By Kea Wilson November 3, 2022
Amassive coalition of advocates is calling on the federal Department of Transportation to make sure a historic fund that could tear down harmful urban highways across America isn’t used to expand or maintain them instead. On Thursday, a group of 114 organizations led by nonprofit America Walks published a fiery open letter to Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg demanding that the U.S. DOT prioritize truly transformative applications for the $1-billion Reconnecting Communities Program, which was created under the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act last year. Originally billed as a historic highway removal effort aimed at redressing decades of intergenerational harm done to Black and low-income communities during the construction of the interstate highway system, Reconnecting Communities has since morphed into a flexible fund that can also be used to make comparatively modest improvements, like pedestrian bridges, underpass parks, and greenways that allow auto-centric roads to remain intact.
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