New California law intended to aid transportation projects
October 12, 2020
A new California transportation law is intended to get people off the state’s roadways.
Gov. Gavin Newsom signed into law a bill to speed up transportation projects considered to be “sustainable.” Specifically, the new law exempts transit projects from stricter review under the California Environmental Quality Act.
Exempted projects will include adding bus rapid transit lines, the installation of zero-emission bus charging infrastructure, and walking and biking infrastructure.
Previously SB288, the new California transportation law is not intended to aid getting road work done, but it could help alleviate some road congestion.
Support and concern
Sen. Scott Wiener, D-San Francisco, said when more people use alternatives to cars greenhouse gas emissions go down.
“The transportation projects that SB288 would streamline are job creators and important for the fight against climate change,” Wiener said in previous remarks.
Others add that the bill is a no-cost stimulus to get projects underway as the state’s economy recovers from slowdowns and shutdowns since the pandemic began earlier this year.
Additionally, exemptions are touted to shave project timelines by six months to four years.
Critics said SB288 allows a long list of transportation projects that will likely bring significant environmental impacts to be greenlighted without a thorough review. As a result, the projects will be allowed to circumvent the CEQA’s important public participation and environmental health requirements. LL