We’re excited to add Evans Paull to our author list! Paull is the author of Stop the Road: Stories from the Trenches of Baltimore’s Road Wars. Stop the Road will be released in fall of 2022.
Stop the Road is a microcosm of a clash over values and ideas about cities and the transportation systems that provide the lifeblood of the urban economy. That Baltimore avoided committing “urbanicide” (a term coined by Baltimore Sun news columnist James Dilts) was a testament to the astonishing victory of a ragtag band of community activists, environmentalists, and preservationists that turned the tables on the economic and political establishment. They won three major expressway battles, eliminating two highways and rerouting a third, thereby saving the waterfront that later became the bedrock of Baltimore’s late-1900s revival. However, the lasting impact of the highways that were built through the city’s African American communities (including Baltimore’s infamous “Highway to Nowhere”) tells quite a different story. Here we see highway plans that reflected racial inequities and discriminatory practices deeply embedded in Baltimore’s history. This is a storyline that still resonates today, as the country faces up to a long-overdue reckoning over racial issues.
Enlivened by the up-close-and-personal stories of the Road Warriors (much of it gained from 53 interviews of those involved), Stop the Road charts a course that is engaging on a human-interest level. This is a story of Baltimore at its best and at its worst all at the same time; a story of the mob retaking “Mobtown”; a story of monumental struggle for the “Monumental City.”
“Paull’s surgical dissection of the 40-year battle produces a book that is essential for understanding today’s Baltimore—and the many other American cities which experienced similar highway wars.”
Antero Pietila, author of Not in My Neighborhood: How Bigotry Shaped a Great American City.
“Stop the Road is an engrossing saga of Baltimore, not just because the events depicted are so significant for our city, but also because the history is enlivened by in person storytelling. You will marvel how this combination of community protectors, civil rights activists, preservationists, 1960’s idealists, and environmental advocates gained the upper hand over the road building establishment.”
M. J. (“Jay”) Brodie, former Baltimore Housing Commissioner and President of Baltimore Development Corporation.
“If you think about the things that have really changed the face of Baltimore as we know it today, to me there is nothing more important than the road wars.”
C. William Struever, Baltimore developer and urban strategist
Evans Paull is a retired city planner, living in northwest Baltimore with his wife, Rosemarie. He has three children and one grandchild. Paull’s career started in the Baltimore City Department of Planning where he worked with quite a few of the interviewees featured in this book (but he had no direct involvement in either transportation planning or the Road Wars). In mid-career he shifted from generalist planner to specializing in the redevelopment of brownfields (vacant former industrial or commercial properties, the reuse of which is complicated by contamination). He started and managed Baltimore’s Brownfields Initiative; then went on to work on these same issues at a national level, working first for Northeast-Midwest Institute, later acting as Director of the National Brownfields Coalition, later still starting and running his consulting business, Redevelopment Economics. You can find previously published articles and papers on the Redevelopment Economics website. Paull has won a number of awards, including: Brownfields Leadership Award; Phoenix Award (for brownfields redevelopment); Governor’s Smart Growth Award; and Professional Achievement in Economic Development Award, Maryland Chapter American Planning Association.