Introducing… the Freeway Fighters Network

In Allendale Strong by allendalecreative

Allendale Strong is uniting with 60+ campaigns nationwide  to spark a transportation revolution by advocating for highway removal and against highway expansion.

Washington, D.C. — From Houston to Minneapolis, Syracuse to Seattle, and in dozens of cities and towns in between, local advocacy groups have joined forces to form the Freeway Fighters Network, a nationwide coalition to center people before highways in infrastructure investments.

For too long, the United States has relied on highway systems that damage the environment and cause social, economic, and physical harm to the people who live in their path. Highways perpetuate inequalities along the lines of race and class, built for commuting culture at the expense of the most vulnerable communities. Now, with many of these highways reaching the end of their designed lifespan, it is time to repair the damage and advance a more sustainable paradigm for American transportation.

Allendale Strong has been advocating for building a business boulevard through the Allendale neighborhood. We’ve learned that cut-through freeways (like the proposed I49 connector) are the underlying culprit to systemic issues impacting education, community, policing, and unhealthy living conditions. Interstates don’t improve cities but make them poorer. Being part of the Freeway Fighters Network illustrates that Allendale Strong is not alone in the fight to reframe transportation infrastructure investments to meet community goals.

The Freeway Fighters Network tracks over 60 local freeway fighting efforts across the country and coordinates collective action at the national level. In addition to fighting freeways in their own communities, network members advocate for a larger shift in transportation public policy to support the following principles:

  • a commitment to stop expanding highways and building new ones;

  • the transformation of existing highways that damage communities into assets like city streets, housing, and green space;

  • renewed investments in multimodal transportation systems in place of highways;

  • parallel investments in community development that builds wealth for current residents and allows them enjoy the benefits of a highway’s transformation;

  • a priority to make amends to the people displaced or negatively affected by highway building.

The Freeway Fighters Network recognizes that the investments in highways made during the 20th century have created a system of car-dependency that is difficult to disentangle, but until this happens, it is impossible to meet the 21st century climate and environmental challenges that threaten public health, economic vitality, and community stability.

More information on the Freeway Fighters Network can be found at freeway-fighters.org.