Have you noticed that it takes longer to get to the mountain these days? Traffic congestion has become a big issue in Contra Costa County, and soon residents there will have a chance to do something about it. In early January, the Contra Costa Transit Authority (CCTA) will present an environmental impact report (EIR) in preparation for a countywide vote on ballot Measure C in November 2004. CCTA is seeking public feedback on the EIR, which will contain three options, only one of which will appear on the November ballot. Voters will be asked to approve or oppose the new transportation plan that would take effect when the current one expires in 2008. The option favored by the Transportation and Land Use Coalition (TALC)-an alliance of groups such as Save Mount Diablo, Greenbelt Alliance, East Bay Bi-cycle Coalition, Berkeley Gray Panthers, and the Nonprofit Housing Association of Northern California-proposes using urban growth boundaries to protect open space and concentrating new development within already developed areas to reduce commuting and, consequently, pollution. The EIR public comment period, which is expected to occur in January and February, will provide a rare opportunity for the community to offer input on the environmental and social consequences of proposed transportation choices. Contact CCTA at (925) 407-0121 to learn about specific opportunities to participate.
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Veteran environmental activist, writer, editor, publisher, educator, and coastal wetlands scientist Phyllis Faber has made countless contributions to the Bay Area environmental movement.