Join the Group to Fight the Florida Avenue Freeway!

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Article from the Louisiana Weekly 

WDSU Coverage 

Advocate article

Position Paper by A Community Voice
The Florida Ave Project – State Project H005720.

Members of A Community Voice and the residents affected communities in Orleans Parish we have met with, including over 150 who have signed petitions, do not want a limited access high speed roadway here. It creates pollution that affects health, including the heart, degrades property values and creates an industrial wall in the lower 9th ward where there is new access to Bayou Bienvenue.

Ministers have signed against the Florida Project, and the list is growing:

Rev. Fred Luter – Franklin Ave. Bapt. Ch.

Rev. Dr. Ernest Marcell, Jr. Prayer Tower COGIC

Rev. Jim VanderWeele – Community Unitarian Church
Rev. Johnny Hughes, Sr. – Assoc. Min. Greater Mount Carmel Bapt. Ch

Rev. Deanna Vandiver – First Unitarian Church and Director CELSJR

Rev. D.M. Haywood – New Israel Bapt Ch.

Fr. Oswald Pierre-Jules – St. David’s Catholic Church

Pastor Daniel m. Perkins — Revelation Baptist Church

Rev. William Barnwell — Episcopal Diocese

Eric Dorsey, Sr. – Battleground Bapt Ch.

Rev. Dwight Webster – Christian Unity Bapt. Ch.

Rev. Joel Tyler – Second Rose of Sharon MBC

1. The St Bernard Port truck traffic can easily be routed northward to the interstate, utilizing Paris Road, so that it will not damage complex 8th and 9th ward African American neighborhoods.

The community is for new bridges at the Industrial Canal and for an improved Paris Rd in Chalmette as the direct route for heavy trucks to access I-10. There is no viable reason for the trucks to come through Orleans Parish. That is true, as well, for the ones that use St. Claude and Claiborne today. All of the St. Bernard Parish trucks needs to routed up Paris Rd. in St. Bernard Parish

3. It substantially benefits white owned businesses that use the St. Bernard Port, and degrades African American neighborhoods. This constitutes Environmental Racism.

4. In 1984, the same neighborhoods in the upper 9th and 8th wards area were impacted by previous policies that moved the toxic train cars and Railroad switching yard from the French Quarter to the 9th ward and thus prevented risk of exposure to tourists of a toxic accident. But then, put African-American communities at risk in the 8th and 9th wards.

5. Some residents have been led to believe that the freeway will help St Bernard and Lower 9 residents leave the area in a storm situation. However, there are other ways out of the parishes and less population, so no real problem there. Some are confused and believe that Port means Port Street and St Bernard means St Bernard Ave. The lack of information on the project persists.

6. The state seems to be mistakenly telling the public that if we want a new bridge at Florida Ave. (we do), we must accept the entire project, which is untrue. They are funded separately. In a recent victory, information is now available on the Paris Road alternative.

7. Bridge work could be funded by this project, with a new bridge at Florida and Claiborne, with a foot/bike bridge added at St Claude. Paris Road could be upgraded with an overhead freeway for truck traffic, noise and pollution controls and other amenities for St. Bernard Parish.8. It is time to prevent all heavy trucks from utilizing Orleans Parish as their first choice to access the I-10/610. They unnecessarily and currently create dangerous situations on St Claude and N Claiborne.

9. The process for involvement of the public in this issue needs to include transparency and open dialogue rather than the single out method used in the only hearing held in the lower 9th ward. Current input from the public needs to be examined for disinformation that they have received.

10. 85 homes that are part of the city’s precious shrinking Affordable Housing stock may be removed. We do not want any homes removed, we need Affordable Housing in New Orleans.

There must be much more informative information than was presented at the recent meeting in the 9th Ward. The drawings shown were not detailed enough for the person viewing them to be able to make an informed decision.
This project as proposed is good for only one thing getting more trucks to the St. Bernard Port at the cost of the quality of life of the neighborhoods.

Other info: In the upcoming year we will be asked to pass another regressive tax that will disproportionately hurt poor people more than rich people, to fund the $1 billion deficit caused by Gov Jindal.

Air pollutants from cars, trucks and other motor vehicles are found in higher concentrations near major roads. People who live, work or attend school near major roads appear to have an increased incidence and severity of health problems associated with air pollution exposures related to roadway traffic including higher rates of asthma onset and aggravation, cardiovascular disease, impaired lung development in children, pre-term and low-birthweight infants, childhood leukemia, and premature death.

Traffic-related air pollution is a main contributor to unhealthy ambient air quality, particularly in urban areas with high traffic volume. Within urban areas, traffic is a major source of local variability in air pollution levels, with the highest concentrations and risk of exposure occurring near roads. Motor vehicle emissions represent a complex mixture of criteria air pollutants, including carbon monoxide (CO), nitrogen oxides (NOx), and particulate matter (PM), as well as hydrocarbons that react with NOx and sunlight to form ground-level ozone. Individually, each of these pollutants is a known or suspected cause of adverse health effects (1–4). Taking into consideration the entire body of evidence on primary traffic emissions, a recent review determined that there is sufficient evidence of a causal association between exposure to traffic-related air pollution and asthma exacerbation and suggestive evidence of a causal association for onset of childhood asthma, non-asthma respiratory symptoms, impaired lung function, all-cause mortality, cardiovascular mortality, and cardiovascular morbidity (5).

Department of Transportation Project Info Page

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