Oppose widening & tolling of the yolo county causeway
  1. United States
  2. Calif.
  3. Letter

Oppose widening & tolling of the yolo county causeway

To: Rep. Matsui

From: A constituent in West Sacramento, CA

May 15

We the people OPPOSE the widening of the Yolo County Causeway/Bypass. This project will build 17 lane miles of tolled lanes on the I-80 freeway between Davis and Sacramento While the project claims to reduce congestion, by constructing additional lanes,it will actually increase traffic on the road through a process known as induced demand. (https://www.wired.com/2014/06/wuwt-traffic-induced-demand/) The additional number of cars on the road will lead to a significant increase in air pollution and GHG emissions in the region. This additional traffic will increase greenhouse gas emissions in Yolo County by roughly 9%. Given the California Air Resources Board’s goal for regions to reduce their GHG emissions by 19% by 2035 (https://ww2.arb.ca.gov/our-work/programs/sustainable-communities-program/regional-plan-targets), constructing this project directly conflicts with the need to combat climate change. The project will also increase the number of trucks on the road. Truck traffic generates significantly more air pollution than cars and is responsible for 59% of ozone and 55% of particulate matter emissions (https://www.lung.org/getmedia/e1ff935b-a935-4f49-91e5-151f1e643124/zero-emission-truck-report) The project documents underestimate the project impacts by 44%, meaning that the proposed mitigation has even fewer benefits than is being reported. If left unmitigated, this project will continue to pollute the surrounding environment and undermine the work the state is doing in addressing climate change. The Yolo-80 project is currently under audit for possibly violating the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA).Under CEQA, projects are not allowed to be split into smaller pieces in order to obscure its possible environmental impact. Caltrans is currently restoring the pavement on the I-80 and it is not clear whether that project should have been a part of the Managed Lanes Project. The CTC should not be voting on this project until the audit results have been announced. Highways: Highway widenings do not: ◦ Reduce Traffic – Through a process known as induced demand (https://cal.streetsblog.org/2021/02/17/interview-california-freeway-expansion-projects-induce-travel-and-underestimate-impacts-of-additional-driving), additional lanes create more space for cars which quickly fill up by drivers, creating more traffic on the road ◦ Improve Safety – By i ncreasing the number of cars on the road, highway widenings increase the rate of car accidents Improve the Economy  – Highway widening projects  do not create long-term job opportunities (https://smartgrowthamerica.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/010510_whatwelearned_stimulus.pdf)  (as opposed to investments in public transit) and have been found to not substantially benefit regional economies (https://smartgrowthamerica.org/wp-content/uploads/2023/01/Foot-Traffic-Ahead-2023.pdf)

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