Beginning in the years after World War II, the Black neighborhoods around the United States were destroyed and replaced by highways in the name of urban renewal. But the Harris County folks, Texas had enough. The County is suing the state to stop the I-45 expansion that will displace more than 1,000 households, and most will affect people of color and low-income residents.
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The plan is to raise segments of the Highway in North Houston and some extra lanes. In addition to the 1,079 affected households, the widening of the highway will displace 341 businesses, two schools and five churches. Flooding, traffic, and higher levels of air pollution cause other concerns.
The Biden the government and the Federal Highway Administration have spoken out in support of residents’ civil rights.
“This is an opportunity for this new administration to really support what they have said about the extended highway projects. Environmental racism, ”Said Bakeyah Nelson of Air Alliance Houston, as reported by The guardian. Nelson thinks it was a mistake to build freeway homes in the first place. “These affordable housing units are located in locations where they have faced greater environmental hazards than those further off the highway,” she said.
The state was facing a $ 7 billion expansion plan, saying it needed to update the highway and improve its capacity. But not all studies contradict the argument that more lanes lead to less congestion. Analysis of an earlier in-house highway expansion project Houston It concluded that it increases the average commute time for about 85% of motorists using the highway (and that highway spans 26 lanes at its widest point).
“For a generation, we continued to build more lanes, pour more concrete, thinking that somehow it would magically reduce traffic,” said Lina Hidalgo, Harris County Judge, “We cannot continue to support priority traffic policy,” said in a news conference on March 11 car than people. “
Picture over Patrick Feller