PSC Uses CEQA to Challenge Caltrans Highway 1 Widening EIR
In August 2013, Pacificans for a Scenic Coast (PSC) filed suit against Caltrans under the California Environmental Quality Act. On August 22 and 29, Judge Marie Weiner heard that lawsuit in San Mateo County Superior Court. Judge Weiner now has up to 90 days to issue a ruling.
The lawsuit challenges the adequacy of the Environmental Impact Report (EIR) for the Highway 1 widening project. The suit contends that: the project was not adequately described at the time of the EIR, the project is out of scale with Pacifica’s scenic nature, the EIR contains contradictory information on impacts on threatened species, and the EIR does not adequately address adverse impacts of the project.
A PSC spokesman says, “Caltrans has approved a project that will more than double the width of the existing roadway, and encase the highway in 9- to 22-foot-high retaining walls. Pedestrians and bicyclists crossing from west to east or east to west would be challenged in crossing such a wide roadway, which as proposed is completely out of scale for a community the size of Pacifica. There were only two alternatives considered by Caltrans, big and bigger. Bigger was Caltrans’ preferred alternative.”