+ Gentrification and displacement will be addressed
Many people see I-35 as a wall protecting eastern neighborhoods from gentrification. However, it’s unacceptable for nearby communities – especially children, the elderly, the poor, and people of color – to pay the price with respiratory illnesses, constant noise, and traffic crashes.
With the following measures, a boulevard will bring significant benefits into surrounding neighborhoods while preventing displacement. Let’s get this right.
1. Create affordable housing. A boulevard will open up land that I-35 previously consumed. A high percentage of new development along the boulevard should go to affordable housing and previously displaced households should have first right of refusal.
2. Divert new tax revenues to anti-displacement programs. New development will create significant new tax revenues. The City of Austin should allocate a portion of such income toward anti-displacement programs in neighboring communities.
3. Get input from local communities before any changes. Nearby communities should have the final say to ensure that a boulevard increases equity and prevents displacement.