The San Diego Association of Governments (SANDAG) and Caltrans have proposed a plan to expand the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Freeway (SR 94) that benefits none of the communities that it damages. Children who live in adjacent communities will likely have more asthma episodes as a result of the increased car pollution and the plan offers very minimal improvements to make biking and walking safer for people who live and work in and visit these communities. The freeway will carry a new transit line without a single bus stop in the communities it runs through.

The irony of the plan is glaring. The freeway named after one of greatest champions of equality is being expanded at the expense of lower-income neighborhoods and communities of color.

Martin Luther King, Jr.’s words could not be any truer today than they once were. He said,

“Urban transit systems in most American cities, for example, have become a genuine civil rights issue – and a valid one – because the layout of rapid-transit systems determines the accessibility of jobs to the black community [and other communities of color]. If transportation systems in American cities could be laid out so as to provide an opportunity for poor people to get meaningful employment, then they could begin to move into the mainstream of American life.”


This injustice may continue if the community’s voice is not heard by SANDAG.

Better plans exist that benefit all San Diegans.

We should apply innovative community-based solutions by turning existing freeway space into transit only lanes or convert an existing general purpose lane for carpool and transit-only use.


We should improve transit options for all by having bus stops in all communities.


We should adequately invest in adjacent communities to improve safety conditions for people walking, biking and transit use.

SANDAG and Caltrans will give an update on the plan and its impacts to surrounding communities on May 20th at 2 p.m. If you believe in transportation justice and clean air for all communities, sign our letter, contact Monique at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and attend the meeting.