T4America Blog

News, press releases and other updates

Posts Tagged "reconnecting communities"

Restoring Buffalo’s “Emerald Necklace”

A park extends down the center of two narrow streets

Humboldt Parkway, once home to vibrant public space, was destroyed by the Kensington Highway, displacing over 600 families and leaving a concrete gash through Buffalo’s network of city parks. With federal support, the Kensington Expressway Project aims to reconnect the community.

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Mind the gap: USDOT’s first take on reconnecting communities

A group of people representing a range of ages, genders, and ethnicities walk across a cracked road within a marked crosswalk.

In March 2023, USDOT announced the initial 45 awardees for the opening round of the Reconnecting Communities Pilot Program. This first-of-its-kind program represents the start of a new series of initiatives that confronts the legacy of inequitable infrastructure projects in the US and will (un)pave the way for the Neighborhood Access and Equity Grant program created in the Inflation Reduction Act. But to meet the needs of communities, the USDOT needs to expand its vision and scope of funds available.

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New Community Connectors grant program and resources for advocates

A new grant program from Smart Growth America will help advance locally driven projects that will reconnect communities separated or harmed by transportation infrastructure and tap available federal and state funds to support them. Removing divisive infrastructure is largely uncharted territory in the United States, but the need to fix the damage it has caused […]

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House threatens funds for reconnecting communities

press release

The House’s debt ceiling package, H.R. 2811, proposes cuts to several programs, including the Neighborhood Access and Equity Program established under the Inflation Reduction Act. In response, T4A Director Beth Osborne issued the following statement.

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San Juan, PR: Trampling communities and a national rainforest in the name of “economic progress”

Aerial view of Puerto Rico prior to PR 66 construction with forest and aerial view of PR 66 after construction with forest construction and sprawl

Deemed a project of major economic significance for several decades by the Puerto Rico’s Department of Transportation (DTOP), the agency rammed through community opposition, environmental review processes, and legal battles to construct PR-66, a limited access tollway that is benefitting few and scarring communities and their environs.

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Reconnecting the Hill District to downtown Pittsburgh

A brightly colored mural decorates the side of a building in the Hill District

In its heyday, the historic Hill District neighborhood was bursting with life. It was full of opportunities and culture; residents treasured it. After slowly cultivating a unique identity through generations and incremental layers of growth, it was nearly destroyed in just a few short years through the building of I-579 and the Civic Arena. Now, 60 years later, some connections are being restored.

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Tracking damaging divides in Gretna, LA

Two sedans break as a train approaches, unable to cross

In a small southern city across the Mississippi River from New Orleans where daily freight trains run down the center of their main street, local elected leaders at all levels have negotiated with freight companies to relocate the incredibly disruptive freight line, but they’ll need federal support to make it happen.

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A proposed bridge is haunting the Bay Area

A sunny hill filled with cheerful homes framed by a palm tree and blue sky

The Southern Crossing over the San Francisco Bay, proposed repeatedly over the past 77 years, has been rejected over and over again. Even as Reconnecting Communities funds will help Oakland study repairing the damage resulting from the interstate spur rammed through the heart of Oakland to serve as the eastern approach for this never-built bridge, the Southern Crossing shows how past choices continue to haunt the present—and future.

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Reconnecting Communities awards advance needed change

press release

This morning, the Biden administration announced the first awards for the Reconnecting Communities Program. $185 million will fund 45 projects designed to address harms caused by divisive infrastructure. In response, T4A director Beth Osborne released the following statement.

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Greenville, SC: Out with the cars, in with the people

Leaders and residents in Greenville, South Carolina had been working for decades to transform their neglected, denuded downtown into a walkable, dynamic place. But the most significant catalyst was the removal of a highway bridge through downtown and the installation of a beautiful pedestrian bridge in 2004, creating a popular new attraction for people and restoring the city’s relationship to the river that birthed it.

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The long fight for connectivity in Milwaukee

Successfully halting construction on the Park East Freeway in Milwaukee in 1977 was a major early win for advocates. But removing highways is more complicated. Milwaukee confronted that problem in the late 1990s and early 2000s when they attempted to remove the portion that had been built—a story which can serve as a model for other highway removal efforts.

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Your questions about the Reconnecting Communities Program, answered

The Reconnecting Communities Program is a new program passed under the 2021 infrastructure law, and there’s a lot to learn about what it can accomplish. That’s why we hosted a webinar on the Reconnecting Communities Program last month. Here’s what you asked, and here are our answers.

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Watch our webinar: How to Reconnect Communities

On Wednesday, September 14 at 2:00 p.m. Eastern join us to learn how to maximize the impact of the new Reconnecting Communities Program.

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Reconnecting Communities: Initiating restorative transportation justice

Much of the work of smart transportation focuses on playing defense against divisive infrastructure projects that would make travel more difficult for drivers and nondrivers alike. Now, communities and advocates have a small but real opportunity to go on offense and remove or mitigate harmful stretches of transportation infrastructure.

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A policy proposal to undo the damage of “urban renewal”

Today, Transportation for America and Third Way released four policy recommendations to undo the damage of “urban renewal” projects that displaced more than a million Americans during the Interstate System construction in the 1950s and ‘60s. These four federal policy recommendations can be included in a COVID-19 stimulus bill or infrastructure package, or considered as stand-alone legislation.

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