Grassroots group Allendale Strong will raise concerns about regional transportation planning in a public presentation to the Shreveport Metropolitan Planning Commission May 31.
The group contends that Shreveport’s 2030 Master Plan and its focus on “inside the loop” development are being undercut by outdated transportation planning that encourages suburban sprawl.
“Transportation planners for our region are using a 1950s approach to build a city for the 1970s,” said Allendale Strong member John Perkins.
“Shreveport citizens who helped write our Master Plan favored a modern focus on growth inside the loop to improve our downtown and our neighborhoods, rather than relentlessly growing outward.”
At its May 3rd meeting the MPC’s executive director, Alan Clarke, announced a special May 31 meeting of the commission to hear the Allendale Strong presentation. The public meeting will be held at 3 p.m. in the City Council chambers at Government Plaza.
Perkins said Allendale Strong will present historical data on the development of Shreveport’s urban highways and commentary by past city planners on the impact of freeways on the city.
“Shreveport planners going back to the 1950s predicted that the city would be divided by interstate highways cut through our city. They said they were powerless to stop these freeways because federal policymakers empowered transportation planners to ignore local land-use concerns.
“Shreveport citizens of today should learn from past mistakes and insist that those who plan our transportation projects be knowledgeable about our city’s land-use priorities and work to meet them.”
Allendale Strong has focused much of its attention on the Northwest Louisiana Council of Governments, a multi-parish agency charged with transportation planning. NLCOG is the primary champion of the 3-mile, $1-billion Interstate 49 Inner-city Connector through Allendale between I-20 and I-220.
MPC Chairman Bill Robertson asked Clarke to notify NLCOG and the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development of the special May 31 meeting so they can hear Allendale Strong’s concerns.
“Shreveport has unchecked sprawl and serious infrastructure problems,” Robertson said. “Allendale Strong believes these problems are caused by a conflict between the goals of our city master plan and the goals of transportation planning.
“By airing these issues the MPC can expand the public conversation and help Shreveport citizens create a better future for our citizens.”
Allendale Strong is celebrating its 11th year as a grassroots organization dedicated to better transportation planning for Shreveport. The group’s focus is to renew Allendale relationally, environmentally, and economically.
Allendale Strong promotes two alternatives to the I-49 Inner-city Connector project that would separate local traffic from through traffic: (1) a “business boulevard” for local traffic connecting I-49 at I-20 downtown to North Shreveport, and (2) improvements to the existing freeway loop formed by Louisiana 3132 and Interstate 220 for through traffic.
Keep Allendale Strong! Support us with a tax-deductible donation to Allendale Strong at https://secure.actblue.com/donate/allendalestrong-1 or by mail to 1528 Clay Street, Shreveport LA 71101. Visit our website at https://allendalestrong.org/ .