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Advocates Warn ‘Reconnecting Communities’ Program Could Actually Expand Highways

StreetsBlog USA

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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