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Residents applaud cancellation of highway expansion after decades of controversy: 'A terrible idea that ought not to have gained traction'

"It took years of organizing, reaching out, getting expert opinion, and coordinating a campaign."

"It took years of organizing, reaching out, getting expert opinion, and coordinating a campaign."

Photo Credit: iStock

Transportation authorities have canceled a controversial project after an Environmental Impact Report found that there would be "significant" consequences. 

Streetsblog LA reported on Feb. 23 that Metro and Caltrans walked back their plans to build a 2,000-foot flyover offramp from below 28th Street to Figueroa Street near downtown Los Angeles.

The 110 Adams Terminus Improvement Project, an iteration of which had been proposed decades ago, had received pushback from a number of organizations, including the Los Angeles Conservancy. 

In 2015, the conservancy argued that noise and visual pollution would negatively impact the area and the experience at the historic St. John's Cathedral. 

Additionally, the MyFigueroa project, a $20 million initiative completed in 2018, was focused on creating a more walkable and bikeable corridor.

In 2018, the year MyFigueroa was ultimately completed, a lawsuit was filed against Caltrans — and the Metro (as a party of interest) — by the West Adams Heritage Association, the Adams Dockweiler Heritage Organizing Committee, and Friends of St. John's Cathedral. 

"Our overarching arguments were that the flyover would have adverse impacts on the surrounding historic resources … that it would divide and severely impact the existing University Park community, would conflict with the city's MyFigueroa Plan, and would also have aesthetic, traffic, [planet-warming pollution], and urban decay impacts," Amy Minteer, the plaintiffs' attorney, said of the case, as reported by Streetblogs LA. 

The lawsuit led to a reexamination of the offramp project, with Caltrans and the Metro being required to conduct the Environmental Impact Report. 

The 110 offramp in L.A. is yet another example of a major highway project being scrapped. 

In 2022, the Colorado Department of Transportation halted its plans to expand Interstate 25, instead investing the money in public transit — a system that many Americans would like to see built out across the country.

Even though the United States is notoriously car-dependent, a poll by Hattaway Communications revealed that more than 80% of respondents are ready to turn the page on highway expansion initiatives as the main solution to traffic congestion, with bike lanes and sidewalks receiving interest along with public transport.  

Cleaner air would be the result

Each year, gas-guzzling vehicles produce thousands of pounds of pollution linked to health concerns like asthma, and people in neighborhoods with heavy traffic are disproportionately impacted

"It took years of organizing, reaching out, getting expert opinion, and coordinating a campaign against a terrible idea that ought not to have gained traction," West Adams Heritage Association Vice President Jean Frost told Streetsblog LA of the decision to cancel the offramp. 

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