Skip to Content
Streetsblog Los Angeles home
Log In
Caltrans

Downey Area Freeway Fighters Form The Happy City Coalition

1:25 PM PST on December 16, 2020

The Happy City Coalition is opposing Metro and Caltrans freeway expansion that would demolish hundreds of homes in Downey and other cities

A new coalition has formed to oppose freeway expansion in Southeast L.A. County. The Happy City Coalition is opposing freeway widening and its harm effects on communities, health, environment, and traffic.

In September, Downey resident Alexandria Contreras was one of the first people to raise major concerns about Metro plans to demolish hundreds of homes in order to widen the 605 and 5 Freeways. Metro announced its 605 Freeway Corridor Improvement Project (605CIP) planned to impact more than 1,200 properties - with the lion's share of home demolition in the cities of Downey and Santa Fe Springs.

Contreras made opposition to freeway widening a key tenet of her campaign to unseat Downey Mayor Blanca Pacheco. While Contreras lost the election, she was successful in shifting the public debate over freeway expansion. Downey elected officials - who had previously been supportive or quiet about the widening - came out against it. The Metro board responded to demolition concerns by delaying project approval while Metro staff study less harmful alternatives.

Downey area neighbors recently formed The Happy City Coalition, which held its first meeting last Saturday. The "No More Lanes" slideshow from that meeting is available online.

The Coalition's mission and goals include stopping the 605CIP freeway expansion, and supporting a more walkable, bikeable, transit-oriented future for Downey its Southeast L.A. County neighbors.

Mission: We are a coalition of neighbors who believe that in advocating for a happier tomorrow, we must fight for each other’s dignity & well being in all things. We are fighting to stop the I-605 & I-5 freeway interchange expansion, to protect people’s homes & generational wealth, to save our environment from further pollution, and to ensure the racist practice of bulldozing communities of color in California ends.

Goal: To build a strong, anti-racist community-oriented network throughout Southeast LA County that will focus on bringing housing to our cities, clean water, transit-oriented networks, and pedestrian- and biking-friendly infrastructure to the region.

To get involved in The Happy City Coalition, use this sign-up sheet, email happycitycoalition[at]gmail.com, and/or follow on Instagram.

The Happy City Coalition
The Happy City Coalition
The Happy City Coalition

Stay in touch

Sign up for our free newsletter

More from Streetsblog Los Angeles

Donate Now to Support the Streetsblog L.A. End of the Year Fundraising Drive!

If you’re a regular reader and you’ve already contributed this year, thank you! If you value Streetsblog and you haven’t already supported us, please consider a donation as part of our End of the Year fundraising drive.

December 8, 2023

Caltrans and Metro Using “Auxiliary Lane” Freeway Widening Loophole for Non-Aux Lane Projects

Beyond just using harmful loopholes legally, Metro and Caltrans deceptively bypass environmental regulations in order to keep on widening freeways

December 8, 2023

No, Opening a $2 Billion Freeway Expansion Project is Decidedly Not the End of Southland’s Freeway Era

“The reports of my death are greatly exaggerated.” - Southern California Freeway Expansion

December 6, 2023
See all posts