Mark McGuire, San Clemente

The Transportation Corridor Agencies (TCA) were specifically created in the 1980s to plan, permit and construct the San Joaquin Hills, Eastern and Foothill “Transportation Corridors” within general alignments already selected by the county and shown on the Master Plan of Arterial Highways (for example, the Foothill Corridor was shown going around not through the cities of San Juan Capistrano and San Clemente). Special state legislation allows the TCA to charge fees on all new development and to issue bonds repaid by collecting tolls. However, once all bonds are paid off, the corridors are to become free roads.

The corridors cost more and were used less than predicted, so the TCA’s bonds were extended (to 2050 and 2053). Also, after spending decades and $200 million-plus seeking approvals for the final stretch of the Foothill Corridor, the TCA gave up on the designated route via a settlement with environmentalists.

Now the TCA is pretending it’s a regional transportation agency looking at all “mobility solutions,” like more trains and adding bike lanes. In truth, it hopes to cram a toll road through to I-5 where it was never planned—and all potential routes would devastate established communities.

So my question to elected representatives on the TCA is this: are you promise keepers or mission creepers?

Promise keepers would limit spending and use all surplus revenue to pay down the bonds to make the toll roads free, ASAP. The roads could be free sooner than currently scheduled—a great mobility solution.

Mission creepers would continue to spend wildly on lobbyists and consultants, hoping to extend the Foothill toll road, not where promised but in a new, unexpected location (and at great expense). Bonds will stay unpaid, and the existing toll roads will not become free, as promised.

Voters prefer promise keepers over mission creepers.

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comments (2)

  • You ever notice how the TCA will sponsor anything? That’s actually OUR money they’re spending, and it’s extending the time when the toll roads will become free roads. I’d rather have free roads sooner than see the TCA sponsor the “Best of Show” trophy at the Dana Point Car show (they are).

  • What Mark’s done so succinctly is point out a variation the Law of Diminishing/Diminished Returns….it actually resembles a classic Ponzi scheme. Just keep building and billing, sunk or stranded costs bedamned.
    Meanwhile, proving that the TCA remains consistently illogical, not exhibiting a lot of common sense? Turning Los Patrones from FREE to FEE, they reverse intended planning usage.
    Have all of those new RMV homeowners woken up to buying a residence in proximity to a viable arterial, then realized the damaged goods, that they’ll have to PAY for what was to be free?
    That would have calmed at night in the ‘burbs will instead create a constant hum (if successful) of speeding vehicles?
    Have RMV sales personnel disclosed that to prospective buyers?
    For that matter, under the Cal Real Estate Disclosure Act (1997?), shouldn’t past, present AND future clients be/been given that information? If RMV knew that the conversion of Los Patrones was a possibility, wouldn’t those who’ve already closed escrow have been warned, have grounds for their own litigation, even class action?
    The conversion of the Oso Bridge and Los Patrones to an extension of the toll system should be getting more outraged inland attention.
    This is why there needs to be more outreach by SC (City & activists), expand and create a regional awareness campaign. Including educating them regarding how much more open space and visual aesthetics will be lost if the monolithic San Juan Creek Bridge (≈3/4 mile long, 100+ feet wide), transiting from Los Patrones over/straddling the creek, over the top of the Ortega and into the hills of SC, is constructed.
    Part of their home’s value is rural vistas, access to pristine, undisturbed/disrupted trail systems, did anyone show them a conceptual rendering of post-241 extension conditions, including depiction of that SJC Bridge??
    Ladera? RMV? SJC? Wake up and smell the coffee!

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