The Congress for the New Urbanism's "Freeways Without Future 2021" report leverages the current political moment by spotlighting 15 U.S highways for removal.
An article on the CNU Public Journal blog details the purpose the report—arguing for the removal of highways as a path to community revitalization and economic development. These are the freeways, according to the report "that have left a terrible legacy and incredible hurdles for the people who live around them."
"The highways featured in this report for too long have served as a barrier between neighborhoods and polluted nearby communities, more often than not home to African-Americans and other people of color," according to the article. "Now, with these highways reaching the end of their designed lifespans, it is time to repair the damage and channel the benefits to members of the current community."
The article places the report in context of the potentially radically transformation of U.S. infrastructure priorities as a primary motivator of the Biden administration's American Jobs Plan. "The Biden administration is pursuing a federal highway removal program as part of the American Jobs Act that, if passed, considers for the first time the social and economic ramifications of highway infrastructure and both acknowledges and repairs the damage that federal infrastructure projects have caused."
The article also claims that many cities have already removed some of the worst highways in the country—as evidenced by Planetizen's "Freeway Removal" tag as well as an article by David Leonhardt for the New York Times, published just days before the most recent "Freeways Without Futures" report.
Without further ado, here is the list of 15 total highways, with more details for each highway on the other side of each link below:
- Brooklyn-Queens Expressway, New York, New York
- Claiborne Expressway (I-10), New Orleans, Louisiana
- Inner Loop North, Rochester, New York
- I-244, Tulsa, Oklahoma
- I-275, Tampa, Florida
- I-345, Dallas, Texas
- I-35, Austin, Texas
- I-35, Duluth, Minnesota
- I-5, Seattle, Washington
- I-81, Syracuse, New York
- I-980, Oakland, California
- Kensington Expressway, Buffalo, New York
- North Loop (I-35/70), Kansas City, Missouri
- Scajaquada Expressways, Buffalo, New York
- The Great Highway, San Francisco, California
Local news coverage followed the release of the "Freeways Without Futures 2021" report, including the following:
- Interstate 81 in Syracuse ranked among 15 worst urban highways in America (Syracuse.com, June 1, 2021)
- I-345 Back on CNU’s ‘Freeways Without Futures’ List (D Magazine, June 2, 2021)
- I-244 Through Greenwood Listed In National 'Freeways Without Futures' Report (Public Radio Tulsa, June 4, 2021)
- Seattle’s I-5 Named ‘Freeway Without a Future’ (The Urbanist, June 7, 2021)
Keanu Reeves Set to Play Daniel Burnham in ‘The Devil in the White City’
Planning is going to get a new level of star power as a limited series adaptation of The Devil in the White City gets ready for television screens in 2024.
Opinion: Aging Population, Declining Fertility Requires Long-Term Investments
Faced with the dire consequences of a one-two punch of aging populations and declining birthrates, one writer has suggestions for how policy can help ensure a better future.
Marrying Urban Identity and Economic Prosperity
A new book posits that truly successful communities have a strong economic base and a firmly rooted sense of place.
Could Los Angeles Emulate Barcelona’s ‘Superblocks’?
A proposal in the city council could bring the ‘superblock’ model to Los Angeles, opening up neighborhood streets to more biking, walking, and public amenities.
San Antonio Office Tower To Become Residential
With the building more than half vacant, the new owners of the Tower Life Building plan to convert the historic tower into residences that could include affordable housing.
Freeway Removal Movement Slowly Gains Steam
Although the concept has recently received more national attention thanks in part to the federal Reconnecting Communities Act, cities have shown reluctance to support highway removal projects.
Sun City Center Community Association, Inc
City of Mesa
Town of Gilbert, Arizona
This six-course series explores essential urban design concepts using open source software and equips planners with the tools they need to participate fully in the urban design process.