These guys want to spend hundreds of millions of dollars to build a 3.6 mile highway. They’ve got this imaginary idea [that] somehow we’re going to build a highway that will make us all rich.
— John Perkins, Shreveport resident and #AllendaleStrong member
Rosie Chaffold with other community activists speaking at a rally in front of the Caddo Parish Courthouse (Image from #AllendaleStrong facebook page)

Rosie Chaffold with other community activists speaking at a rally in front of the Caddo Parish Courthouse (Image from #AllendaleStrong facebook page)

This week at Strong Towns, we've been discussing a proposed highway project in Shreveport, LA: the I-49 inner city connector that would run directly through an urban neighborhood.

We've unpacked the economic justifications for this project and shown how much they miss the mark.

We've discussed the history of urban highways and the many ways in which they harm the cities through which they run.

We've shared the stories of the Allendale neighborhood—from activists fighting to save their neighborhood to a long-running community garden to a nonprofit housing organization that has helped dozens of residents become first time owners.

This is a dedicated community who is not backing down. They know that a highway would destroy their homes, churches, and businesses, as well as bringing noise and pollution to their neighborhood. Moreover a highway would ruin the community fabric that they have built together. Not to mention that it would cost hundreds of millions of dollars for a city that is currently in debt with little plan for how to pay for the ongoing maintenance costs this project would incur.

The I-49 connector would be a big mistake for the city of Shreveport and do far more harm than good. It's time to shut down this proposed project and let the neighborhood of Allendale continue to thrive and grow.

How to Help

Many of you have asked this week, "What can I do to help?" Here are some ways you can take action on this issue, even if you don't live in Shreveport:

We'll share updates to this story throughout the year so make sure to check back on our Shreveport page.

(Top photo of a street in Allendale by John Perkins. See more Allendale photos here.)


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