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Brian Mertz, San Clemente

Besides the issues raised in Cord Bauer’s excellent letter in the June 8-14 edition of the San Clemente Times, there’s another that the toll road flunkies gloss over in their hubris-fueled campaign to complete their flawed vision. Realistically, the work currently underway to widen I-5 through San Clemente will only address current peak traffic loads, and will completely build out the existing right of way.

Any toll road “solution” that dumps more vehicles onto the freeway, whether that occurs to the north or through San Clemente, would again overwhelm the infrastructure and further exacerbate the longstanding problems that Caltrans is finally addressing. When would a southbound extension of the 241 carry the most traffic? That’s right—weekends.

This is an issue on which the San Clemente Times must dig in, by practicing serious investigative journalism and outspoken editorial advocacy. The toll roads discussion has a rich history of costly misjudgments and downright distortions. Its status as a quasi-public agency confers extraordinary powers that pose a genuine threat to our community. It’s time for our community newspaper to stand tall in this fight.

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