Neighborhoods United: Highway Removal Gains Steam in U.S. Cities
April 13, 2021 at 4:07 PM - Views: 60 #416755RCW2020Participant
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* Highways built in 1950s, 1960s often cut through minority communities
* Highways can bring health risks and depress local economies
* Removals have spiked across the country in last five years
By Carey L. Biron
WASHINGTON, April 12 (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – Through the years that she has been fighting against it, Amy Stelly’s opponent has remained unmoved, looming nearby and covering her New Orleans home with filth: an elevated highway, towering above her once-thriving neighborhood.
Since its construction in the 1960s, the section of Interstate 10 running above Claiborne Avenue has decimated what used to be the center of the city’s Black community, said Stelly, including businesses and greenery.
Once a bustling retail corridor shaded by mature oak trees, the street satisfied all of the community’s needs, the designer and urban planner told the Thomson Reuters Foundation. “Doctors, dentists, groceries. It was the place to be.”
“Over time, the neighborhood became disinvested and businesses closed,” said Stelly, who has been called a “freeway fighter” for her decade-long struggle to get the city to remove the elevated interstate entirely and reroute traffic.
April 13, 2021 at 9:10 PM #416794YanathParticipant
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What a disaster it was for humanity when American policy planners decided against mass transit.
April 13, 2021 at 9:15 PM #416797Cold Mountain TrailParticipant
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So if the freeway were removed, would it contribute to the gentrification of whatever black neighborhood is left/raise property values/taxes?
Which I guess could have an upside for some, a downside for others.
April 13, 2021 at 9:30 PM #416802rampartParticipant
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it was an injustice picking the claiborne ave area to build the interstate. the alternative (along the river through the french quarter and garden district) was opposed by powerful interests.
now, 1/2 a century later, there is still no alternative route for i10, and tearing down the elevated expressway would be expensive and disruptive. any new route would involve destruction of even more neighborhoods, and a gentrification of the current area would be inevitable, hurting those this plan purports to help.
April 13, 2021 at 9:30 PM #416801HassleCatParticipant
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Eisenhower originally thought the freeways should bypass large cities, with spur roads connecting the freeways to the cities.
April 13, 2021 at 10:46 PM #416837retired liberalParticipant
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“Grew” is the operative word in cities growing towards these interchanges, starting with gas stations and convenience stores. New neighborhoods followed for the workers and owners of the new businesses, till the Interstate were going through the middle of many cities, where Interstates were once miles away, crossing open farm land.
We are an arrogant species, believing our fantasy based "facts" are better than the other person's fake facts.
If you are wrong, it will be because you are not cynical enough.
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April 14, 2021 at 2:45 AM #416886snotParticipant
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the modern day tear-downs never seem to involve giving the areas back to the people whose neighborhoods were destroyed. It always seems to be a developer pushing for it, in order to replace it with the developer’s own, gentrifying project, leaving the already heavily congested traffic to find alternate routes many miles out of their way.
Destruction is easy; creation is hard, but more interesting.
April 14, 2021 at 3:44 AM #416888SatanParticipant
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…but on the slim chance that they actually did do so, it would really only impact “local” traffic in Louisiana, as those who were taking a long road trip on the West – East I-10 corridor would probably take I-12 and bypass the New Orleans area altogether. Hell, another Hurricane Katrina type of flood, and I- 10 will probably turn into a dead end as it is.
"Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable". - John F. Kennedy
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