Running freeways through cities has often been a costly mistake. So, what now?
Iject about a year ago, I quoted my friend and former co-author Don Chen on the subject. Some of the passage that I quoted from our 1999 book, Once There Were Greenfields, bears repeating here:
“During the first decade of Interstate highway construction, 335,000 homes were razed, forcing families to look elsewhere for housing . . .
“In Tennessee, plans for the construction of Interstate 40 were in fact redrawn to route the highway through the flourishing Jefferson Street corridor, home to roughly 80 percent of Nashville’s African-American-owned businesses. Not only did the construction of I-40 destroy this commercial district; it also demolished 650 homes and 27 apartment buildings while erecting physical barriers separating the city’s largest African-American universities: Fisk University, Tennessee A & I University, and Meharry Medical College.”