If ever there were a justification for why urban freeway construction continues not to be a good idea in most cases, the Independence Freeway project in Charlotte is it. Construction of this monstrosity over the past twenty-five years has destroyed homes and businesses and neighborhoods and created a creeping blight that has devastated much of East Charlotte. And apparently the first phase wasn’t bad enough; the wasteland is now rapidly progressing farther eastward toward Idlewild.
I feel a little possessive about the east side of Charlotte, having lived and/or worked there most of the time I spent in the Queen City. It’s really sad to watch this happen. I wrote an article on the death of Independence Boulevard for another (short-lived) site five or six years back and I should drag that out and republish it here along with some photos I took for a photo essay on the same topic.