Using Transportation to Transform Communities: Learning from the Anti Highway Movement of the 1960's


"Using Transportation to Transform Communities"
Thu. Sept. 25, 7 - 9 pm
by Ken Kruckemeyer and Ann Hershfang

@ LivableStreets office space, 100 Sidney Street, Central Square, Cambridge map... external

free and open to the public, donation suggested, beer/sodas provided compliments of Harpoon Brewery!

Learning from the anti-highway movement: a grass roots movement swept Boston in the 60's and led to, among other things, the orange line subway and park known as the Southwest Corridor. Meet some of the individuals who made this happen and hear their stories.

It is due to the efforts of steadfast neighborhood champions like Ken Kruckemeyer and Ann Hershfang that the City of Boston and the State decided against extensive highway development projects and instead shifted funding to the expansion of public transportation; which we now take for granted.

Of the many outcomes of this moment, two visible successes are the:

(1) The "inner belt" was stopped, a highway that would have gone through Cambridgeport and Central Square neighborhoods.

(2) Tossing out what was to be the multi-lane "The Southwest Expressway" that would connect boston to point south via the Roxbury and Jamaica Plain neighborhoods; instead developing the mult-use transportation corridor and greenspace, we now know as the Southwest Corridor Park and MBTA orange line subway.

In the years following World War II, America was becoming increasingly highway development oriented. In the 60's and 70's a grassroots movement prevented several major highway projects from destroying its neighborhoods, and instead shifted funding to transit expansion, which we now take for granted. This activism prevented the development of several major highway projects which had the power to destroy Boston-area neighborhoods.

Click here for a short WBUR piece highlighting Ken... external

Click here for more history... external

Click here for an interview with Ann... external

Ken is a private consultant specializing in the design of civil infrastructure, focusing on integrated public transport systems, pedestrian and bicycle facilities, and roadway and bridge design. He is also an adjunct Research Associate at the Center for Transportation and Logistics and Lecturer in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the MIT. Ken served as Associate Commissioner of the Massachusetts Department of Public Works from 1983 to 1991. Mr. Kruckemeyer is an Architect with degrees from Princeton University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He was a Loeb Fellow in Advanced Environmental Studies at Harvard University.

Ann has extensive experience in all facets of the transportation business, including serving on the Board of the Massachusetts Port Authority and 10 Years on the Massachusetts Turnpike Highway Board, as well as founding Walk Boston, a non-profit membership organization dedicated to improving walking conditions in cities and towns across Massachusetts. In essence, her entire professional experience stemmed from her involvement in the Anti-Highway Movement.

This event is sponsored by LivableStreets Alliance