Sunday, July 11, 2010

Rooted/Unrouted: West Baltimore and the Highway to Nowhere

I've been working on this project for the past couple of years, and I have completed the West Baltimore portion of the project.

The East-West Expressway was a planned highway to connect Route I-70 near the Baltimore Beltway through Leakin Park and many historic and/or black neighborhoods. It was to go across the harbor with a 16 lane bridge and then connect with I-95. Only a small portion of the highway was built, the "Highway to Nowhere," where 20 blocks of houses and communities were lost for a short stretch of road.

Neighborhoods, communities, and organizations eventually won the highway war, one of many across the country. The Red Line, a 14 mile transit line, will follow much of the proposed route. The Gwynns Falls Trail, a hiking and biking trail, runs through Leakin Park from where the I-70 highway stops.

This piece delves into the history and memories of residents and community activists and lets them tell their stories about the fight to stop the highway and how things have changed since from both the planning and community perspective.

The piece can be found on Sound Cloud as an MP3 -

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