Dozens of people gathered at Bruce Elementary on March 26 for one of five community sessions organized by our partner Air Alliance Houston to discuss findings in their Health Impacts Assessment of the North Houston Highway Improvement Project (I-45 expansion). LINK Houston co-authored the Assessment’s mobility and safety analysis, which shows that it’s already quite dangerous for students, parents, and neighbors to walk to schools such as Bruce Elementary in Fifth Ward or Jefferson Elementary in the Near Northside/Northline areas.
Expanding the highway without proper mitigation strategies to address the safety for communities adjacent to the highway will only exacerbate the problem these communities face. The Health Impact Assessment additionally shows that air quality and flooding will worsen throughout the project path and will adversely impact communities, especially our most vulnerable population: children.
We also worked with civic leaders in Independence Heights to raise environmental justice concerns with Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee and Texas State Senator Carol Alvarado. Additionally, we joined advocates at the Texas State Legislature to testify in support of House Bill 2306 , which calls for a study of health impact assessments in future TxDOT project.
The conversations and awareness around I-45 expansion continue to grow as more of our fellow Houstonians join these discussions. For an opportunity to learn more about the project, its impacts, and ways communities can influence decisionmakers, check out an upcoming Make I-45 Better event at Saint Arnold Brewing Company