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The Cleveland National Forest Foundation and the Center for Biological Diversity filed a lawsuit on November 28 to block implementation of SANDAG's 2050 Regional Transportation Plan/Sustainable Communities Strategy.

SANDAG's board of directors approved the $214 billion transit-plan on October 28 to meet the requirements of State Bill 375, a bill that requires regional governments update long-range transportation plans every four years to curb urban sprawl and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Of the $216 billion, SANDAG plans to spend $106.6 billion to build and improve transit, and $87.3 billion to expand interstates and state routes and for improvements to local streets.

But the environmental groups say the plan is faulty. They claim SANDAG failed to come up with any new solutions, putting transit and pedestrian options at the back of the line. By doing so, the petitioners claim the number of vehicle miles will increase by 50 percent, sprawl will continue, and greenhouse gases will be emitted.

Reads the lawsuit: "Implementation of the Plan will result in numerous significant environmental impacts. Rather than provide a comprehensive analysis and a serious attempt to mitigate these impacts, however, [SANDAG] elected to proceed with an admittedly general review and to simply label the vast majority of the Plan’s impacts “significant and unavoidable.”

“The time to move aggressively toward a more sustainable way of life is upon us,” stated Jack Shu, president of the Cleveland National Forest Foundation. “SANDAG’s plan promotes an unsustainable vision for San Diego County: More traffic, less transit; more pollution, no solutions.

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