What is CEQA?

http://ceres.ca.gov/ceqa/more/faq.html

CEQA, or the California Environmental Quality Act, is a statute that requires state and local agencies to identify the significant environmental impacts of their actions and to avoid or mitigate those impacts, if feasible.

In my words this is a good idea which has been built into a terrible law. I don’t think we should get rid of the law, but it needs to be reformed.

Apparantly there’s a LOS (level of service) for CEQA:

“Ironically, environmental quality considerations, in the form of California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) findings, are often the biggest obstacles to making quality-of-life improvements to city streets, not because pedestrian and bicycle safety improvements contribute to air / noise / water pollution (they don’t), but because taking pavement away from private motorcars can potentially diminish the “Level of Service” (LOS) experienced by auto drivers below a failing-grade threshold of convenience.”

“Level-of-Service A can describe free-flow operations. Traffic flows at or above the posted speed limit and all motorists have complete mobility between lanes.” [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Level_of_service#Level-of-Service_in_North_America]

Yes, the state of CA seems to be insane enough to have determined that REDUCING TRAFFIC SPEED IS A NEGATIVE ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT! Apparently, speeding cars are good for the environment.

Like it or not, this is the law, right now.

There are attempts to reform this stupid law:

“This bill would, until January 1, 2018, exempt from CEQA the restriping of streets and highways for bicycle lanes in an urbanized area that is consistent with a prepared bicycle transportation plan.” [http://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/billNavClient.xhtml?bill_id=201120120AB2245]

The fact that this is even a notion to begin with shows how utterly asleep at the wheel our silly Quislings have been.

While they pontificated about how far we need to be from the side of the road, the government was redefining negative impacts to walking and cycling as good for the environment.

There is much, much more to this massive and complex law, but this is the tip of the iceberg on why this law needs to be reformed. It also demonstrates how auto-centricity corrupts even the best of laws. Finally, it also shows how raising the flag of environmentalism can be used as a ploy to bicycle haters (you know who you are) to squash infrastructure for cyclists.

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