The construction of Interstate-10 through the Faubourg Treme, an African American neighborhood, New Orleans had an adverse effect on both the communities because the Faubourg Treme neighborhood and Vieux Carre neighborhood are situated right next to each other. As a result of this, there is not a significant difference in the environmental statistics of both the neighborhoods. The traffic proximity percentiles of both the neighborhoods: Faubourg Treme- 94 and Vieux Carre 85- are not across the opposite spectrum instead illustrate both the neighborhoods have come in close proximity to traffic as the result of the highway. Both neighborhoods being close to the highway are exposed to pollutants such as carbon monoxide, nitrogen monoxide, nitrogen dioxide and sulphur dioxide. All these pollutants are toxic, increase the risk of chronic diseases related to the heart and lungs and increase the risk of acid rain. The NATA (The National-Scale Air Toxics Assessment) Respiratory and Cancer risk is an interesting contrast, the NATA Cancer risk percentile is higher in Vieux Carre in 90-95 percentile compared to 80-90 percentile in Treme which should have been the opposite considering Treme’s closer proximity to traffic and the resulting pollutants from the vehicles. Despite the counterintuitive number, the NATA Cancer risk is a great illustration of how both the neighborhoods are affected by the highway considering the similarities in number.
Another important aspect of this event to note is the timeline of the construction- 1968, this is a period just post the passage of the civil rights legislation and suburbanization is in full swing. The effect of suburbanization is reflected in the demographic statistics of the city post 1960 when the population begins to decline and there were more African Americans and Hispanics than the whites. In 1960, the population of New Orleans reached its peak to precisely 627,525 residents whose demographic composition was 62.56% white, 37.21% African Americans and 0.23% others. Upon moving to 1980 a period post the rapid suburbanization, the white population shrinks from a dominant 62.56% in 1960 to 42.51% in 1980 and the African Americans composition grew to 55.27% in 1980, up from 37.21% in 1960. The shift in numbers
The demographic statistics is an illustration of the rapid decline in the white population whose only explanation is suburbanization because it was a movement of the white population out of the cities into newly constructed suburban areas that had new infrastructure built specifically to make people dependent on cars. This led to the decrease in the overall population of New Orleans from 627,525 residents in 1960 down to 557,515 in 1980. The significance in the decline of the population is the movement of the majority white population out of the city and by 1980 the white population accounted for 42.51%, no longer being the majority population of the city.
The new infrastructure built post the Federal-Aid Highway Act of 1956 made the masses dependent on cars and highways played an important role when there was nationwide suburbanization. Highways connected the suburbs to the cities which people could use to get to work or travel to the city for the purpose of leisure. Moreover, highways cutting through cities made it possible to get in and out of the city faster which is important because the number of cars on the road would only have made the traffic worse considering the roads within the city which were not as wide as the highways. However, it came at the cost of the livelihoods of the African Americans in Treme.
Demographic Statistics Source: https://daisi.datacenterresearch.org/Population/Historical-Population-By-Race-Over-300-Years/34pm-mf8u