Yesterday, the Los Angeles Times reported that State Assemblymember Cristina Garcia (D-Bell Gardens) is planning to introduce legislation to end freeway expansion in low-income communities already suffering from freeway harms. According to the Times, the bill would "prohibit the state from funding or permitting highway projects in areas with high rates of pollution and poverty and where residents have suffered negative health effects from living near freeways." Per the Times, "Garcia stated state leaders should consider the significant evidence of racial and health disparities caused by highway construction as well as research showing that freeway widenings frequently fail to resolve traffic congestion because they induce more car trips."
Additional smaller freeway widening projects: In addition to Caltrans and Metro's mega-projects, there are other freeway widenings planned in Garcia's district. For example, Caltrans and Metro are planning to widen about a mile of the 91 Freeway near the 710; that $95 million widening is part of a Metro project termed "605 Hot Spots" where Metro is preparing to widen the 605 Freeway by widening ramps, interchanges, etc. that lead to it. The 710 Freeway widening has a similar "early action program."
Garcia plans to introduce the new freeway bill in January 2022. Read theTimes coverage, which puts the legislation in the context of past and ongoing freeway widening harms, as well as recent changes at the federal and state levels.