Facing a rapid growth trajectory in the region, the City of Anaheim developed plans for a major new multi-modal transportation center. The center would provide non-automobile transit options for commuters and other travelers, including commuter rail, buses, future High Speed Rail, and bicycles. A CEQA review identified construction impacts such as air quality, noise, hazardous materials and harm to cultural resources, and designated proven measures to mitigate these impacts.

The main adverse impact from ongoing operations at the Center would be increased traffic on nearby highways. This impact was considered unavoidable, so, given that the benefits of the project would outweigh the traffic impact, this project impact did not derail the project. For this project, CEQA’s role was to instigate a critical review of the project from a cost-benefit perspective, and mitigate those impacts to the extent possible. The result was that Southern California supported greenhouse gas emissions reductions by building out regional transit options, while minimizing harm to public health and the environment.

Source: BAE Urban Economics (2016). CEQA in the 21st Century. P. 34.

Photo credit: Samuel Bernstein, CC BY-SA 4.0