Cities across U.S. spending a fortune to tear down their public highways: Here’s why

Cities across U.S. spending a fortune to tear down their public highways: Here’s why
Yes, we know Route 66 is no longer maintained as a federal highway. But there isn't one more iconic. Pixabay

[Ed. – Maybe less politics and more civic planning would help alleviate the problem.]

A growing movement of local governments and communities across the United States is beginning to grapple with an unfortunate realization: The highway boom of the 1950s and ’60s produced a massive amount of infrastructure that seems to have done more harm than good.

“Highways radically reshaped cities, destroying dense downtown neighborhoods, dividing many Black communities and increasing car dependence,” Nadja Popovich, Josh Williams, and Denise Lu wrote in a recent New York Times article.

Many cities “basically destroyed themselves” in order to accommodate motorists, said University of Connecticut professor Norman Garrick, who is studying the effects of transportation infrastructure on American cities.

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Rochester’s Inner Loop, completed in 1965, is one prominent example. This freeway destroyed hundreds of businesses and homes while separating downtown from the rest of the city, the New York Times reports. And in recent years, local officials have been trying to undo the damage.

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