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Transportation Funding

Caltrans Asphalt Addiction Continues

3:45 PM PST on December 8, 2022

Caltrans wants more more more

Induced demand. Sprawl. Global warming. State transportation officials come to meetings and talk about how they get it now; they can't just keep widening highways and laying more asphalt.

And then they go back to their offices and plan more destruction.

Their latest abomination, State Route 239, is a new planned four-lane highway in eastern Contra Costa County between State Route 4 and Interstate 580.

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More info from Caltrans's documents:

The proposed State Route 239 Project would provide a new, four-lane highway from State Route 4 at Marsh Creek Road in Contra Costa County to Interstate 580 in Alameda County or Interstate 205 in San Joaquin County. This new state route would ultimately improve the transportation network for an area that has few viable north-south roadway connections in this approximately 17-mile [emphasis added] stretch between eastern Contra Costa and the Central Valley.

Usually the agency hides its road-expansion efforts under the guise of interchange improvements or seismic retrofits. Sometimes they'll even promise to add some useless bike stencils in the gutter pans and call it a bike lane. But this one is just a straight up new highway.

Caltrans is trying to sneak this one past, but hawk-eyed advocates aren't having it, as seen in the tweet below from Bike East Bay's Robert Prinz:

Caltrans and Contra Costa could work on adding Amtrak service or other new rail services along historic, surviving rail corridors in the area (which used to carry passenger trains, by the way) if they sincerely want to improve transportation and goods movements. Instead, officials are again working to induce more traffic, more sprawl, more pollution, and more collisions for the people of the Bay Area and the rest of California--in 2022, when the world is burning.

Let's pave all this over, says Caltrans
Let's pave all this over. Image from Caltrans documents on the SR 239 project.
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It's also notable that the The New York Times doesn't seem interested in writing feature stories about this and the many other multi-million dollar ongoing "boondoggles" that aim to encase the state in more asphalt. No, they only write attacks on rail projects.

Let's pave this over and fill it with more sprawl, says Caltrans
Byron, California. Let's pave this over and fill it with more sprawl, says Caltrans. Image: Google maps.
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Readers should call in to the meeting and demand this project be terminated right now. And next time legislation hits Sacramento to try and slow Caltrans's ongoing insanity, the governor needs to peel the proverbial wool off his eyes and freakin' sign it.

Again, sign Bike East Bay's list to get notification so you can help put a halt to this.

To read an interesting bit of history about the corridor, check out this page about Byron Hot Springs and the area's abandoned passenger rail service.

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