For my research proposal on the History of Interstate Highways and their effects on communities I sought to find resources from the 1950s, when the laws were enacted to construct these highways, and the 2000s. I was able to gather sources from different collections such as newspaper articles that discuss the public perception of these infrastructure projects as well as studies done on the effects these highways had on marginalized communities within the cities that these roads would cut through. From reading these sources I have been able to hone in on specific aspects of my topic to focus on.
My search for primary sources was difficult as there wasn’t a lot of coverage from these affected communities. This is when I began to seek out empirical data that would better demonstrate the impact that these highways had on the economic opportunities available to minorities living within these cities. Secondary sources were less difficult to discover but there was still a lack of sources that conducted a comprehensive analysis of the communities that were negatively impacted during this post-war era. Although, from reading these sources I learned of the inherent biases in car-dependent cities as low-income individuals are unable to access the same resources as those with cars. For now, my questions after doing research center around the timeline of events from before, during, and after the construction of these projects and determining the level of impact it had. Looking back at my research process I believe I spent too much time focusing on the broader aspects of my topic instead of choosing a few cities to begin my search.