San Diego Regional Transportation Plan Faces a Legal Battle From Environmentalists

Various environmental groups have joined a lawsuit aimed at SANDAG's (San Diego's MPO) 2050 regional transportation plan for not going far enough in state mandated efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, explains Damien Newton.
February 24, 2012, 6am PST | Alesia Hsiao
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When the San Diego Association of Governments (SANDAG) 2050 Regional Transportation Plan was the first out of the gate amongst California MPOs to adhere to state mandates to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, it was celebrated as a victory for integrated sustainable land use and transportation planning.

Now, several environmental groups along with the Environmental Caucus of the California Democratic Party, and even the state's Attorney General, have come out against the plan in public and in court.

According to Newton, "The major issue in the lawsuit is that while the SANDAG plan does outline a major growth in the region's transit network, most of the transit planning is in the last years of the project. The early years call for a rapid increase in the area's highway network through a new high occupancy/toll lane system (HOT Lanes). SANDAG spokespeople claim that because the lanes can be used free by transit, they should be considered transit projects."

There is disagreement on where the funding should be allocated. The final plan will be voted on in March.

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Published on Tuesday, February 21, 2012 in LA Streetsblog
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