Highways Have Sliced Through City After City. Can the US Undo the Damage?

Mark Walker / The New York Times
Highways Have Sliced Through City After City. Can the US Undo the Damage? The construction of U.S. 71 in Kansas City, Missouri, displaced thousands of residents and cut off predominantly Black neighborhoods from grocery stores, health care and jobs. (photo: Arin Yoon/The New York Times)

The Biden administration is funding projects around the country aimed at reconnecting communities that have been divided by transportation infrastructure.

Anthony Roberts set out to walk to a convenience store on the opposite side of a busy highway in Kansas City, Mo., one afternoon. It wasn’t an easy trip.

First, he had to detour out of his way to reach an intersection. Then he had to wait for the light to change. When the walk signal finally came on, he had little time to cross several lanes of traffic and reach the highway’s wide median. Finally, he had to make it across the other set of lanes to complete his trek.

“For a person who doesn’t have a car, it’s very hard, especially in the wintertime,” Mr. Roberts said. “No one wants to take a risk with their lives trying to cross the highway.”


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