First, the US Secretary of Transportation Anthony Foxx tweeted this:
Transportation is a community function. If it doesn’t work for the entire community, the system doesn’t work. http://wapo.st/1pWSnMi
Then the mayor of Los Angeles Eric Garcetti (who is top notch) retweeted, adding:
Mayor of Los Angeles Retweeted Anthony Foxx
Goal of transportation is to connect communities & bring us together. Good to see
@SecretaryFoxx say just that.
They’re both responding to an article today in the WaPo about highway tear-outs. I expect Secretary Foxx wants his legacy to be righting the wrongs done so long ago (and still today in some cases):
●Miami: “I-95 cut the heart out of Overtown, a thriving black community.”
●New York City: “They call the Staten Island Expressway the Mason-Dixon Line.”
●Los Angeles: “The Century Expressway was one of seven freeways that led to decay in African American and Latino communities.”
●Seattle: “I-5 was built through the city’s oldest blue-collar community, despite residents’ concerns they’d be isolated from the rest of the city.”
●Baltimore: “Robert Moses wanted to plow through a West Baltimore community known as Harlem Park, a then-thriving middle-class African American neighborhood. Harlem Park was destroyed before the project was stopped.”
“The country is reaching the end of the useful life of a lot of our infrastructure, and we’re going to have to replace and rebuild a lot, so I want people to be thinking about this,” he said. “We ought to do it better than we did it the last time.”
Ooh. Ohhhhh! [waves hand maniacally] I know! I know! I know another place…
Important note here:
So, Foxx has begun approaching governors and mayors with his message, and he plans to engage more of them after his speeches Tuesday and Wednesday. He defines the mission with three principles: use transportation to further opportunities for and within communities; recognize neighborhoods that have been wronged and work to strengthen them; and build new infrastructure to serve the communities they pass through.
This is about to become federal policy y’all.