"Neighborhoods United: Highway Removal Gains Steam In U.S. Cities"

"Biden proposal includes first major focus on restructuring roadways that divided cities and cut off minority neighborhoods"

"WASHINGTON - Through the years that she has been fighting against it, Amy Stelly's opponent has remained unmoved, looming nearby and covering her New Orleans home with filth: an elevated highway, towering above her once-thriving neighborhood.

Since its construction in the 1960s, the section of Interstate 10 running above Claiborne Avenue has decimated what used to be the center of the city's Black community, said Stelly, including businesses and greenery.

Once a bustling retail corridor shaded by mature oak trees, the street satisfied all of the community's needs, the designer and urban planner told the Thomson Reuters Foundation. "Doctors, dentists, groceries. It was the place to be."

"Over time, the neighborhood became disinvested and businesses closed," said Stelly, who has been called a "freeway fighter" for her decade-long struggle to get the city to remove the elevated interstate entirely and reroute traffic."

Carey L. Biron reports for Thomson Reuters Foundation April 12, 2021.

Source: Thomson Reuters Fdn., 04/13/2021