Remove the elevated portion of Route 81 and implement a complete-streets solution
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The economic death spiral into blight, abandonment, and rampant crime that has been endured by our inner-city neighborhoods in the last forty years is probably owed as much to Route 81 as to any other single factor.
The fact that we’re seriously having this discussion in 2017 is disturbing, given the disgraceful and well-documented history of the original project that forced an ill-conceived freeway through neighborhoods populated largely by people of color. The original project invariably destroyed and displaced a whole community, devastated the tax base of city, while subsidizing suburban commuters, and created high-speed traffic and polluted air that ruined the urban fabric of our city neighborhoods for generations.
There is only one option, a complete street solution. Route 81 provides a once in a generation opportunity to re-imagine how our city looks, functions, and feels. If we make a mistake on this we will talk about it for decades.
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