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In Building Homes Near Highways, L.A. Ignores a Public Health Issue

Los Angeles seems primed for a development boom, but when developments are built near highways there can be serious health consequences.
March 6, 2017, 1pm PST | Casey Brazeal | @northandclark
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110 Freeway
David Lee

Living in Los Angeles can be very expensive, and the city is exporting its poor in part because of high housing costs. But recent developments near highways have raised health concerns. "People there suffer higher rates of asthma, heart attacks, strokes, lung cancer and pre-term births. Recent research has added more health risks to the list, including childhood obesity, autism and dementia," Tony Barboza and Jon Schleuss report for the Los Angeles Times. In a city of 2.5 million, city zoning choices impact a lot of people. "In Los Angeles alone officials have approved thousands of new homes within 1,000 feet of a freeway — even as they advised developers that this distance poses health concerns," Barboza and Schleuss report.

When asked for comment mayor Eric Garcetti said, “I take this stuff very seriously, but I also know that in looking for housing we have a very constricted city,” Barboza and Schleuss report. Garcetti favors stricter regulations on building design and tail pipe emissions over limiting developments near highways.

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Published on Thursday, March 2, 2017 in Los Angeles Times
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