This morning, freeway fighters hung “NO MORE LANES” banners on a pedestrian overcrossing over the 5 Freeway in the city of Downey. “No more lanes” is a slogan used by the Happy City Coalition, a group that recently formed to oppose Metro and Caltrans’ plan to demolish hundreds of homes to widen the 605 and 5 Freeways. Last summer, Metro project staff announced the demolitions. In October, in response to community concerns, the Metro board directed Metro staff to study less destructive alternatives.
The pedestrian overcrossing is located in the eastern part of Downey. The bridge connects Unsworth Elementary School and Dennis the Menace Park, both of which would suffer reduced area and increased air pollution if Metro’s plan becomes a reality.
As a New Year begins, banners where placed over the I-5 near Unsworth Elementary & Dennis the Menace Park; both would be impacted along with hundreds of homes in Downey if the freeway expansion is approved by the Board of @metrolosangeles. pic.twitter.com/5u5cH8YTJj
— Happy City Coalition (@CoalitionHappy) January 1, 2021
The Happy City Coalition tweeted pictures of the banners, saying, “Widening the freeway as a ‘solution’ to traffic is state sanctioned violence against a predominantly Latinx community, that follows in @metrolosangeles racist practice of bulldozing Black & Latino communities for the construction of freeways and highways” and further that, “From the view of the pedestrian overpass you can see dozens of homes that will be affected if the freeway expansion goes through. Residents already breathe in polluted air, the expansion will just make it worse.”