Originally Published in the Shreveport Times November 11, 2021
Dear President Biden,
In an April 2021 interview with news website Axios, Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg spoke eloquently and accurately about the unfortunate and highly negative history of our federal interstate highway system when it comes to its impact on Black and other marginalized neighborhoods throughout the country. This was a reassuring extension of the sentiments expressed by former Secretary of Transportation Anthony Foxx, who often spoke and wrote of his firsthand experience of growing up in just such an affected community.
The hope and expectation for many of us was that your administration would continue the move beyond the destructive mid 20th century federal and state highway policies that we now know were mistakes. Yet here in northwest Louisiana your recently passed $1.2 trillion dollar Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act is touted as a “win” by our state’s Secretary of Transportation for those who support constructing a three-mile segment of I-49 North, known as the Inter-City Connector, through the heart of Allendale, a historic Black neighborhood in the core of Shreveport.