Shreveport Planning Committee Approves New Highway Through Historically Black Neighborhood

A key committee of the Metropolitan Planning Organization for Shreveport, Louisiana approved a new highway through the neighborhood of Allendale, a historic but struggling neighborhood adjacent to downtown.
August 22, 2017, 5am PDT | James Brasuell | @CasualBrasuell
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Katherine Welles

Lex Talamo reports: "Local planners and politicians on Friday chose a route through Shreveport's Allendale neighborhood as their favored route for a new I-49 connector, prompting an angry response from Allendale advocates."

"The Metropolitan Planning Organization Transportation Policy Committee voted unanimously to endorse the Allendale route over two other options," adds Talamo. "Under the option chosen by the committee, 3.6 miles of highway would be built to fill a perceived gap in I-49, cutting through the northeast corner of the Allendale neighborhood and following 12 Mile Bayou."

The neighborhood of Allendale is a historically black neighborhood, and the Metropolitan Planning Organization Transportation Policy Committee hearing producing the vote also attracted upset residents who shared pointed words with the committee before the vote. Allendale community members also staged a protest in March 2016. The ongoing advocacy wasn't enough, however, to sway the committee.

The vote does not mean final approval for the project, however. The Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development and the Federal Highway Administration will make the final decision on the route of the project. A final decision is also not expected until the third quarter of 2018, according to Talamo.  

For more background on the neighborhood of Allendale, see an article for the Shreveport Times by Maya Lau from November 2014.

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Published on Friday, August 18, 2017 in Shreveport Times
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