Transportation leaders believe President Biden’s $2-trillion infrastructure bill will finally get states to stop splurging federal dollars on freeway projects and emissions-enabling concrete superstructures that carve up cities.
One of Texas's most-notorious highway expansion projects is being put on pause, thanks to a U.S. Department of Transportation that's newly committed to mitigating the racist impacts of federally funded transportation projects.
Advocates from St. Paul, Minn. are hoping to restore some of what the Black community lost when a highway was run through their core neighborhood — and to provide an unconventional model for other communities across the country to do the same.
President Biden won points among some antiracist transportation advocates for calling out federal highway projects for destroying Black communities — and then lost points by failing to call for the USDOT itself to make reparations to the people it has harmed.
Cities might soon get the kind of federal money they need to tear down the downtown highways that federal dollars paid them to build — and to reinvest in communities of color that those highways destroyed.
“It’s disproportionately Black and brown neighborhoods that were divided by highway projects because they didn’t have the political capital to resist,” Buttigieg said on Sunday. "We have a chance to get that right.”