Carter Redish, San Clemente

The city of San Clemente Planning Commission approved the placing of speed cushions along the 100 block of Avenida Valencia for traffic calming at its June 20 meeting and forwarded to the City Council an order for approval at the July 24 meeting.

I’ve lived in the southwest part of San Clemente since 1974. For most of that time, since the El Camino Real off-ramp was realigned from Avenida Gaviota to Avenida Valencia, we have been traveling back-and-forth on Avenida Valencia on a daily basis. Times change, but the fact that drivers will always look for the quickest route to their destination doesn’t change. This street calming proposal will only cause people to choose another street.

Gaviota will become the new street of choice. Instead of exiting the freeway directly onto Valencia through a green traffic light, drivers will make a quick right turn and then a quick left turn across traffic, without the aid of a light, and head down Gaviota, a street that is very tight with curbside parking on both sides.

Valencia is designed to handle the heavier traffic, with a center divider, for safety from on-coming cars. This request simply passes a perceived traffic problem over to the occupants of the next street. All the other adjacent streets are tight, barely wide enough for two-way traffic with cars parked along each side, certainly not wide enough to handle the additional traffic that this misguided proposition would create.

The idea of having speed cushions on Valencia is a bad idea and will only lead to other streets requesting similar traffic calming measures, as is indicated in the city agenda package. Do we really want all of our streets to have speed cushions? If something really needs to be done, then the restriping option is the best and only solution.

Editor’s note: This letter has been published following the July 24 City Council meeting. At the meeting, City Council approved the speed cushions for Avenida Valencia. But Councilmember Lori Donchak said she encouraged residents to provide feedback to the city. City emails can be found at

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