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SANDAG Will Try To Settle Transportation Lawsuit

This week a judge struck down SANDAG's 40-year transportation plan. Friday morning, the planning agency's board met in closed session, then released a statement saying SANDAG would seek a settlement with plaintiffs.

The California Attorney General and the Sierra Club joined the lawsuit against the regional transportation plan approved by the San Diego Association of Governments.
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Above: The California Attorney General and the Sierra Club joined the lawsuit against the regional transportation plan approved by the San Diego Association of Governments.

But they did not rule out the possibility of a court appeal.

The agency's Regional Transportation Plan outlines construction projects over the next 40 years to improve highway service and mass transportation in the San Diego region. All of the planned projects would cost a total of $200 billion.

Critics say SANDAG's plan puts too much emphasis on improving car travel, and not enough on building and promoting mass transit. They claimed it violated state regulations aimed at reducing greenhouse emissions. Superior Court Judge Timothy Taylor issued a ruling that basically agreed.

The SANDAG statement said the agency always intended to comply with greenhouse gas emission laws as directed by state agencies. It ordered its attorneys to meet with the people bringing suit. But it has also told them to seek a court appeal if settlement talks were not fruitful.

The SANDAG case is seen as a model for the rest of the state, since its transportation plan is the first to be written in the wake of new state policies aimed at stopping global warming.

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