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Chop chopped

Friday, January 22, 2021 by Elizabeth Pagano

The saga of the Morrow Pork Chop has officially come to an end. On Thursday, the city demolished the chop, which has stood in the way of traffic from east of Lamar on Morrow for three decades and was a source of neighborhood tension almost as long. Originally, the traffic-calming device was installed during construction of U.S. Highway 183 to deter people from cutting through the neighborhood in an effort to avoid the construction. When it remained in place, however, some saw it as physical confirmation of the economic segregation between neighborhoods. This reading was particularly apt in that, while the pork chop prevented traffic coming from the east, it did not similarly impede traffic from the west. A press release from District 4 Council Member Greg Casar celebrated the demise of the chop. “It’s time that our city be connected from east to west,” said Casar. “This barrier has served as a symbol of a more segregated past. Even though this is just a piece of concrete, demolishing it sends a message that Austin can be committed to being more inclusive moving forward.”

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