By Eric Heinz 

Dressed in blue to signify unity in opposition to the toll road, several members of the public implored City Council on Tuesday night to continue its efforts in blocking the Transportation Corridor Agencies’ (TCA) latest toll road proposals through San Clemente.

Since last summer, when the TCA debuted its latest ideas for possible toll roads through, around or near San Clemente, many residents have been up in arms about what could be. Some of the proposals would wind through what appear to be open space areas of San Clemente, through the canyons and down to Avenida Pico; another cuts through the Shorecliffs community in two separate outlets.

San Clemente resident Dustine Rey said she was afraid of the effects heavy exhaust from traffic on the toll roads would have on the air quality in the city. Rey said laws have been passed that no schools can be built by highways and that she is concerned by reports she’s read about the health effects children face when living near them.

Council member Steve Swartz said he would like to lobby to make OCTA’s upcoming midterm investment study, which looks at various projects throughout the county, to include prioritizing arterial routes, something that in theory could make a toll road obsolete.

People dressed in blue on Tuesday at the San Clemente City Council meeting to show solidarity in opposing the Transportation Corridor Agencies latest proposals for toll roads through San Clemente. Photo: Eric Heinz
People dressed in blue on Tuesday at the San Clemente City Council meeting to show solidarity in opposing the Transportation Corridor Agencies latest proposals for toll roads through San Clemente. Photo: Eric Heinz

Mayor Kathy Ward said she would like to see the process expedited to include San Clemente’s plans.
Council member Lori Donchak said people in homeowners associations or neighborhood community organizations should gather to study the proposals, especially if they bisect certain areas of town.

Donchak said she will provide timelines for the plan update to the City Council in the near future.
Many people have been proposing revisiting the “beltway” alternative, which would have traffic flowing in east and west directions rather than directly through San Clemente. Some of the developments in South Orange County since it was first introduced have made the original plans no longer feasible.

The next San Joaquin Hills and Foothills/Eastern TCA board meetings are scheduled for 9:30 a.m. on April 13 at the TCA headquarters, located at 125 Pacifica in Irvine. Agendas for the meeting, available at www.thetollroads.com, have not yet been posted.

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comments (2)

  • Folk, arterial routes as is suggested as an alternative is essentially what all the proposed routes are.

    What we need is a get back to basics reboot of the TCA’s 40 year old design.

    The vast majority of the traffic the 241 serves today does not come to San Clemente as a destination. They just pass through all of the towns along the way to San Diego south of us or from San Diego to the 91 headed to Riverside County.

    TCA needs to discard 40 years of old concepts and follow the hard data to a design that serves the needs of today and beyond.

    What the data will tell them is that they need to connect the 241 to the 15 in just north of Fallbrook using Federal Grant money.

  • “Some of the proposals would wind through what appear to be open space areas of San Clemente” – All this ‘open space’ are actually surrounded by homes. The Pico route would basically be right below my backyard.

    It’s very callous of TCA and the people considering this these routes to try to bypass the citizens that will be affected by this. I had to hear from Facebook.

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