California’s transportation problems could prevent state from reaching carbon reduction goals

Governor’s carbon neutral-by-2045 ambitions at odds with car culture.

December 12, 2018 |

California ambitious carbon reduction goals face a major challenge: getting people to travel by more environmentally friendly means than personal cars.

The Golden State’s car culture is still going strong, despite the legendary traffic jams. So, other efforts such as stricter green building codes are likely to fall short of emission reduction goals unless that changes.

“California will not achieve the necessary greenhouse gas emissions reductions to meet mandates for 2030 and beyond without significant changes to how communities and transportation systems are planned, funded, and built,” according to a recent report by the California Air Resources Board.

The state spends most of its transportation dollars on building and maintaining roads for cars. It has failed to build enough housing near jobs, so workers have to make long commutes. The formula for change must include building more apartments in walkable neighborhoods and improving transit systems, says an environmental advocate.

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