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Opponents Of SD Transportation Plan File Legal Arguments

Aired 6/27/12 on KPBS News.

Legal briefs were filed today in a suit that accuses SANDAG of promoting dependence on car travel.

— Opponents of SANDAG's Regional Transportation Plan (RTP) for San Diego call it a recipe for environmental damage, and they filed their legal briefs today in San Diego Superior Court.

SANDAG, San Diego's planning agency, is the first in California to create a long-range transportation plan under new laws to reduce greenhouse emissions. Environmentalists are bringing suit. They say the plan virtually assures San Diego will remain car-dependent.

Plaintiffs claimed SANDAG's Regional Transportation Plan would continue the region's dependence on cars and make no progress in the battle against global warming.
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Above: Plaintiffs claimed SANDAG's Regional Transportation Plan would continue the region's dependence on cars and make no progress in the battle against global warming.

Kevin Bundy is an attorney for the Center for Biological Diversity. He said the plan does nothing to reduce global warming or vehicle-miles traveled. In fact, it allows an increase. It also pushes most transit projects into the last two decades of the plan, which extends out to the year 2050.

"So there's a real conflict between what the SANDAG plan allows, and what the science says is necessary to avoid the worst impacts," said Bundy.

The plaintiffs claim SANDAG's plan violates the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) by not doing enough to lessen environmental damages.

But SANDAG's special counsel, Julie Wiley, said the agency worked hard to meet CEQA requirements. She added the plan actually spends more on transit than on highways.

"Transit will receive 36 percent in the first 10 years, with 34 percent going to highway improvements," Wiley said, adding that the amount going to transit would increase each decade.

Plaintiffs counter that the formula still expands an already robust highway system, and that makes it unlikely many will choose transit over car travel, which will continue to be convenient and free-flowing.

The State of California has joined the suit against SANDAG. The California Attorney General's office is also filing briefs this week.

Comments

Avatar for user 'Derek'

Derek | June 27, 2012 at 4:49 p.m. ― 2 years, 2 months ago

"Plaintiffs counter that the formula still expands an already robust highway system, and that makes it unlikely many will choose transit over car travel, which will continue to be convenient and free-flowing."

Car travel can continue to be free-flowing even without expanding the highway system. Because express lanes don't get congested, simply convert existing lanes to express lanes. Problem solved. No freeway widening needed. It would save the environment, and it would also save taxpayers a LOT of money.

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Avatar for user 'Peking_Duck_SD'

Peking_Duck_SD | June 27, 2012 at 6:07 p.m. ― 2 years, 2 months ago

I am so tired of SANDAG.

A bunch of nit-wits who have been making wrong decisions for years.

I'm glad to hear they are being sued.

I hope those filing the lawsuit win, as it would be a win for our city!

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Avatar for user 'Peking_Duck_SD'

Peking_Duck_SD | June 27, 2012 at 6:13 p.m. ― 2 years, 2 months ago

This "plan" is a clear bait and switch ploy by incompetent SANDAG employees.

Keep putting off mass transit, keep turning SD into LA with endless freeways.

We need transit NOW you dopes, quit putting it off.

We get your little game.

Keep things on "long-range master plans" that keep getting brushed aside.

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