A Bronx Tale: Freeway Widening Halted

Lessons from the Bronx: A community can halt a road expansion project if they get involved and make their voices heard. In this case, the NY DOT listened and thus chose not to widen exit ramps during a rehabilitation project on the Major Deegan.
November 30, 2009, 1pm PST | Irvin Dawid
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The Major Deegan is now part of Interstate 87. Work began on the Bronx roadway in 1935 by Robert Moses with the backing of the Regional Plan Association. During this latest episode of its long history, the community rallied to prevent an expansion of exit ramps proposed by the state DOT.

"Every speaker at a public hearing at Hostos Community College on Nov. 9 denounced the state proposal. Some speakers also expressed concern that efforts to ease congestion would simply attract more cars, and more pollution. Others criticized plans to use eminent domain to seize existing businesses in order to make room for the new ramps.

"We need more jobs, more affordable housing, more clean air, not more highway," said Mychal Johnson, a member of Community Board 1 who initiated a petition campaign against the state plan. "The Deegan should be repaired, but not expanded," he said in an interview.

Opponents were particularly incensed that the Deegan plan ignored the city's desire to transform the Harlem River waterfront with a zoning plan passed last spring designed to attract developers to build high-rise apartments, new commercial buildings and a hotel."

Thanks to Streetsblog New York City

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Published on Tuesday, November 24, 2009 in Mott Haven Herald
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