To "Cap" the Cross Bronx Expressway to Reduce the Environmental, Economic and Health Injustices Faced by Adjacent Neighborhoods of Color
April 16, 2021
Robert Moses designed the Cross Bronx Expressway to destroy communities of color in the Bronx. Since its creation, Bronxites have felt the effects of Moses's environmentally racist acts. The Cross Bronx Expressway contributes to some of the highest asthma rates in the country. Capping 2.6 miles of the "below-grade" (below street level) portions of the expressway would mitigate its environmental impact on Bronx residents, while providing an opportunity to create new parkland for recreation. A 2018 case study of this proposal, conducted by academics at Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health, showed that this model would improve the asthma rates, general health, and wellbeing of Bronxites in the adjacent areas while reducing Medicaid spending for disease intervention. Similar projects have successfully been adopted in Boston, Seattle, and even here in the Bronx with the pedestrianization of the Sheridan Expressway.
We are calling on President Biden, US Secretary of Transportation Buttigieg, and federal legislators to secure funding to cap the expressway in the American Jobs Plan. President Biden's infrastructure bill would create a $20 billion program to promote racial equity and undo racist urban renewal projects that have plagued our communities, which could serve as a funding mechanism for this project. Additionally, the proposal would generate 19 million jobs with expanded training for minority communities. Neighborhoods, like West Farms and others, could be direct beneficiaries of this project, as they have seen unemployment rates as high as 40%, with large Latino, African-American and immigrant populations."
The Cross Bronx Expressway has damaged our health and wellbeing for far too long. It is time for the federal government to reverse course on the environmentally racist actions of Robert Moses and cap the expressway.