The proposed legislation would have prohibited new construction in historically underserved areas that often bear the burnt of the negative impacts of freeways.
“Assemblymember Cristina Garcia’s (D-Bell Gardens) bill that would have prohibited California state agencies from investing time and money into freeway expansions in low-income communities that are hard-hit by pollution and displacement, A.B. 1778, died in the Senate Transportation Committee on Tuesday.” As Melanie Curry reports for Streetsblog California, Assemblymember Garcia had been working with committee chair Senator Lena Gonzales (D-Long Beach), who opposed the bill, to make amendments that would gain Gonzales’s support, but had to introduce it this week.
The bill failed by an 8-2 vote. “Lots of arguments have been made against the bill already, most of them coming from groups that have a stake in continuing the status quo of unfettered freeway building.”
Garcia says she “wrote the bill because of the large number of people who have lost their housing because of freeway construction that has slammed through communities where people are least able to protect themselves.” Critics of freeway construction also point to the negative health impacts on surrounding neighborhoods. “In addition, the increased traffic that comes with expanding freeways not only does not solve the congestion that it claims to solve, it creates a further burden of pollution on communities that already experience bad air quality.”
More background on the bill here.
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