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Notebook and Pen


Low-income Neighborhoods split by highways set to receive Federal Funds

This is just 1 step in the right direction to address the compounded ripple effects that were caused when many once thriving neighborhoods were gutted with infrastructure projects running through the community. It's very much an overlooked part of our history that needs to be brought to light.

From CoStar:

Funds Set for Reconnecting Areas Split by Highways

By Lou Hirsh CoStar News

July 4, 2022 | 8:36 P.M.

The federal government is investing $1 billion to help cities reconnect low-income neighborhoods that were split or sometimes decimated by interstate highway construction starting in the 1950s.

The Transportation Department is letting cities and states apply for federal aid over the next five years to help repair long-term economic damage done to residential and commercial districts that were thriving hubs before the creation of what was at that time the largest public works program in the nation’s history.

Projects to be financed under the Reconnecting Communities program, part of the infrastructure bill approved last year, could include repurposing former rail lines for residential and commercial use, funding new bus or other transit lines and building parks and other public spaces on top of underpasses. Officials said communities also might pursue development of bike and pedestrian walkways over busy roadways, and in some cases seek to remove portions of highways.

“Transportation can connect us to jobs, service and loved ones, but we’ve also seen countless cases around the country where a piece of infrastructure cuts off a neighborhood or a community because of how it was built,” Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg said in a June 30 statement launch of the program.

As more than 40,000 miles of federal highways were built over two decades, about 475,000 households with more than 1 million people were displaced nationwide, according to Transportation Department estimates. In the process, poor neighborhoods lost crucial small businesses that had served local residents and created jobs for generations.

The Associated Press, citing economic advocacy groups, reported that there are more than 50 citizen-led efforts nationwide seeking to dismantle or redesign existing highways, in cities including New Orleans; Houston; Portland, Oregon; St. Paul, Minnesota; and Syracuse, New York.


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