By a vote of 8 states to 3, Sept 14, 1778, the Constitutional Convention voted to forbid the Federal government from taxing to build highways, canals, Ports, and other internal improvements. The Boston Tea Party had been a demonstration against the general government’s transportation monopoly that triggered a war. To prevent repeating that abuse of power, the Preamble Divided Sovereignty between the Federal government for issues of war and States for internal improvements. Federal violation since The Federal-Aid Highway Act of 1916 resulted in systematic racism and Climate Change.
Boston Globe, 2017: That was no typo: The median net worth of black Bostonians really is $8. The article goes on to note that the average net worth for white families in Boston is $247,500. The primary driver of this racist outcome is a century of Massachusetts and Federal transportation construction through low-income neighborhoods that repeatedly destroyed businesses, built linear barriers to commerce, and moved jobs to the suburbs for the outsized benefit of the politically powerful at the expense of the politically weak.
Racist outcomes are caused by the politically powerful seeking benefits not provided to the politically weak. Children face this same issue relative to resource depletion, debt, and Climate Change.
Mobility is the physical manifestation of liberty. To pursue happiness requires sustainable equal access to mobility.
Martin Luther King, Jr
“When you go beyond the relatively simple though serious problems such as police racism, however, you begin to get into all the complexities of the modern American economy. Urban transit systems in most American cities, for example, have become a genuine civil rights issue—and a valid one—because the layout of rapid-transit systems determines the accessibility of jobs to the Black community. If transportation systems in American cities could be laid out so as to provide an opportunity for poor people to get to meaningful employment, then they could begin to move into the mainstream of American life. A good example of this problem is my home city of Atlanta, where the rapid-transit system has been laid out for the convenience of the white upper-middle-class suburbanites who commute to their jobs downtown. The system has virtually no consideration for connecting the poor people with their jobs. There is only one possible explanation for this situation, and that is the racist blindness of city planners.”
Robert Bullard, How Race Shaped America’s Roadways And Cities
“Transportation has always been embedded in civil rights and racism,”
It’s time for America to reckon with the role that highway projects too often play in ripping apart underprivileged communities around the country, Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx said Wednesday at the Center for American Progress.
In the first 20 years of the federal interstate system alone, Foxx said, highway construction displaced 475,000 families and over a million Americans. Most of them were low-income people of color in urban cores.
Setting aside considerations of intent, there is little doubt among scholars who have studied American transportation history and policy that the Interstate Highway System took a particularly cruel toll on minority communities in urban spaces. As Raymond Mohl (2004) writes, “Trapped in inner-city ghettos, African Americans especially felt targeted by highways that destroyed their homes, split their communities, and forced their removal to emerging second ghettos” (p. 700).
Indeed, black communities found themselves in the path of seemingly relentless bulldozers at an inordinate rate, a trend that became more difficult to combat given the scant political leverage among minority communities in many cities (Biles, 2014; Mohl, 2004). In Miami, for instance, highway construction captured 40 square blocks of city space, demolishing some 10,000 homes and a predominantly black business community (Mohl, 2008). The impact in Detroit was similar, as the route of the highway tore through minority communities and left behind large swatches of cleared neighborhoods (Biles, 2014).
- Dismantling Transportation Apartheid in the United States Before and After Disasters Strike
- Highway to Inequity: The Disparate Impact of the Interstate Highway System on Poor and Minority Communities in American Cities
- Racial Bias and Interstate Highway Planning: A Mixed Methods Approach
- What does a traffic jam in Atlanta have to do with segregation? Quite a lot.
- Hatred Endorsed by a President
- Back of the Bus: Mass transit, race and inequality
- America’s Unfair Rules of the Road, How our transportation system discriminates against the most vulnerable.
- Bicycle/Race: Transportation, Culture, & Resistance
- Win ‘Policing the Open Road’ Book by Sarah Seo
- Policing the Open Road
- THE BATTLE OF LINCOLN PARK: URBAN RENEWAL AND GENTRIFICATION IN CHICAGO
- Snob Zones: Fear, Prejudice, and Real Estate
- Bleeding Albina: A History of Community Disinvestment, 1940‐2000
- Heat Wave, A SOCIAL AUTOPSY OF DISASTER IN CHICAGO
- Just Transportation: Dismantling Race and Class Barriers to Mobility
- FAMILY PROPERTIES, How the Struggle Over Race and Real Estate Transformed Chicago and Urban America
- Environmental Inequalities, Class, Race, and Industrial Pollution in Gary, Indiana, 1945-1980
- People before Highways
- The Role of Highways in American Poverty, They seemed like such a good idea in the 1950s.
- google: racial bias of federal highway programs
- Transportation Protests: 1841 to 1992
- Black people are about to be swept aside for a South Carolina freeway — again
- The Insane Highway Plan That Would Have Bulldozed DC’s Most Charming Neighborhoods
- NPR: 7 minute summery: A Brief History Of How Racism Shaped Interstate Highways
- “White Men’s Roads Thru Black Men’s Homes”: Reflecting on DC’s Freeway Fight
- “White Men’s Roads through Black Men’s Homes”: Advancing Racial Equity through Highway Reconstruction
- PBS: Driving While Black: Race, Space and Mobility in America
- THE GREAT LAND ROBBERY: A war waged by deed of title has dispossessed 98 percent of black agricultural landowners in America.
- How Did African-American Farmers Lose 90 percent of Their Land?
- Sharecropping, Black Land Acquisition, and White Supremacy (1868-1900)
- Mpls Federal Reserve: How the racial wealth gap has evolved—and why it persists
- Black Farmers in America, 1865-2000, The Pursuit of Independent Farming and the Role of Cooperatives
- A Brief History of Black Land Ownership in the U.S.
- Wikipedia: Black land loss in the United States
- An automobile drive has 100% access within 1 hour.
- A person using public transportation has access to 9% of the jobs within a hour.
- 2/3rds of jobs in the Baltimore region cannot be reached within 90 minutes by public transportation.
- A continuation of Red Lining.