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By the 1940s, the West Adams neighborhood of Los Angeles had transformed into a A thriving and ethnically integrated society.
Black residents were moving in, thanks in part to early legal triumphs over the covenants that limited home ownership to white families. One of the residents involved in the affair was Hattie McDaniel, the actress of “Gone with the Wind,” known to throw parties at her West Adams home that drew stars such as Count Bassey, Doc Ellington, Clark Gable and Lena Horne. Ultimately, the neighborhood became known as Sugar Hill, a tribute to the Harlem neighborhood of the same name.
But in the 1950s, the people of Sugar Hill in Los Angeles were starting to hear Disturbing news: City planners were considering building a highway through the neighborhood. Local civil rights leaders pleaded with officials to choose a different path, but to no avail. Soon, the Santa Monica Expressway – which will become the western extension of Interstate 10 – will destroy the old Sugar Hill.
Similar stories happened hundreds of times across the country in the 1950s and 1960s. Although the country’s new highway system was fueling a long economic boom after World War II, it was doing so at the expense of downtown communities. Those quarters were disproportionately black, and many of them never recovered. There was a saying at the time: “White men’s routes through black men’s homes.”
As my colleague Nadia Popovic wrote:
Increasingly white Americans fled the cities altogether, following newly built roads to the growing suburbs. But the black population was largely prevented from doing the same. Government policies denied them access to federally backed mortgages, and special discrimination narrowed the options further.
In fact, this left many black residents living along highway tracks.
Today, there is a movement to reverse the damage, as This Times Multimedia Reporting Project describes this – by Nadja, Josh Williams, and Denise Lu.
Rochester, New York is working to remove a downtown highway built in the 1950s and is trying to rebuild the neighborhood together. Syracuse, New York; Detroit. And New Haven, Conn. By replacing stretches of highways with walkable neighborhoods. Residents of Atlanta, Boston, Dallas, Denver, New Orleans, New York, Oakland and Seattle are asking city officials to do the same.
To support these efforts, President Biden’s proposal includes an infrastructure $ 20 billion that would help reconnect neighborhoods divided by highways. Transport Minister Pete Buttigieg described the issue as a top priority for the ministry.
The future of the country’s highway system is much more than those neighborhoods as well. It will also affect public health and climate change. The debate rages at a wonderful moment: many mid-century highways are reaching the end of their useful lives, and attitudes toward transportation are changing.
The car remains the dominant way Americans move, and that won’t change anytime soon. Mass transit is not a realistic option in less densely populated places. But this is a reality in cities, and more city dwellers and planners are starting to question whether they want to run major highways through their neighborhoods.
One of the statistics expressed comes from Michael Sivak of Sivak Applied Research: After decades of steady increases, the average American’s mileage peaked in 2004.
“A decade ago, every transportation problem was a problem that had to be solved in new ways,” said Peter Norton, a historian of the University of Virginia. This isn’t always the case anymore.
On the same topic, Noah Smith from Bloomberg Opinion Writes: “It is difficult to overestimate the damage done to our cities by placing gigantic highways in the middle of neighborhoods. But San Francisco showed Highways can be removed and moved. We can fix what we broke. “
Other great stories
After Colonial Pipeline, how can the United States prevent the next ransomware attack?
The centralization of the defenses. The government should help protect the companies that control critical infrastructure, Shawn Joyce, A former FBI official, at The Washington Post.
Improving “security hygiene”. Simpler steps, like multi-factor authentication, can prevent many intrusions, like The Verge Justin Calma He explains.
Ghost Exit 8: Instead of handing over his land, a farmer from Vermont burned himself and his farm. His legend is still alive.
Modern love: Omar mother’s love In one carton box.
Times Classics: How do newcomers revere Tawk.
Live live: Kay Tobin Lahussen and her longtime partner were at the forefront of the gay rights movement, helping to organize the protests long before the Stonewall Uprising. Lahussen passed away at the age of 91.
Arts and ideas
The NBA goes home
The playoffs have begun in the NBA, and the games will be a large part of Memorial Day weekend To a lot of people. Here are some major story lines:
Back fans. Last year, the qualifiers were held inside empty Walt Disney World gyms. This year, pollinated fans pack the arenas and bring energy back to the games. (Few misbehaveIt is a sign that the country is “getting rid of, but temporarily, from the pain of the past year.” Curt Streeter wrote in The Times.
New York is back. New York and Atlanta are basketball-hungry cities whose teams have struggled for most of the 21st century. Now the Knicks and Hawks – both with young sexy players – are tied for one match each in their first-round series. And the Knicks wasn’t even the best team in New York: the Brooklyn Nets all-star team.
Is LeBron back? The Los Angeles Lakers are the reigning champions, but their stars – LeBron James and Anthony Davis – have been hurt for most of the season. The team is ranked No. 7 (out of eight) in the Western Conference – which is the center it started from No team has ever won a title.
Trust the process. The Philadelphia 76ers angered many fans by intentionally putting together a bad team for several seasons, which allowed them to recruit the best college players. The approach has become known as “the process,” and it is now paying off. Led by Joel Embiid – the dominant midfield with sharp intelligence – it occupies 76th place in the Eastern Group.
Upcoming stars. Away from the big coastal markets, young stars have thrived this season, and one or more qualifiers can define them. They include Devin Booker From Phoenix Suns, Nikola Gokic Denver Nuggets, Ja Morant From Memphis and Grizzlies Luca Doncic Dallas Mavericks.
Play, watch, eat
what are you cooking
It was the ant taken from Spelling Bee yesterday painful. Here’s a riddle for today – or you can Play online.
Here Small crossword puzzles todayAnd evidence: one loses one’s hair (four letters).
If you’re in the mood to play a bit more, look back All of our games are here.
Thanks for spending part of your morning with the Times. The morning will be off on Mondays. See you Tuesday. – David
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