Community divided on cap over I-40 in North Nashville – Nashville-Davidson, Tennessee

Nashville-Davidson, Tennessee 2021-10-09 18:36:04 –

Nashville, Tennessee (WTVF) —Saturday afternoon, a community meeting in a parcel owned by Lee Chapel AME in North Nashville occasionally ignited. The conference went beyond the proposal to spend millions of dollars reconnecting parts of North Nashville, which was split decades ago by the construction of Interstate Highway 40.

“Can you hear me?” Said Metro Councilor Sharon Hart when a neighbor listened to the roar of the car. “It’s an interstate highway.”

At a conference hosted by the newly renamed Nashville Department of Transportation, traffic jams seemed to be constant. It reminds me how I got here. “It ruined us. It deprived us of the ability to inherit generational wealth,” said Rev. Ronnie Mitchell of the New Livingstone Church in East Nashville.

In the 1960s, the construction of the I-40 forced the removal of 1,400 predominantly African-American landowners from 100 blocks in North Nashville, killing businesses and plunging into a thriving community. I did.

After decades, scars will remain. “It’s too noisy and the approach to Fisk isn’t right. Designing and building the I-40 in a nasty way has hurt the HBCU. Frankly, it choked the business community here. “Mayor John Cooper said in an interview with NewsChannel 5.

Therefore, to correct this historic mistake, the city is considering applying for a federal grant to create what is called a cap on interstate highway acres. Think of it as a vast green space on a bridge over the road.

NDOT put up a sign around the conference to showcase the use of new spaces such as amphitheaters, gardens and parks. Next, Mayor Cooper wants it to attract more commerce to the neighborhood. “This cap could lead black entrepreneurs to build good courts on Jefferson Street because it created an environment in which their business thrived,” Cooper said.

But, like the constant roar of interstate highways, neighbors’ concerns about this proposal seemed to grow.

“How can this help in terms of black business, ownership, etc.?” Asked one speaker.

“And when I say the mayor, I’m not going to fight it, we say we rethink and reimagine it,” said Rev. Mitchell.

“I don’t agree with the way the mayor’s office went about this process,” said Councilor Hart.

Hart went on to insist that the city started the proposal last year without any feedback from the neighborhood. “If we’re not at the table, we’re on the menu,” she applauded the crowd.

Hart is also worried that the project can have unintended consequences. “When the cap comes in, it’s beautiful here, it’s absolutely wonderful, and it’s worth it, people can’t afford it, so they’ll evacuate,” she said.

We communicated those concerns to Mayor Cooper. He argues, first and foremost, that the conference is an opportunity for the community to participate and is still in its infancy. “I don’t think I agree with respect, because we just gave grace at the table and we’re just getting started,” said the mayor.

About the threat of gentrification. “Of course it’s a concern and we need a plan for it, but the current situation isn’t very good either,” Cooper said.

Like the noise from nearby highways, the rumblings about this project don’t go away quickly. “But it will be a community decision about what it looks like and whether to proceed with the application,” Cooper said.

Most of the interstate highway cap projects are paid through federal transport subsidies. This meeting was the first of several community meetings on proposals. If the Cooper administration decides to continue, the application will be submitted to the Federal DOT by March next year.

Community divided on cap over I-40 in North Nashville Source link Community divided on cap over I-40 in North Nashville

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