Planners of the interstate highway system, which began to take shape after the Federal Aid Highway Act of 1956, routed some highways directly, and sometimes purposefully, through Black and brown communities. In some instances, the government took homes by eminent domain, according to a story on NPR.
It left a deep psychological scar on neighborhoods that lost homes, churches and schools, says Deborah Archer, a professor at the New York University School of Law and national board president of the American Civil Liberties Union. Archer recently wrote for the Iowa Law Review about how transportation policy affected the development of Black communities, the story reads.
“I think it’s also important for us to think about how we will shift culture within the relevant agencies so that white middle-class and affluent neighborhoods will not continue to be favored at the expense of communities of color, producing lopsided and skewed patterns of infrastructure development.”