 2023
The California legislature is starting a conversation about how to reunite communities that were divided by freeways. 

What to know about Philly’s plan to cap I-676 in Center City: The ‘Chinatown Stitch’
NBC10 Philadelphia December 20, 2023
We now know what plan Philadelphia is backing to reconnect the Chinatown neighborhood decades after the Vine Street Expressway cut it apart.

Project aims to reconnect Chinatown by partially covering Vine Street Expressway – 6ABC
6ABC December 21, 2023
Major changes could be coming to Chinatown as Philadelphia leaders look for ways to minimize the disruption that the Vine Street Expressway caused that community.

The ‘Chinatown Stitch’ looks to rejoin a neighborhood divided by the Vine Street Expressway
Billy Penn December 21, 2023
Capping two and a half blocks of I-676 in Philadelphia will cost about $160 million and be completed by 2030 at the earliest, city officials announced Tuesday.

Design chosen for Chinatown Stitch project would construct two caps above Vine Street Expressway
PhillyVoice December 21, 2023
The city’s preferred design for the Chinatown Stitch project is to construct a pair of caps above the Vine Street Expressway. 

The Worst News of 2023 For Sustainable Transportation Advocates – Streetsblog USA
Streetsblog USA December 22, 2023
There was a lot to celebrate in the movement to end car dependency this year … but we’re not talking about that today.