For the past few years, the Inland Empire has been experiencing an economic boom in the logistics sector, providing thousands of private sector entry-level and independent trucking jobs. The Inland Empire certainly can use these jobs but without the pollution and clogged highways. Inland Southern California Economist John Husing stated in the Press Enterprise, "A lot of people don't want to hear this, but logistics to the Inland Empire is what tech is to the Silicon Valley. Kill this sector and you are saying to the poor: 'Stay there.'" Husing has a valid thesis. Our position is "don't throw out the baby with the bathwater." The baby being the jobs that Husing strongly supports, the bathwater being unhealthful air quality and traffic congestion opposed by The Transit Coalition and concerned residents.
Smart Growth: The GRID Project
The Transit Coalition supports and actively promotes the GRID Project, a three-part regional container supply chain network with large scale infrastructure connecting the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach to the inland regions of Southern California, well into the Inland Empire, with capacity to expand beyond. GRID can cleanly transport freight by rail to robust logistics centers in Ontario, Moreno Valley, and south Fontana. Container vessels would dock at a facility that transfer containers either directly onto trains waiting at portside or through a freight tunnel connecting to the inland distribution centers.
Urban Sprawl: The World Logistics Center
The Transit Coalition along with several groups of local Moreno Valley residents and the Press Enterprise are questioning the World Logistics Center, a giant proposed logistics hub on the eastern edge of the city at the base of the Badlands Hills. Currently, the project is urban sprawl which needs to be opposed until questions about traffic and pollution are addressed. For WLC to work as proposed, designated truck routes away from neighborhoods and schools would need to be established, likely along the freeways. Trucks on the surface streets must be restricted to local deliveries only; that includes Alessandro and Perris Boulevards. New trucks will need to use clean technology to prevent Moreno Valley's air quality from worsening. With the lack of a rail line in the area, the 60 Freeway through the Badlands would have to be expanded, possibly beyond Caltran's proposal of adding truck climbing lanes so that traffic bottlenecks do not form on either side. If no rail alternative is built, the freeway corridor may even have to be doubled in size to sustain WLC operations, not only for truck traffic but for commuting workers.
In fairness, the trucking industry has begun to work on cleaning up their trucks by using alternative fuels and the WLC buildings are proposed to be eco-friendly. However, many valid questions about traffic and pollution are not being addressed and the Moreno Valley City Council appears to be pandering to the developer and stonewalling valid criticism by concerned citizens. Many trucks still run on dirty diesel fuel. Traffic through the Badlands hills is already approaching capacity, more than 16% of the total traffic is logistics movement and there are no truck capacity improvement proposals except for plans to add truck climbing lanes.
The Transit Coalition is an entirely grassroots campaign, supported by the time and resources given by concerned citizens. With your support, you can help us keep the urban sprawl out of robust logistics economic growth.
The Transit Coalition is a non-profit public charity exempt from federal income tax under Section 501[c](3) of the Internal Revenue Service.
The Transit Coalition are not affiliated with any public entity or private organization.
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