In enacting CEQA, the Legislature established a policy to “provide the people of this state with clean air and water, enjoyment of aesthetic, natural, scenic and historical environmental qualities, and freedom from excessive noise.” The Legislature did not mention freedom from intersection congestion. Yet detailed analyses of roadway levels of service and intersection delay have emerged as one of the most contentious and costly steps in the CEQA process. The addition of a handful of vehicles to a congested intersection can trigger preparation of a full EIR. And housing advocates have long contended that CEQA presents an obstacle to affordable housing near jobs. Read the full article.