OKLAHOMA CITY — A Tulsa lawmaker is exploring the possibility of removing a major roadway from the Greenwood District.
Oklahoma State Rep. Regina Goodwin held a panel at the State Capitol Tuesday to study the IDL downtown as she looks to remove the part of I-244 and the IDL that goes through Greenwood.
“We’re not anti-freeway, we are anti-destruction of a community," Goodwin says.
She said removing the highway from the area will give the community hundreds of acres back. She said the construction of the IDL cut off the community and negatively affected it.
“Physically, it’s obvious," Goodwin says.
"You have separated a community from themselves and from their best opportunities economically in terms of living, housing.”
President Joe Biden’s infrastructure bill would allocate $1 billion toward areas like the Greenwood District, where highways run through underserved communities.
“Of course, if you go back through history we know there were policies that were adverse that affected communities, Black communities in particular that cut straight through the heart of a community," Goodwin says.
She said Tulsa is one of 15 cities identified as a possible place to deconstruct a highway like this one. She pointed out it's already been done in other places like Milwaukee.
“We’re not attempting anything here in Oklahoma that has not been done by other cities," Goodwin says.
"And the same traffic patterns. Same monstrous piece of concrete that goes through the city.”
There’s still a long way to go with the idea. Goodwin acknowledges while some are for it, not everyone is on board, but she says she hopes they can work to grow the Greenwood District.
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