By Pete van Nuys, San Clemente
Our current Tollway worries are based on one highly questionable guess.
“According to (Orange County Transportation Authority), agencies traffic is projected to increase 65 percent,” says the Transportation Corridor Agencies (TCA).
This is the same prediction we received on the Measure M2 committee heard 10 years ago. And it’s the context in which our group proposed the “Beltway” alternative—which studies, completed at that time, showed it would out-perform the north-south extension to the I-5. TCA’s tollway was not needed 10 years ago, and it’s not needed now.
The reality of induced demand confirms that, as Caltrans said 17 years ago, “We can’t build ourselves out of congestion.” We don’t build six-lane superhighways to hold in reserve like a spare tire in our trunk, just in case we need it. Ignoring subsequent changes in transportation habits and even more dramatic elements, like platooning and autonomous vehicles, arterial solutions like La Pata are far more appealing and less destructive. Blade Runner predictions about density and future congestion require discussion of all possible alternatives, not the dog-and-pony shows TCA’s hired flacks orchestrate.
San Juan Capistrano, Dana Point and San Clemente are being “divided and conquered,” manipulated into a Hobson’s Choice by TCA. Our elected officials should require Rancho Mission Viejo to provide adequate access for their customers. Future congestion on the I-5 must be addressed by Caltrans within the limits of their current right-of-way. OCTA must be assertive in developing diverse transportation solutions and new ideas.
But TCA has no place in any of these conversations. They have muddied the waters for 30 years with lots of cement-producing with little actual transportation value. It’s time to abolish TCA.