For many years, residents in the community of Barrio Logan complained about the increasing heavy-duty diesel truck traffic on their neighborhood streets. Diesel emissions from these trucks, as well as safety, noise, and other impacts concerned citizens. In 1999, Environmental Health Coalition began working with residents to document the problems associated with the trucks, by counting the trucks using Cesar Chavez Parkway, measuring emission levels with hand-held particle counters, and documenting parking and idling problems. EHC’s Community Action Team began to focus on the problems with parking and idling trucks in 2003, and secured the support of their councilmember, and the Barrio Logan Environmental Justice Demonstration Project. They subsequently won truck parking prohibitions in February 2004.
By that time, CalTrans had awarded a grant to the City of San Diego and EHC to embark upon the initial stages of a community-based planning process that included a truck study to address the problems with truck routing. Working with the San Diego Unified Port District, that study was completed in 2005 and recommended re-routing of the trucks to access I-5 via 32nd Street/I-15, rather than Cesar Chavez Parkway. Subsequent community organizing and pressure, as well as support from City staff, the Port District, and local industries, combined to convince the city council to ban truck traffic on Cesar Chavez Parkway on April 4 ,2005.
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