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May 13, 2021

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Downey Freeway Fighters Hang NO MORE LANES Banner over 5 Freeway – Streetsblog Los Angeles

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.

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.”

NO MORE LANES banners over the 5 Freeway in Downey. Photos by Joe Linton/Streetsblog L.A.
NO MORE LANES banners over the 5 Freeway in Downey. Photos by Joe Linton/Streetsblog L.A.