As anyone who as worked as a citizen advocate in transportation planning knows, the questions transportation planners ask often dictate the answer. Put another way, if transportation planners don’t evaluate clean and green transportation options, they will never happen.
In San Diego, after reviewing a draft environmental impact review, residents along the route of a proposed freeway expansion project, the Environmental Health Coalition (EHC),City Heights Community Development Corporation, and other groups urged the highway planning authority to consider options that would improve traffic congestion and air quality – and they agreed to do it!
Among the options to be considered are adding transit stops in underserved neighborhoods, using the median and shoulder for transit and carpool use during peak travel times, and converting lanes to transit and carpool use.
Given the fact that adding new highway capacity simply generates more demand and hence more traffic and air pollution, focusing on transit and carpool use could have a dramatic effect on future air pollution levels, and on health impacts.
To learn more about EHC’s excellent work, check out ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH COALITION APPLAUDS SANDAG, CALTRANS FOR COMMUNITY-SUPPORTED FREEWAY ALTERNATIVES