California bill aims to curb sprawl
Hopes are high that a bill aimed at curbing California sprawl will pass the state legislature and be signed into law by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger. The bill, SB 375, would channel transportation funding toward projects that encourage smart growth. Each of California’s 17 metropolitan regions would create a “sustainable community strategy” to encourage compact development; projects included in the strategy would get first dibs on transportation funds. In order to meet California’s goal to cut greenhouse-gas emissions 25 percent by 2020, “our communities must change the way they grow,” says bill sponsor Darrell Steinberg (D). He adds, “You can’t meet our goal just with alternative fuels. You have to reduce the number of vehicle miles traveled. If people are going to drive — and they are going to drive — we need to plan in ways to get them out of their cars faster.” The bill, the first of its kind in the nation, has been endorsed by builders, environmentalists, and local officials.