By Eric Heinz 

Visual simulations of what the toll roads proposed through San Clemente could look like have been bandied about social media for months. Now, the San Clemente City Council is looking to provide visual aids of the possible roads, but they stopped short of approving a $27,500 contract to have them illustrated.

Council members said they would like to wait for more information to be presented on the toll roads before moving forward.

At this time, nothing has been set in stone. The Transportation Corridor Agencies (TCA), which administers and proposes the toll roads, has just started its beginning phases of environmental studies.

Don Kunze speaks to City Council during the Tuesday, May 16 meeting in opposition of the toll road proposals. Photo: Eric Heinz
Don Kunze speaks to City Council during the Tuesday, May 16 meeting in opposition of the toll road proposals. Photo: Eric Heinz

During the meeting, Council member Lori Donchack said although they don’t know what alternative will be picked, she said the roads could have different off-ramps to arterial streets. For example, the proposed alignment that cuts through the city and winds to Pico could have outlets to each street it flies over, if that’s the choice.

The amount it would cost to provide three visual simulations for each of the 18 proposals is just too much at this time, Council members said.

During the TCA board of directors meeting on May 12, the agency released a document that stated the staff of the agency is trying to combat any misinformation regarding the proposals.

On Thursday, the TCA responded to the city’s consideration of the visuals.

“The City of San Clemente prematurely opposed many of the of the public’s traffic relief solution ideas before formal study has even begun,” said Ed Sachs, the chairman of the Foothill/Eastern Transportation Corridor Agencies. “Now in a peculiar move, the San Clemente City Council is hastily considering spending taxpayer money on consultants for developing concepts that haven’t even been designed yet. South Orange County residents should be suspect of the San Clemente Council’s motives and lack of objectivity in their proposed make-believe visuals.”

The council decided not to take action on the item and to wait for more information to present itself. The next public forum meeting is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. on June 5 at Saddleback College, located at 28000 Marguerite Parkway in Mission Viejo. The forum will be live-streamed starting at 5:45 p.m. at www.getmovingoc.com.

This article has been updated to include comments submitted by the Transportation Corridor Agencies at 5:24 p.m. on May 18.

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comments (2)

  • Premature to oppose. because studies have not been done? Classic false argument. Now (!) is the time to help shape these studies by showing the impacts TCA won’t be studying.
    TCA is racing through CEQA / NEPA studies while San Clemente / San Juan residents have the cloud of uncertainty thanks to 18 “Ideas” for new roadways shown on public maps. This “Premature / Tax Money Wasted” argument has surely been used on San Juan’s Council, our presumed partners. But, they have said absolutely nothing yet.

  • Thankfully, unlike some of the fake news in comments here and on social media the city does opose toll road projects through San Clemente. They are also being prudent with tax dollars spent to educate the public until more actual (meaning not conceptual) details are published by the TCA.

    This will help us focus our energies on finding viable alternatives to the toll roads obsolete designs that do not go through people’s towns which do nothing to abate traffic.

    Remember folks united we can prevail and divided we will fail. So keep the focus on finding ways to discredit the TCA’s obsolete plans AND looking for viable alternatives that do not go through anyone’s towns.

    So please make a concious effort to avoid the politicization and demonizing as we can only win this by gaining support needed from as many residents and elected city, county, state, and federal officials as possible.

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