Neighborhoods United: Highway Removal Gains Steam in U.S. Cities

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    • #416755
      • Total Posts: 488

      * 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.


    • #416794
      • Total Posts: 1,805

      What a disaster it was for humanity when American policy planners decided against mass transit.

    • #416797
      Cold Mountain Trail
      • Total Posts: 12,404

      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.


      • #416802
        • Total Posts: 579

        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.

    • #416801
      • Total Posts: 6,577

      Eisenhower originally thought the freeways should bypass large cities, with spur roads connecting the freeways to the cities.

      • #416837
        retired liberal
        • Total Posts: 3,826

        “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.
        The older we get, the less "Life in Prison" is a deterrent.
        Always wear a proper mask when out and about. The life you save could be both yours and mine.

    • #416886
      • Total Posts: 1,179

      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.

    • #416888
      • Total Posts: 4,621

      …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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