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Living Among Freeways

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Do you live near a freeway? In Los Angeles it can seem like it is hard not to. A new Los Angeles Times investigation shows what many have believed: living near freeways is unhealthy. In addition, the study found that the “danger zone” of living within 500 feet of a freeway could actually be as large as 1,000 feet (depending on time of day).

It is not just freeways though, high volume streets like Sepulveda, La Cienega, and Wilshire are considered just as unhealthy. With so much housing going up near the freeways, and large high volume streets getting more traffic, where does Los Angeles go from here? Because in case you missed it, Los Angeles is rapidly trying to fix its housing issue.

Curbed LA makes a compelling argument to dismantle the freeways in Los Angeles. In addition to overwhelming health benefits, they point to the recent example a major freeway closure in Atlanta due to fire damages. The freeway was closed for six weeks and did not cause the traffic backlash everyone imagined. The same article also uses San Francisco’s Embarcadero double decker freeway as an example of the pros that can come with dismantling a freeway. After the freeway collapsed, the coming years saw a revitalized community in place of a freeway.

Could Los Angeles survive without its freeway system? That is a tough question and this is an issue you should keep an eye on.

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