Grassroots Activism Wins a Road Diet Instead of a Road Widening in Toledo
A year ago, the city of Toledo received an $11 million federal grant to add a fifth lane to a road between West Toledo and the Ottawa Hills suburb.
The project would have required demolishing at least 12 homes. But thanks to the organizing of longtime resident Dana Dunbar, the city has now agreed to abandon the road-widening plan, federal funding and all; in fact, Dunbar is now working to get the street reduced to just three lanes.
Streetsblog USA's Angie Schmitt spoke to Dunbar, a small business owner, about how this campaign launched her into transportation advocacy. After researching walkability and complete streets, she was able to mobilize the community to bring forth a perspective that the city engineers hadn't considered.
“They said, ‘It’s a collector arterial,'” Dunbar recalled. “But we said, ‘No, it’s a neighborhood.”