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San Diego Community Groups Launch Petition To Stop Route 94 Expansion

Photo credit: Ken Lund / flickr

An aerial view of state Route 94 is shown as it runs through San Diego in this undated photo.

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The proposal to expand state Route 94 in San Diego is entering its final planning stages but the project is being met with resistance from community and environmental groups.

Advocates launched a petition to stop the express lanes project.

Caltrans and the San Diego Association of Governments want to ease congestion by adding express lanes, one in each direction from Interstate 5 to Interstate 805. The lanes would serve High Occupancy Vehicles and new Bus Rapid Transit service.

The idea of expanding freeways to promote the use of public transportation is becoming a hard sell in San Diego. Environmental groups are urging the agencies involved to reconsider the plan.

“We see this as a $6 million opportunity to improve mobility not only locally but regionally as well,”

Monique Lopez, policy advocate with the Environmental Health Coalition, told KPBS Midday Edition on Monday. “What we like to see are innovative community-based solutions.”

Gustavo Dallarda, Caltrans' corridor director, said the plan addresses one of the most congested freeways in the region.

“This is one of the top bottlenecks coming into San Diego,” Dallarda said.

He also said the project will address the noise made from the old freeway.

“As part of the project, we’re building over 50 soundwalls,” Dallarda said.

But Lopez said she wants to see more public transit.

“What we really like to see is a project in place that protects the health of the community,” she said.

Caltrans is expected to complete the environmental review process by the end of June.

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