Opinion: Los Angeles Transportation Plan Will Increase Driving

L.A. Metro’s plan to add hundreds of miles of new traffic lanes is projected to increase carbon emissions by 10 million metric tons.

Read Time: 2 minutes

August 18, 2022, 12:00 PM PDT

By Diana Ionescu @aworkoffiction


110 Freeway

David Lee / Flickr

In an op-ed for the Los Angeles Times, founder of Streets for All Michael Schneider argues that despite a plan to build more than 100 miles of rail and new bus and bike lanes, the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro), with its current transportation plan, will encourage people to drive more miles. 

According to Schneider, “just as Metro is spending tens of billions building rail and bus projects, it also plans to spend billions adding 363 miles of new highways and arterials. According to Metro’s own calculations based on state standards, this will increase vehicle miles traveled by up to 36.8 billion, and emit an additional 10.1 million metric tons of CO2”—more than three times the number of miles driven that Metro could eliminate through its. transit efforts. As Schneider puts  it, “The expansion of highways will do far more harm than the expansion of mass transit will avert.”

Huge investments of the past have shown the folly of expanding highways to address traffic congestion. In the recent past, we spent $1 billion to add a lane in each direction onto the 405 in West Los Angeles. In less than 12 months, traffic had grown worse than it was before the project

Schneider writes, “If Metro is serious about building a more sustainable future, it must stop investing in expanding highways.” and instead invest in projects that make it easier for Angelenos to use transit, walk, and bike safely.

Tuesday, August 16, 2022 in Los Angeles Times

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