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September 28, 2007

Comments

butch vanartsdalen

hahahaha-- let's see...hmmm...the san onofre park was mitigation under Nixon and Gov. R. for the (leaking) nuclear power plant and now the tca wants to build a freeway on the mitigation and buy some additional mitigation with funds for a continued leasehold for the park....whatacountry...Nixon and Dutch are rolling over in their graves...and all of this for a road destined to relieve zero traffic congestion and create more sprawl... we need a flak out here right away to explain this all away---mau mau mau--- LET THE SPIN BEGIN!

Balance is needed

Here are your choices:

a road that will relieve traffic congestion (thus reducing air pollution from idling cars) plus $100 million for an underfunded state park system that will ensure that the San Onofre State Beach Park will be able to remain available to the public beyond when its lease expires...

OR...

Don't finish the road. Watch State Parks close the inland portion of San Onofre when the lease expires because they can't afford to pay market rates (which the new law requires). Watch the I-5 clog and become worse than the 91.

Butch, you keep saying the road won't relieve traffic. OCTA says it will, Caltrans says it will, but Butch says it won't. Today 350,000 cars use the toll roads. That's 350,000 fewer cars on our city streets and freeway. Seems to me the toll road system works.

Geoff

"The 'Save Trestles' crowd doesn't like to mention that the state doesn't own San Onofre State Beach"

Ha, ha! And what the "Bulldoze state parks to build the unneeded, pay-to-drive road to nowhere" crowd doesn't like to mention is that, while it's true this land is leased, it's also true that upon creation of the park, Republican governor Ronald Reagan announced that "this expanse of acreage, San Onofre State Beach, now has its future guaranteed as an official state park." Furthermore President Nixon stated that if and when the land should be found to be "in excess of Federal Government needs, the lease will be terminated" and the beach "will be deeded to the State of California for park purposes"...that was PARK purposes, NOT road-for-profit purposes. This is a state park, end of story.

Besides, the TCA's toll road proposal is a total joke anyway. Traffic studies have shown that it will do nothing to alleviate traffic on the I-5. It will be a financial disaster just like their other debacle: the 73. Instead of blowing gobs of taxpayer dollars on this an asinine and obsolete project, we should be looking at transportation solutions that will actually help, such as fixing I-5.

Balance is Needed

To what mythical traffic studies are you referring? Every study conducted by a credible transportation agency (OCTA, Caltrans, TCA) has shown that completing the 241 will significantly reduce traffic congestion.

The "study" that Surfrider paid for by hiring a guy from Vermont to drive down the I-5 freeway and look out his window and claim that the I-5 can be widened without taking any homes is a joke.

Your "Fixing the 5" solution will cost $2.5 billion and take 1,100 homes and businesses. There is no money for the former and no political will for the latter.

Bladerunner

It's a step in the right direction. There will be continued opposition because its not enough but the movement should be welcomed.

I still believe we need to get the Corps involved.

Build it Now!

"There will be continued opposition because it's not enough..."

Just out of curiosity BR, if $100,000,000 isn't enough for an organization that doesn't own the land, how much would be enough? $500 million? A billion dollars?

There will be continued opposition not because $100 million isn't enough, but because there will always be a vocal minority that opposes all road at all times.

No need to worry. Give the park to the environmentists, align the 241 to connect with the 73, and then widen the I-5 south from there. It would not require a taking of 1,100 homes (where did number come from?)
We're beating a dead horse here. Move on. Look at alternative traffic solutions.

Build it Now!

Where did 1,100 taking 1,100 homes/businesses come from? Caltrans. One of the alternatives that was analyzed was widening the I-5. To do it to Caltran's standards would require the removal of more than 800 homes and more than 300 businesses (800 + 300 = 1,100). It would also cost $2.5 billion according to Caltrans. Apparently the state doesn't have $2.5 billion sitting around for I-5 improvements.

Alternative traffic solutions were looked at... Alternatives like widening the I-5. Arterial improvements only. Doing nothing. And several different alignments for Foothill-South.

It was determined by such agencies as EPA, US Fish & Wildlife, US Federal Highways Administration, Caltrans, The US Marines at Camp Pendleton and others that the alignment selected was the best alternative.

To go back and reopen the Environmental Impact Report for a third time (it's already been done twice) would add another six to ten years to the process.

As it is, the earliest the road would open would be 2014 if everything goes like clockwork.

Re-open the EIR and you're looking at 2020 before traffic relief is provided for this area.

This is a good alternative. It's a balanced approach and it's worth fighting for.

Bladerunner

Build it now--

$100,000 is not enough for an organization that doesn't own the land---the people of the State of California. this is somewhat of a shell game--from one governmental agency to another- but some additional money and some additional dedications by the Corps(in exchange for something very valuable from the Speaker) will work.

The enviros may not like it. The concretos may not like it. So it will probably be a good deal.

Build it Now!

You're missing a few zeros there BR. It's not $100,000. It's $100,000,000. That's a pretty significant difference.

By the way, in addition to $100 million, the State of California will also be getting an $800 million state road for free.

Of course there is always horse-trading at this point of the game, it's to be expected. But I think nearly a billion dollars of improved infrastructure and park improvements may even get our Green Governor's attention.

J. Eidt

Hmm. Let's do the math...$100 million for a coastal state park? A quick search of comps shows a 2,500 square foot waterfront home on a regular sized lot for $45 million in Laguna. Something doesn't add up here.

On the issue of the TCA Alternatives Analysis -- their own studies showed that superior traffic relief was afforded by the Arterial Improvements Plus Option, which would include widening the I-5. That fact is undisputable. That there is no financing for the project is all politics. Take the $1 billion toll road to nowhere away (remeber, it was planned to serve the El Toro Airport), and we might see real possibilities. Using Caltrans standards, you can widen the I-5 two lanes in each direction and take no homes. Again, undisputable. The off-ramps would have to be designed with community sensitivity, which means diamond shaped direct ramps, not prairie-style cloverleafs -- this is not Iowa. Caltrans does not plan in a vacuum. I worked on the Disneyland expansion, and we hired a consultant from New Jersey to draw up the ramps and Caltrans said "Thanks, wow, we never coulda thought...." The same can be done here. The estimate of takings and cost for the EIR/EIS was a back-of-the-envelope guess because they did not actuially design the road, and when you really look into the right-of-way already owned by Caltrans, you see, again, the possibilities.

The ONLY solution to optimizing regional mobility is to improve the I-5 between San Diego and OC. Otherwise we will have a politically-created San Clemente bottleneck, which is TCAs business model to get people to drive way out of their way -- Yorba Linda is not Long Beach or LA...the 241 is not a viable alternative to the I-5.

TCA should extend the 241 through Rancho Mission Viejo and then west to connect with the I-5 and the 73 Toll Road in a generally circular beltway. OCTA has already bought into this solution, and it is part of their South County Major Investment Study. This would take all those commuters from existing and future foothill communities off the arterials and freeway and bring them directly to where they will work and shop. What a way to maximize the experience of those 350,000 cars paying tolls every day.

Local access and an emergency alternative could be accomplished by extending Antonio Pkwy-Ave La Pata all the way to Cristianitos at the I-5...this would require only one extra mile of pavement (plus a two mile section between San Juan and Talega) and would preserve one of our last public wild coastal gems plus the Donna O'Neill Land Conservancy, and protect the San Mateo Watershed from destruction.

State Parks and wild coastal watersheds cannot be bought with a mere pittance to build roads that will not be used -- look at OCTAs own studies for 2030 as part of the SOCMIS. The only road not colored red, meaning past Level of Service F (gridlocked) is the 241 South of Oso...hmm. Time for a rethinking. Possibilities are out there if you spend the time to study and finance them...

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