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Jim Smith, San Clemente

I saw that the Transportation Corridor Agencies (TCA) just spent $114,780 for a telephone and online survey that concluded South Orange County traffic on Interstate 5 is congested and needs to be fixed. They are using this public relations effort to support their goal of extending Toll Road 241 through the middle of San Clemente.

It seems odd they decided to call people while the I-5 was undergoing major construction in San Clemente. Of course the traffic is bad; there’s a $230 million, three-year project going on to try and fix it! I went to the website of the research company the TCA paid (SmithJohnson) and found they also have an odd perspective on telephone surveys. On the company’s homepage, it says the following: “Do telephone surveys still work?” The answer is a qualified “Yes,” but things are changing fast, and it may not always be the best way to spend your research dollars.

Given this inconsistency, I’m not surprised that Mayor Kathy Ward wonders how genuine the whole TCA campaign is. It’s also another reason to support a proposed ballot initiative to find out what residents think about a toll road coming through our town. Please contact City Council and let them know you want this issue on the next ballot.

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