The Pros And Cons Of The Interstate Highway System

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Dylan Katz April 3rd, 2013 Professor Brandt Peace Justice and the Media The Interstate Highway System and Its Implications of Public Health and Environmental Justice The United States Interstate Highway System is the quintessential symbol of our nation’s car culture. It streams across the country connecting major metropolitan areas with each other- allowing for personal and commercial transportation with ease. The interstate highway system has become almost a norm in our modern day society and is interchangeable with the way Americans view transportation and lifestyle. However, despite the surface benefits of the highway system there have been many detrimental effects on public health and cultural justice. These problems are long and reoccurring, starting with the proposal and creation of the system in the mid-20th century and remaining in place today. The…show more content…
We neglect to see its historical foundations, deeply rooted in racism, classism, and inhumane injustice. Issues created by the interstate system continue to persist today, especially in terms of public health, pollution, and possible disease risk factors associated with living in close proximity to highways. The interstate system was meant to link areas to facilitate transport with ease; instead it ripped through communities, destroyed entire neighborhoods, and led to the displacement of entire populations. Somerville, Massachusetts mayor Joseph Curatone recalls the construction of the interstate system and concludes “Today, people sort of accept it in bewilderment, and say, ‘How the hell did anyone ever make that decision? How did this happen?’ [The highway] isn’t really servicing neighborhoods; it’s isolating them” (Levin). The interstate system remains to be the dominant form of transportation in our country and will continue to pollute areas until more effective alternative transportation is

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