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Trading Highways for Homes
David Harrison writes of efforts of numerous cities around the country to remove highway lanes, rather than construct new lanes:
In Rochester and several other American cities, some of the biggest highway infrastructure projects under consideration involve demolition rather than construction. Removals are being considered for stretches of highway in Detroit, Tampa, Fla., Baltimore and elsewhere. They are following in the footsteps of cities such as Portland, Ore., Milwaukee and Chattanooga, Tenn., all of which have removed highways.
Harrison launches this examination of the highway removal trend with the example of Rochester, summarizing the success of an effort to build a neighborhood in place of the Inner Loop in economic development terms: "$229 million in new investment, including 519 homes and 45,000 square feet of commercial space."
The article includes a description of the history of the kinds of highways, some a part of the country's Interstate highway system, now being removed in these cities. Harrison also notes the destructive history of highway planning on predominantly African-American neighborhoods.