Liz Swain 4:24 p.m., May 24
Democrats Blast SANDAG Transit Plan
The Environmental Caucus of the California Democratic Party yesterday released a resolution it reached unanimously at last weekend’s state convention condemning the San Diego Association of Governments (SANDAG)’s Regional Transit Plan.
The group blasts SANDAG for failing to consider state greenhouse gas reduction goals codified by Assembly Bill 32, signed into law by Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger in 2006, and Senate Bill 375, a 2008 measure requiring regional transit plans to “adopt a sustainable communities strategy.” They specifically call attention to a plan to widen 27 miles of Interstate 5 from 8 lanes to 12, a proposal environmentalists say encourages driving and discourages use of public transit.
Democrats say that SANDAG has declared itself exempt from greenhouse gas reduction goals. This assertion is at least partially supported by Appendix B of the Regional Transit Plan, which states on page 15 that “certain highway and transit projects” are exempted, though none of the projects cited in the report are related to road or highway expansion.
Congressman Bob Filner and state Attorney General Kamala Harris are lauded by the Environmental Caucus for their objection to the Regional Transit Plan’s approval, as are environmental groups Cleveland National Forest Foundation, the Center for Biological Diversity, and the Sierra Club California.