Author Topic: L.A. keeps building near freeways, even though living there makes people sick  (Read 137 times)

Offline imchills

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For more than a decade, California air quality officials have warned against building homes within 500 feet of freeways.

And with good reason: People there suffer higher rates of asthma, heart attacks, strokes, lung cancer and pre-term births. Recent research has added more health risks to the list, including childhood obesity, autism and dementia.

Yet Southern California civic officials have flouted those warnings, allowing a surge in home building near traffic pollution, according to a Los Angeles Times analysis of U.S. Census data, building permits and other government records.

In Los Angeles alone officials have approved thousands of new homes within 1,000 feet of a freeway — even as they advised developers that this distance poses health concerns.

The city issued building permits for 4,300 homes near freeways in 2015 — more than in any year over the last decade — and signed off on an additional 3,000 units last year.

Public funds, including millions of dollars from California’s cap-and-trade program to cut greenhouse gas emissions, are going to developers to build new homes in freeway pollution hot spots.

The population near Los Angeles freeways is growing faster than elsewhere in the city as planners push developers to concentrate new housing near transportation hubs, convinced that increasing urban density will help meet state targets for greenhouse gas reductions.

More than 1.2 million people already live in high-pollution zones within 500 feet of a Southern California freeway, with more moving in every day. Between 2000 and 2010 — the most recent period available — the population within 500 feet of a Los Angeles freeway grew 3.9%, compared with a rate of 2.6% citywide.


Read more at http://www.latimes.com/projects/la-me-freeway-pollution/