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Author: Lisa Austin Roland Slade CIVITAS
Title: PLEASE LISTEN
Category: Justice & equity
Description: PLEASE LISTEN documents 21st century redlining in Erie, PA, the city Wall Street 24/7 named in 2017 as the “worst for African-Americans.” In 2019, City Hall demolished a key bike-ped artery connecting some of the nation’s most diverse and impoverished residents. Eager to remove a “liability” from its inventory, City Hall ignored residents, disregarded professionals and dismissed Michael Kimmelman’s front-page NYT story. City Hall aggressively blocked a Public Hearing and demolished the McBride Viaduct. Restoration was estimated at $3M , the price paid to demolish the landmark bridge. During the six-year effort to save the Viaduct, CIVITAS . collaborators, architect Adam Trott and social-sculptor Lisa Austin, guided Viaduct supporters in dozens of “ErieCPR” events including fundraisers, protests, bridge parties, workshops, exhibits, panel discussions, publications and a bus trip to Harrisburg culminating in an unsuccessful civil rights suit. Undaunted, the group supported the election of Viaduct supporters to City Council. Since ErieCPR reformed as Connect Urban Erie, the group has successfully petitioned City Council to table PennDOT’s proposed waterfront highway designed to double Bayfront traffic and add 10,000 daily vehicles to Rt.290 highway, the less direct, louder, more polluted and dangerous route Eastsiders must take now that City Hall has demolished their Viaduct.