Ron Greek, San Clemente
Having been a part of the development of the Orange County toll roads since 1984, I was shocked at the Transportation Corridor Agencies (TCA) abandoning of the Camp Pendleton southern connection to Interstate 5. As chairman of the Saddleback Area Coordinating Council (SACC), a south county regional planning group, I was given the honor to deliver the dedication speech at the ground-breaking ceremony for the 241 in March of 1986.
From the beginning, building the 241 behind the south county cities was the only logical route to bypass the San Juan Capistrano/San Clemente gridlock, which has been getting worse over the past five years.
To consider any 241 connecting route into San Juan or San Clemente is ridiculous and will make our current traffic disaster much worse. Much of the engineering and environmental studies have been completed on the Camp Pendleton connection, and it should be noted that this route will not damage either the Trestles surf break or the San Mateo Campground.
By signing an agreement with the Surfrider Foundation and other environmental groups that the TCA will not build south of San Clemente city limit, they have rendered themselves useless to the completion of the 241. Not only agreeing to not build south of the San Clemente city limit, they agreed to establish a $28 million conservation fund with our money in exchange for the opposition groups to never oppose any route through San Clemente or San Juan. The 13 locally elected city and county officials who make up the TCA board of directors and who voted to allow this boondoggle must and will be held accountable at election time.
It is time for the TCA to fold up their tent, close down, and turn this over to another agency, such as the Orange County Transportation Authority and the federal government and let them finish what we started 33 years ago. Maybe the TCA chairman and his board haven’t heard we have a new pro-infrastructure administration in Washington, D.C., which can override any local commission opposition with the stroke of a pen, the Dakota Access Pipeline is proof of that. Our congressman Darrell Issa could make this happen.