Secretary Buttigieg to Spend $1 Billion to Combat Racist Highways

Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg is on a mission. He’s looking for highways with a racist past and is aiming to “help reconnect cities and neighborhoods racially segregated or divided by road projects.” Buttigieg is examining interstate highways, built with federal dollars, “where a piece of infrastructure cuts off a neighborhood or a community because of how it was built,” said Buttigieg in a speech announcing the $1 billion “Reconnecting Communities” program.

“How it was built”? What does that mean? Does that statement refer to the racial makeup of businesses and residents? This is just more of the “disparate racial results” of government action, not because there was a racist intent behind it.

We’re told that these divisions deliberately targeted black neighborhoods because, well, racism, of course. States and communities will be able to “apply for the federal aid over five years to rectify harm caused by roadways that were built primarily through lower-income, Black communities after the 1950s creation of the interstate highway system.”

THE SECOND WAVE

There are perhaps thousands of communities across the United States “harmed” by the building of the interstates. How many towns and cities that the Interstate Highway System bypassed withered and died on the vine because of an arbitrary decision by some soulless bureaucrat in Washington?

Associated Press:

“Transportation can connect us to jobs, services and loved ones, but we’ve also seen countless cases around the country where a piece of infrastructure cuts off a neighborhood or a community because of how it was built,” said Buttigieg, who was announcing the pilot program later Thursday in Birmingham, Alabama. He described Reconnecting Communities as a broad department “principle” — not just a program — to address the issue with many efforts underway.

“This is a forward-looking vision,” Buttigieg said. “Our focus isn’t about assigning blame. It isn’t about getting caught up in guilt. It’s about fixing a problem. It’s about mending what has been broken, especially when the damage was done with taxpayer dollars.”

Does this sound like it’s going to “mend what’s broken”?

New projects could include rapid bus transit lines to link disadvantaged neighborhoods to jobs; caps built on top of highways featuring green spaces, bike lanes and pedestrian walkways to allow for safe crossings over the roadways; repurposing former rail lines; and partial removal of highways.

Is there a reason there are few “green spaces, bike lanes and pedestrian walkways” in these neighborhoods now? Just asking.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis called the program the “woke-ification” of federal policy, which isn’t entirely accurate. This is good old-fashioned government goodies going to a favored constituency. There’s nothing remotely “woke” about it.