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A light at the end of the “airborne love canal”?

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In a guest column in today’s paper, Union City Mayor Mark Green and AC Transit board member Greg Harper ask political leaders to at least consider an end to the 40-year ban on truck traffic along Interstate 580.

Why? Because while 580 through the Oakland and San Leandro foothills is a decent drive, the adjacent 238-880 corridor is a dastardly “airborne love canal” that might not be so bad if 580 shared some of the corridor’s heavy truck burden, Green and Harper argue. One consequence, they believe, is an unfair pollution impact on flatland residents and commuters.

So how about that 580 truck ban, which has confounded generations of Caltrans officials and even Ronald Reagan? Should it stay or should it go?

  • Here before 580

    The truck ban on 580 was negotiated with Oakland. Cal Trans was putting a freeway through some very desirable residential neighborhoods. Would Piedmont residents want less than an assurance that trucks would be banned, if a freeway were to be built through their city? My childhood home was removed for that freeway. Not easy to take, but necessary. I commuted on 580 (Castro Valley to Berkeley) for 12 years. It is much more crowded now, but trucks would make it intolerable, for the drivers as well as nearby residents. Unlike 880, 580 is a hilly drive, and truckers would have to downshift, spewing more pollutants into the atmosphere for nearby residents to breathe. Removing the ban is a bad idea! Time for some newer, more creative ideas. How about trains or ships taking freight to the valley? I have seen both mentioned, but not seriously considered, I don’t think.

  • Jerkins

    NO WAY! It’s the only semi-pleasant drive in the whole area. Down with trucks!