After a bump in the road was cleared (for now) earlier this month, sides for and against extending a toll road to San Clemente are girding for a face-off next Monday.
That's when the Transportation Corridor Agencies (TCA) hosts its third public forum "to discuss South Orange County’s worsening traffic."
It's a song we've heard before. Before the idea was shot down to extend the Foothill Eastern (241) toll road through San Onofre State Park, and perilously close to the world famous Trestles surf breaks, proponents said Orange County toll roads to counter worsening traffic. After the toll roads were built, and traffic still sucked here, officials responded by saying it would be worse without the toll roads. And so it goes ...
And so goes the opposition. A Change.org petition requests that the TCA board abandon any plans to extend the toll road to San Clemente.
These foes have high-powered support from the San Clemente City Council, which favors toll road proposals that do not have an extension ending in the city, only nearby.
Indeed, the council on May 16 considered spending $27,500 to have visuals made of toll road extension alternatives that could help during public forums on the project. Ultimately the council decided to hold off spending taxpayer money for that at this time.
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The council by then had been admonished by Foothill Eastern TCA Board Chairman Ed Sachs, who complained it was too early in the process for anyone to look solely at any route out of 18 proposed for the extension, calling the proposal for visuals "peculiar."
Which all leads up to the TCA, under its Get Moving OC branding campaign, presenting its next public forum from 5:30-8 p.m. Monday at Saddleback College in Mission Viejo.
"At the forum, panels of local transportation planners and environmental community leaders will discuss the recent settlement agreement and the technical process that will be used to evaluate the 18 ideas provided by the public during our prior two forums," reads the TCA invite. "As we are in the initial stages of reviewing the ideas that have been submitted to date by the public and local elected officials, it is important to note that no project has been selected or approved. An important part of the technical process includes evaluating impacts, costs, funding and compatibility with regional projects. The process is expected to take several years and will include many opportunities for the public to provide input. Attendees who wish to comment during the informational session will be able to do so by submitting a comment either orally or in writing via a court reporter, video recording or comment card."
Those seeking more information and/or to RSVP for the forum are directed to GetMovingOC.com.