Monday, October 12, 2009

Project NEON in a Social-Historical Perspective

To: Nevada Department of Transportation and PBS&J

Please acknowledge receipt of this mail and the two previous emails regarding Project NEON. Please also ensure that all of the materials I send you are part of the public statements for the project. I am cc'ing this statement, as I have with others, for possible future litigation. Given NDOT's recent debacle with closing "F" Street, PBS&J's profitable, lengthy, and taxpayer costly contract to reopen it, and the social-historical patterns I will present, I hope planners will take time to listen.

As I have previously mentioned, I am particularly concerned with the impact area on and near Martin Luther King Blvd. beginning at Charleston Blvd. heading northward. My specific concerns include, but are not limited to, issues of planning equity, regional equity, pedestrian safety, displacement of working-class people (disproportionately people of color), access to small streets, and noise and air pollution in this specific impact area. More generally, I have concerns that the project continues to enable unsustainable sprawl in the valley. I have explained my concerns in more detail in the two previous email statements.

It appears to me, from the Draft EIS, that NDOT and other agencies and corporations involved in this project are not adequately trained or educated in environmental justice and smart planning. I have suggested that these parties hire outside consultants such as Robert Bullard, Henry Holmes and Don Chen who can assist in planning this connector in a more environmental just fashion.

Attached is a timeline that relates to previous planning in this area. Please ensure that all of this is included in the public statement. Note that several of these events indicate a pattern of structural racism and classism and environmental injustice. The timeline is only partial listing of events related to transportation and economic development on Las Vegas’ historic Westside.

(Note: an up-to-date timeline is provided above, in this blog)

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