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'Highway Propaganda' Promotes Widening Projects

Apparently to galvanize public support, the Colorado Department of Transportation and an Ohio chamber of commerce have produced videos touting the benefits of widening projects for low-income communities.
May 10, 2016, 6am PDT | Philip Rojc | @PhilipRojc
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In what Angie Schmitt has dubbed "highway propaganda," the Colorado DOT has spent over $80,000 to produce a half-hour promo video for its I-70 expansion project. A shorter production has also emerged from an Ohio chamber of commerce, promoting the Opportunity Corridor

In Colorado, "the I-70 project will replace 12 miles of aging highway with a new highway, adding four lanes in the process. Because 900 feet of the new highway trench will be covered with a park, the CDOT video helpfully explains that the widening is really all about doing right by immigrant neighborhoods — not moving traffic. Many residents affected by the project beg to differ."

After their widespread vilification in many circles, big roads are resorting to overt public relations. The argumentative thrust of these videos is something like: "This highway isn't like the bad highways of the past — a new breed of road builder has figured out how to make asphalt and traffic lanes work wonders for struggling neighborhoods."

See the full story to watch the videos.

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Published on Tuesday, May 3, 2016 in Streetsblog USA
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