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Folklore of the Freeway is a summer reading selection

By Mike Sonksen
L.A. Letters / KCET.org

The Folklore of the Freeway by Eric Avila[EXCERPT] Avila contrasts the invisible freeway revolts in places like Baltimore, Boyle Heights, New Orleans, and Minnesota, with the publicized freeway protests that happened in Beverly Hills and the Lower East Side. As most students of urban planning know, the activists in Beverly Hills and the Lower East Side were able to stop the freeways from being constructed in their neighborhoods, whereas activists in the aforementioned cities were unable to stop the freeways from carving up their local streets. In spite of the damage done to these areas by the interstate system, the author shows how the efforts and resistance taken by locals in these cities to fight the freeways helped cement their identity and build community even in the face of destructive public policy.

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The Folklore of the Freeway