Proposed bill places priority on improving mass transit on the c - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Proposed bill places priority on improving mass transit on the coast

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SAN DIEGO (CNS) - Caltrans would have to improve mass transit systems in coastal communities before widening freeways there under a bill introduced Thursday by Sen. Christine Kehoe, D-San Diego.

The bill applies statewide, but specifically targets a plan to widen Interstate 5 between La Jolla and Oceanside.

If the bill is passed, Caltrans would also have to pay to upgrade municipal surface streets impacted by greater traffic from nearby expanded freeways.

"There are better ways to move people through coastal communities than by only widening freeways," said Kehoe. "Improved transit service costs less, lowers pollution and reduces congestion. Better transit should precede freeway expansion."

Kehoe said widening Interstate 5 in the North County will increase noise, reduce air quality, fail to preserve ocean views and have detrimental impacts on coastal lagoons.

She urged Caltrans to study extending trolley service and adding a second rail track for the Coaster train.

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