Jul 08 2014
The American freeway is both a blessing and a curse. It enables speedy travel across cities and states. But it also divides communities physically and economically, pollutes and decimates surrounding neighborhoods, and provokes major political battles.
Often communities of color have been on the negative end of the impacts of freeway construction. Freeways are associated with urban sprawl and a loss of community. Historic homes are bulldozed or have their values plummet in service to the freeway.
But freeways are also unexpected canvases for art and political expression.
GUEST: Eric Avila is a professor of history, Chicano Studies, and urban planning at UCLA. He wrote the book Popular Culture in the Age of White Flight: Fear and Fantasy in Suburban Los Angeles. His latest book is called The Folklore of the Freeway: Race and Revolt in the Modernist City.