Freeway Fighters Digest (weeks of 5/13 & 5/20)

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.

*Moving forward, the Freeway Fighters Digest will go out on Thursday afternoons*

Freeway Fighters News

On A Road to Nowhere? Military Urbanism and the Architecture of Segregation
Metro Politics May 2024
By the late 1960s, Belfast was experiencing many of the secular challenges that afflicted industrial cities across western Europe and the US at that time (Bryan 2012). 

Desperate for freeway funds, transportation commission mulls all bad options
BikePortland May 11, 2024
Because the State of Oregon has routinely over-committed to building freeway expansion megaprojects without the means to pay for them, its transportation department now finds itself with only bad choices. 

Sweeping Overhaul of Crumbling BQE Likely Delayed Until 2028
Brownstoner May 11, 2024
Major capital reconstruction work on the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway’s crumbling cantilever in Brooklyn Heights is now not expected to commence until 2028 at the earliest.

Former Milwaukee mayor and CNU chief John Norquist on why Chicago should demolish the Ohio Feeder
Streetsblog Chicago May 11, 2024
John Norquist previously served as the mayor of Milwaukee and president of Congress for the New Urbanism, a nonprofit that promotes ideas for making cities more people-friendly. 

UT pledges $13.5 million to cover I-35 from Dean Keeton to 15th Street May 11, 2024
The University of Texas is making a $13.5 million down payment to cover I-35 from 15th Street to Dean Keeton, a feat that will be made possible by a state project to widen and lower the highway through Central Austin.

Austin Council urging more environmental study on I-35 expansion
KVUE May 13, 2024
The nearly $5 billion project to expand eight miles of Interstate 35 through Downtown Austin to 20 lanes has been a source for controversy for quite some time, and some Austin City Council members are continuing to raise concerns about the project.  

Transit advocates slam New York State for planned larger highways
New York Daily News May 13, 2024
Transit advocates are slamming New York State for putting an estimated $5 billion into wider highways in the five boroughs.

Pete Buttigieg says federal dollars should help mend Philadelphia’s Chinatown
NBC News May 13, 2024
Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg said it’s up to the federal government to remedy its past infrastructure wrongs that have harmed valuable local communities.

Detroit highway to become boulevard to address wrongs to Black communities
Yahoo Movies Canada May 13, 2024
A Detroit interstate highway whose construction devastated two historically Black neighborhoods will be turned into an urban boulevard – one of 26 major infrastructure projects that will be newly funded by the Biden administration.

Chinatown residents recount fight against I-676 in new video
Axios May 14, 2024
Chinatown residents are sharing stories about how the Vine Street Expressway divided their neighborhood in a new video about capping I-676.

Proposal to delay I-35 expansion project rejected – Austin
KVUE May 14, 2024
Plans to expand Interstate 35 through Central Austin are moving ahead as planned, after a proposal to slow the project failed.

Funding for I-35 expansion approved despite Austin city council’s environmental concerns
CBS Austin May 14, 2024
The Capital Area Metropolitan Planning Organization approved funding for the I-35 Capital Express Central Project Monday despite a motion from a delegation of Austin city council members who wished to postpone the funding until key environmental studies could be completed and incorporated into the project’s plans.

Chinatown Stitch gets a starring role in a new documentary from Pete Buttigieg
Philadelphia Inquirer May 15, 2024
The Capital Area Metropolitan Planning Organization approved funding for the I-35 Capital Express Central Project Monday despite a motion from a delegation of Austin city council members who wished to postpone the funding until key environmental studies could be completed and incorporated into the project’s plans.

Freeway opponents launch latest effort to stymie a contentious Portland highway project
Oregon Public Broadcasting May 15, 2024
As plans to widen and cover a section of Interstate 5 through Portland’s Rose Quarter move forward, community groups and anti-highway advocates are once again suing to stymie the long-contentious project.

The Fight to Reclaim Texas’s Highways for People
Next City May 15, 2024
Freeways rip apart neighborhoods, displace primarily Black and Brown people and increase greenhouse gas emissions — so why do we keep building them?

Widening freeways doesn’t fix urban traffic. Texas does it anyway.
Houston Chronicle May 16, 2024
One day in June 2014, Jay Blazek Crossley was sitting at his desk in Houston watching C-SPAN. 

New lawsuit says I-5 Rose Quarter freeway expansion runs afoul of city, regional plans 
BikePortland May 16, 2024
If you’re new to the I-5 Rose Quarter project and never looked too far beyond recent headlines or press releases, you’d think it was a community redevelopment project that will build a highway cover, restore a vibrant community, and add a bunch of new bike facilities to surface streets.

Detroit residents, business owners draft petition to halt I-375 redevelopment
WDET 101.9 FM May 17, 2024
A group of metro Detroiters sent a letter to Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan this week asking them to revisit ideas for the future of I-375 in downtown Detroit.

Group of 500 residents calls for halt to I-375 project 
The Detroit News May 17, 2024
A group of about 500 residents is calling for state leaders and developers to reconsider the Interstate 375 “reconnecting communities” project that would convert the Detroit freeway into a street-level six-lane boulevard, saying they worry about a redesign affecting quality of life and economic vitality of the area.

Portland Transportation and Climate Groups Sue Over I-5 Expansion Plan
Portland Mercury May 17, 2024
The Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) has spent the better part of the last decade trying to change the public narrative about its plan to expand I-5 through Portland’s Rose Quarter. 

First step for creating downtown’s Stitch is happening. Right now
Urbanize Atlanta May 17, 2024
Believe it or not, nearly eight years have passed since Atlantans got their first peek at plans for a city-altering, multifaceted park created from thin air above downtown freeway lanes.

Who pays for Texas highways?
KUT May 20, 2024
Texas boasts a sprawling highway network with more than 200,000 miles of lanes — almost the distance from Earth to the moon.

Group urges MDOT to halt I-375 Reconnecting Communities project in Detroit
Michigan Advance May 21, 2024
A group of nearly 500 people has asked the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) to halt its controversial I-375 Reconnecting Communities project.

Reparative I-375 talks focus on efforts to honor historic Black neighborhoods 
BridgeDetroit May 21, 2024
A plan to reshape a stretch of freeway between Detroit’s downtown and lower east side neighborhoods is more than an infrastructure project.

DFW cannot “build out” of traffic troubles
NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth May 21, 2024
Decades of rapid population growth in Dallas-Fort Worth has brought about a problem with no easy solutions – no amount of highway construction can “build” North Texas out of its growing traffic troubles.