Bauer: San Clemente & South County Don’t Need More Toll Roads or TCA

The Transportation Corridor Agency is a joint powers authority that has been repeatedly wrong in the past to build roads. It now wants us to believe that Orange County traffic will improve after a toll road has been put through the center of San Clemente.

This is the joint powers authority that was wrong about the initial cost of the roads; they missed it by $3.2 billion, or 400%.

They were wrong about estimated ridership (they were high), and were wrong about when the roads would revert back to being free for all residents.

They also may or may not be on the edge of junk bond status.

Scouring the pages of TCA history, I’ve never seen an apology for their gross inaccuracies.

And further, I’ve never seen the TCA board of trustees ever put stringent measures in place deserving of their $3.2 billion whoopsie. Otherwise how can they justify how their CEO makes $393,000 salary plus benefits? That’s more than the CalTrans director, and the CalTrans budget is fifty five times the size of the TCA, with over 20,000 more employees!

On the other hand we have your average San Clemente working family who stretched their budget to live in the house they own. Commuting times aren’t their priority, which is why they live in San Clemente. But they dream of giving their children memories of the beach and California sunshine while they grow up. They don’t have a view now, but soon they could be looking up at the toll road from their back yard. The drop in home value will put them upside down with their mortgage, leaving them to become prisoners of their new “highway home” while their kids are exposed to the exhaust fumes and noise. Or they could declare bankruptcy and try to make a new dream somewhere else. This family represents the people who will be affected exactly this way if the toll road goes through.

The question is, would you allow this to happen to your own city?

Did you know that the TCA’s own study said that traffic may be reduced as little as 2% if the toll road is built? Did you also know that average travel time in Orange County has changed by only two minutes in the past 16 years, based on the new Southern California Association of Governments study? San Clemente times increased by three minutes, but that’s from having five long years of local highway construction. If anything, shouldn’t we wait to see what happens with traffic when the extra highway lanes in San Clemente open up? Doesn’t that make more sense than spending a billion dollars on a road only the wealthy can afford?

Times are changing.

Americans did most of their Christmas shopping online last year, and statistics show that malls across America are dying as people change how they live. Many families have one or both spouses that work from home. Teleconference apps allow people to see & talk to each other halfway around the world for free. A short telephone call to Japan used to cost a fortune.

Bottom line–driving is often optional.

Superhighways are a construct of the Eisenhower era, when one mile in every five had to be straight so it could be used as an emergency runway. They go hand in hand with the finned fenders and tract homes of 1950’s California. But who wants to live next to a freeway? No one. Stores and services know this, and have been moving out to their customers in the suburbs for decades. Major conveniences (grocery stores, gas stations) are never more than 10 minutes from the homes of most OC residents.

A toll road through San Clemente serves no purpose. The traffic we see now is often on the weekends when L.A. is trying to get to San Diego, and vice versa. Only 2.8% of OC commuters work in San Diego, while 22.7% work in Los Angeles (2017 SCAG study). Are we sure our road construction crews are pointed in the right direction?

As this issue plays out, consider that your community could be next. San Clemente residents support any city that supports us. San Clemente is ready to talk about real solutions to traffic issues, but not at the expense of our community, our history, our health or our homes.

The TCA doesn’t realize that it died when the last viable route around San Clemente–the Green Route–was lost in a court settlement. True, there are certain politicians and groups carrying around the TCA corpse like a “Weekend at Bernie’s” remake, but deep down even they realize that our traffic issues need to be solved with something other than a toll road.

Cord Bauer,  co-founder of San Clemente Cares

Opinions expressed in editorials belong to the authors and not Voice of OC.

Voice of OC is interested in hearing different perspectives and voices. If you want to weigh in on this issue or others please contact Voice of OC Involvement Editor Theresa Sears at TSears@voiceofoc.org

  • Emily C

    No tollroads through San Onofre or San Clemente. If you want to abolish then TCA abolish them. No toll Road extension means NO toll Road extension. Leave the November 2016 Settlement alone and continue the fight to abolish this horrible company.

  • Bruce Walberg

    Open the road! Stop with the fear mongering it’s pathetic.

    • turdferguson

      Nope, denied. Complaints against TCA are valid as are the fears.

      • Bruce Walberg

        great name…

    • cordycord

      You don’t have the Psomas consultants walking behind your house. We wouldn’t lose our home…it would just drop in value 30%. What, me worry?

      • Bruce Walberg

        The 241 route has been public knowledge for over 30 years and your “surprised” that they really want to finish it? What’s worrying is your lack of responsibility for the decisions you made when you bought a home in a known route of a toll road.

        • cordycord

          Snippet from a 2008 article about the Green Alignment: But TCA notes that there were 38 alternatives studied, and they all failed for various reasons — primarily due to their negative effects on both natural habitats and homes and businesses. “The current plan does not infringe on any homes or businesses,” said Jennifer Seaton, TCA spokeswoman, adding, “this is the only proposed option deemed acceptable by the military who own the land leased for the state park.”

  • TracyM

    “Huh”, I believe everyone has a right to their opinion. But you continue to say that completing the 241 makes sense, yet I have not seen any reasons as to why you feel this way. I believe there are endless points that can be given against the toll road and the devastation it would cause to communities. Many of those have been stated here, so I apologize for any duplication in the few I have listed below:

    1) Proven failed business plan. TCA has misrepresented/miscalculated the need of the existing toll roads to the tune of over a billion dollars in debt. Taxpayer money. If I were to overextend myself on my home, no bank would refinance me. It is incomprehensible how the TCA continues to be able to overextend themselves at the expense of taxpayers and the free roads they promised have yet to become “free”. Even if you don’t use it, you pay for it.
    2) The 5 through South County has been under construction for years. There is no traffic study to base a true need of the toll road upon.
    3) A toll road dumping onto the 5 would create a bottleneck and cause congestion. Once travelers get past San Clemente to the Base, there is nowhere to go. If people do use the toll road, adding more cars will just cause congestion. I travel this route daily. This area is NOT the problem in Orange County.
    4) The damage the toll road would do to communities, wild life, schools, businesses, air quality, and open space is immeasurable.
    5) I am not aware how other cities are being affected right now, but San Clemente residents are already experiencing repercussions of the toll road. We have been told that we now need to add the possibility of the toll road as a disclosure when selling. Homes are falling out of escrow. Which affects the agents, the sellers, and the buyers. Effectively damaging financial interests of all involved in these transactions. Most families rely on their equity and now are at risk.
    6) Loss of value to homes and loss of homes would create a significant loss of property tax revenue to the County.

    There are so many more solid reasons why we don’t want a toll road in South County, anywhere.
    I have a few questions for you:

    1) What are the benefits of the toll road? Please base on facts.
    2) Do you feel that the TCA’s admittedly low percentage of traffic relief is worth the cost (physical and financial) of the road?
    3) It has been said that the toll road should be completed so that people can get to San Diego faster for dinner, or that others can get to the beach faster a few times a year. Do you feel this is a valid reason to destroy open space and wildlife habitats?
    4) Why back the completion of the toll road, and not arterials? La Pata is free and has been a great asset to the area.
    5) Is your perceived benefit worth the displacement of families and destruction of their homes? Loss of businesses that are relied upon for jobs?
    6) Is it worth the additional health risk to the communities already dealing with questionable air quality? Close to schools and near/over homes.
    7) Try to see things from an affected South County resident perspective: Would you want your home, the one you worked so hard for, the one you raised your children in, the one you count on for your retirement, to be taken by eminent domain or placed in the shadow of a toll road? With road noise, waste, etc. raining down upon you? Would you want to constantly be living your life in fear of this? We have been for years.
    8) Do you believe the TCA should be allowed to continue? I know that I am frustrated and feel they are taking advantage of their position. A non-public company that deceived customers, used questionable tactics, and did not follow proper protocols would probably not be allowed to continue business once discovered.
    9) How can TCA’s exorbitant debt be justified and then they be allowed to be extend credit and continuous renegotiation of contracts? Why support a company that is not fiscally responsible at your expense and that of all taxpayers?
    10) How can you compare the roadways of Irvine to San Clemente? Irvine was built mostly around the freeways with no loss of homes and at more reasonable distances from traffic, the toll road would be built through an established city – homes that have been in place for 40+ years. This is apples and oranges.

  • Lindsay N

    Thank you for such a well written and informative article! A tollroad is not needed in South Orange County.

  • Eva O’Ke

    TCA: Orange County has a robust transportation network consisting of freeways, toll roads, bicycle paths, bus transit, railways and walking paths. Since 1981, State Route 241 has been on Orange County’s Master Plan of Arterial Highways to accommodate planned growth in South Orange County, alleviate traffic congestion on Interstate 5 (I-5) and provide traffic redundancy in the area in case of emergency.
    SR 241 was on the Master Plan of Arterial Highways for decades with an alignment that went around San Clemente and San Juan Capistrano, connecting to I-5 south of the county line. SC and SJC relied on that formally adopted “locally preferred alignment” as they moved forward with decisions regarding where to build homes, preserve open space, and place schools, parks and trails, etc. After 35 years of showing the proposed toll road in one location, TCA’s attempt to find a new connection to I-5 through either of these established communities (or any community) is UNCONSCIONABLE!
    State Route 241 is NO LONGER shown connecting to I-5 on the Master Plan of Arterial Highways—so maybe TCA should call it a day!
    If the TCA has decided it can’t make the case for connecting to I-5 in the location planned and relied upon by the residents of SC and SJC (and Mission Viejo, Ladera and Sendero and other Rancho Mission Viejo communities), then it should abandon efforts to connect to I-5. Indeed, why not just stop efforts to extend the toll road any further and let OCTA, the county, RMV and local cities figure out the best way to complete the arterial roadway network?
    TCA: Traffic on I-5 in South Orange County is more congested than ever — especially on weekends — and it’s anticipated to get worse.
    Reality is that average weekday daily traffic at the Orange County-San Diego County line is almost UNCHANGED over the past 17 years. Just look at OCTA’s annual traffic volume maps on the OCTA web page. Keep in mind roughly half of the trips are southbound and half northbound: Year 2000—130,000 average daily weekday trips; Year 2005—134,000 average daily weekday trips; Year 2010—132,000 average daily weekday trips (DOWN from 2005!); Year 2016—133,000 average daily weekday trips. Very little change. This is particularly noteworthy when one considers the fact that the TCA’s 1991 traffic study, prepared to justify the toll road, predicted 221,000 at the county line by 2010! Wrong! The TCA’s 2006 EIR/EIS predicted 201,000 trips by 2025. This contradicts the 1991 study by 20,000 fewer trips, 15 years later, than initially projected, and that lower 2025 projection will still overshoot the actual trips by tens of thousands. Indeed, it will overshoot by more trips than TCA claims would divert off I-5 to use the toll road.
    Traffic on I-5 has increased from Crown Valley to past Oso Parkway—because this is where commuters from new developments like Ladera access I-5. Crown Valley Parkway’s on-ramp loads over 2,000 vehicles per hour onto the freeway during the peak morning period!
    One interesting thing to note is that despite regular traffic congestion on that stretch of I-5, there are still FAR FEWER drivers than anticipated using the SR-73 Toll Road to avoid this stretch. So that toll road also provides far less traffic relief than promised.
    Regarding Weekend Traffic: Weekend traffic is far LESS than weekday traffic on most of I-5 in south OC (i.e., in Lake Forest, Laguna Hills, Mission Viejo, Laguna Niguel and north San Juan Capistrano). Traffic on I-5 in south San Juan Capistrano and San Clemente does increase on some weekends due to folks coming to the coast or traveling through to the north or south for the weekend. However, weekend traffic does not have “peak periods” the way weekday traffic does, so traffic solutions are designed and implemented to address “peak period” weekday trips. Until now, there has never been an attempt to justify the 241 toll road on the grounds that it would make a very small dent in weekend traffic on a short stretch of I-5. Weekend travelers are even less likely to pay a toll than weekday travelers, and it would be outrageous to cram a toll road through permanent open space and the middle of an established community to provide miniscule relief from weekend traffic.
    TCA: Because there is currently no major alternative route to I-5, whenever traffic is severely congested due to weekend or holiday traffic or if there is an incident or construction on I-5, traffic spills onto the local streets of San Clemente, Dana Point and San Juan Capistrano — completely clogging local city roadways as drivers try to find a way around the gridlock to their destination.
    The TCA has all but abandoned its original justification for the 241 connection to I-5. The TCA used to claim (based on projections that turned out to be wrong) that the Foothill South would provide substantial weekday traffic relief on I-5 throughout ALL of south Orange County. (A connection to I-5 provides very little relief on I-5, and the relief dissipates rapidly as one moves north along I-5 past south San Juan Capistrano). Instead, TCA now focuses on providing a “safety valve” from traffic due to accidents and/or construction closures. TCA hopes to evoke an emotional response. (This is the traffic we hate most because we don’t expect it, and it can be a concentrated period of bad traffic). But nobody (other than the TCA) proposes building new highways through established communities just to provide minor potential relief from accident or construction-generated traffic. Under this theory, we’d have roads EVERYWHERE. Also, while a toll road connecting to I-5 might provide an additional outlet in some cases, it could also make things worse depending on where any particular accident occurs. Building out the planned arterial system makes much more sense than building a toll road through a community as an “escape valve for unanticipated events.”
    TCA: With the county’s population expected to increase by more than 400,000 residents by 2035…
    This is the countywide projected increase, but the vast majority of population increase will be in Central and North OC, not South OC. Population increases in San Clemente, San Juan Capistrano, Dana Point and Mission Viejo are anticipated to be quite small. Population increases in Anaheim, Santa Ana and Irvine are IRRELEVANT to evaluating whether TCA should build a toll road through San Clemente.
    14,000 new homes being built in Rancho Mission Viejo over the next decade…
    RMV opposes the current alignments of the toll road and says it can build out the Ranch Plan development without a toll road extension. RMV IS CORRECT—ARTERIAL ROADS WOULD DEAL WITH RANCH PLAN TRAFFIC BETTER THAN THE TOLL ROAD.
    Over 80% of RMV’s homes will be in Planning Areas 1 through 4, and all of those planning areas use (or will use) existing and planned roads NORTH of Ortega Highway! Very little daily Ranch Plan traffic goes south.
    RMV is building a major arterial roadway right now (Los Patrones Parkway) that will provide a major new route for north of Ortega traffic, but the TCA WANTS TO TURN A FREE ROAD INTO AN ADDITIONAL TOLLED SEGMENT OF THE 241!
    If the TCA really cared about “south county mobility,” it would not try to take over Los Patrones Parkway because the TCA’s own traffic study said it would carry 22,000 more cars as a free road than as a toll road in 2035. Los Patrones Parkway provides substantial traffic relief to Antonio Parkway, Ortega Highway and Crown Valley Parkway—relief NOT provided if TCA charges drivers to use it.
    Also, at least 6,000 of the homes in RMV will be for seniors, with substantially less impact on traffic, especially peak period traffic. Indeed, one reason traffic has not grown as much as predicted is that SoCal’s population is aging and will continue to do so.
    TCA: Traffic is projected to increase in South Orange County by 60 percent by 2035.
    No reputable current study claims that traffic volumes in South Orange County will increase by 60% by 2035. (Plus we’ve seen how badly TCA has OVERESTIMATED future traffic volumes in past studies).
    TCA: We must work together to identify solutions that will relieve the excessive traffic congestion on I-5.
    Note how the TCA, after making a bunch of unsubstantiated claims, tries to assert as a “given” that there must be a solution that will relieve “excessive traffic congestion on 1-5.” Does TCA mean traffic congestion during construction (see above)? During weekends and holidays (again, see above)? Seriously? Nobody designs parking lots to deal with two weeks of holiday shopping, and nobody should ruin a community with an unplanned toll road to deal with weekend or holiday traffic (or traffic from accidents or construction).
    Nevertheless, efforts should be and are being undertaken to address peak-period traffic congestion on I-5, including: (1) The completion of La Pata to Antonio Parkway; and (2) An additional general purpose lane in each direction on I-5 from SR-73 to the El Toro “Y” as well as the extension of a second HOV lane in each direction. OCTA is using tax dollars to fund the I-5 improvements, WHICH FOR YEARS WERE PROHIBITED BY TCA’s “NON-COMPETE” AGREEMENT WITH CALTRANS.
    Also, the extension of the existing HOV lanes on I-5 down to Pico, and other I-5 improvements nearing completion in south San Juan Capistrano and San Clemente, will add capacity that will lessen any weekend congestion on I-5.

    TO SUM UP: THE TCA IS THE ONLY GOVERNMENTAL AGENCY THAT WOULD SERIOUSLY PURSUE BUILDING A TOLL ROAD ALONG A ROUTE NEVER SHOWN ON PLANS THAT GOES RIGHT THROUGH AN ESTABLISHED COMMUNITY IN ORDER TO PROVIDE INFINITESIMAL AMOUNT OF TRAFFIC RELIEF. WHY WOULD TCA TRY TO DO THIS? BECAUSE ALL IT DOES IS BUILD TOLL ROADS, AND THE ONLY WAY TO JUSTIFY ITS EXISTENCE IS TO KEEP BUILDING TOLL ROADS.

    • Huh

      The reason the 73 Toll Road is not used very much is that fewer people need to go in that direction. If the 241 was completed, it would be used – a lot. The 241 and 261 Toll Roads enjoy great use. Comparing the I-5/241 connection to the 73 is apples and oranges.

      • turdferguson

        It won’t actually. Commute traffic south of Mission Viejo is minimal. I drive it daily as does my wife. Your S:&it is weak “huh”. Beat it kook

        • Huh

          I’ll be the laughing loudly when they finish the 241 connection to I-5

          • turdferguson

            It’s funny to you when people lose their homes and their families suffer? Actually comedic to you when a family chooses to purchase a home and now there’s a freeway over it? To relieve weekend traffic a little bit. But ultimate add to it? Traffic increases where freeways merge. It happens in the entire world. You’re a special breed of scum.

          • Huh

            Eminent Domain. The Toll Road completion is needed and it will happen. It will not be all that bad. All of that is mere hypobole

          • tob2_happy_2

            Put a toll road over your home if you even have one so people in SC can get to work 2 minutes faster . you clearly are not aware of the health ill effects to children going to school under a freeway –

      • cordycord

        Perhaps it’s the obscene prices the TCA charges that keep the toll roads so free of cars. Perhaps we should simply convert these roads to freeways and pay off the debt rather than incurring more at the hands of the TCA.

        • Huh

          Nah – I like the toll roads the way they are. Cars to be sure, but never heavy traffic. If they converted the 405 and the 5 into toll roads then maybe we could actually get somewhere without such delays.

  • Bill Hart

    Ouch, the facts hurt. Wouldn’t it be nice if politicians were held accountable for their bad decisions rather than the uninformed public following their misdirection and vague promises for a better tomorrow? It’s a tomorrow that never comes!

    TCA continuously teeters on the edge of bankruptcy. Like a desperate homeowner they keep refinancing their property, hoping to forestall the financial consequences of their over-optimistic revenue estimates and overspending. This generation of politicians simply wants the illusion to survive long enough to pass the problems on to the next generation of politicians. What a sham – Orange County loses.

  • Huh

    Another NIMBY crowd. OC is not LA. We build roads as to ease congestion. LA wastes money on public transit. Simply finish the 241 and move on – more people will use it than you might expect.

    • turdferguson

      Name calling, very pathetic. These people are protecting their homes. It’s the same everywhere in the entire world. My name is Adam by the way, how about you post as a human and not “huh”.

    • tob2_happy_2

      You are pathetic that you support such a financially irresponsible out of control awful agency that not only violated so many civil rights at the last forum – here is a little excerpt from a Grand Jury Report 2015 Solvency
      While some JPAs have relatively modest levels of debt, others have very significant debt. The Foothill Transportation Corridor Agency and the San JoaquinTransportation Corridor Agency have a joint debt level of over $4.5 billion, which is about 63% of the total debt reported by all the JPAs in Orange County. This level of public debt on the citizens of Orange County is very significant. These two transportation agencies only have an income level of $292 million per year. With this extreme debt burden, the Grand Jury questions their ability to pay off the principal and interest, based on their current revenue level. Sorry you are a TCA supporting troll the residents in South COunty do not want this and guess what we are not going to have a toll road over our homes and schools when there is NO BENEFIT TO TRAFFIC with the proposed routes – grow up

  • Not My Toll Road

    Thank you Cord Bauer! Very well written! #notmytollroad notmytollroad.com #notollroadwantedorneeded There are Better Alternatives! http://notmytollroad.com/the-issue/alternative-options/

  • Huh

    Sorry but completing the toll road makes a lot of sense.

    • Not My Toll Road

      does it really?!? building a toll road next to and over schools? Really there are so many other better options! http://notmytollroad.com/the-issue/alternative-options

      • Huh

        Buses??? Trains!! Ahhahhahahh!!!! Too funny.
        Nope, Convenience. When they finish the 241, it will be great.

        • turdferguson

          Only traffic south of Mission Viejo is on the weekends. No road for leisure and vacation. Deal with the traffic.

          • tob2_happy_2

            if you are such a sensitive snowflake and cant handle the 5 freeway under construction that causes the traffic stay home

    • Laura Smith

      It doesn’t make any sense to ruin our town by ramming a toll road right through it! Right over our homes parks and children’s schools! How would you like one in your own backyard,your children breathing in toxic fumes? Coming home from a stressful day at work and haveing to now hear the traffic right over your backyard? That doesn’t make sense to me! It also doesn’t make sense to have more cars dumped at Ave Pico especially on the weekends when there is traffic which would only cause More traffic; No that Doesn’t make sense! So Mr or Mrs Huh it doesn’t make sense unless you might work for the TCA then I guess it would make sense; your paycheck

      • Huh

        You are a NIMBY. There is a Toll Road in Irvine and it not hurt that city. The convenience of millions overrides your fear. The 241 WILL be completed – you should be directing its construction rather than putting up a futile effort in stopping it.

        • Laura Smith

          It doesn’t go right by 6 schools a sports and special needs park and right over homes or possibly even have to take then out.The TCA is also trying to take and destroy our mitigated land that has our public trails.i am not a NIMBY. I am fighting for all of south county. yes I am trying to protect my home also from depreciating it is my investment. I am 57 and have been working hard to pay it off despite daily headaches so I can eventually retire. The toll road would drop the value of my house plus my peace would be gone. There are other solutions,La Pata is one have you ever taken that road? It’s a very nice drive. Don’t judge us for trying to save our town for what is not needed

          • Huh

            NIMBY – But hey, so am I. I voted to stop El Toro from becoming an airport. I get it. But I admit it.

        • tob2_happy_2

          wake up idiot the toll road will not go over our homes and schools – the TCA is so dense and could even be defined as crazy San Clemetne has said no for 18 years – the TCA better stand down with ineffective BS paid trolling that is going on as it only feeds our fire – NO TOLL ROAD extension in SJC or SC of the useless underused 241 – it WILL NOT EVEN HELP TRAFIC – it is a road to a new traffic jam –

      • Huh

        And it’s not like a Toll Road will detract from the aesthetics of San Clemente. I’ve seen some seedy areas there. Irvine has the 405, the 5, the 133, and the 261 and home prices in Irvine are way high. San Clements only has the 5. The 241 is no big deal.

        • Laura Smith

          If you don’t like our city stay out of it and keep your toll road out of our city! We don’t fear you and we will keep fighting you! We are on the right side and will do what we can to protect what we value ourselves,our children and the last of our open land. So Mr or Mrs Huh you and your toll road can just stay put!

    • turdferguson

      No, it actually doesn’t. Look at the facts.

    • TracyM

      You say that completing the 241 makes sense, yet I have not seen any reasons as to why you feel this way. I believe there are endless points that can be given against the toll road and the devastation it would cause to communities. Many of those have been stated here, so I apologize for any duplication in the few I have listed below:
      1) Proven failed business plan. TCA has misrepresented/miscalculated the need of the existing toll roads to the tune of over a billion dollars in debt. Taxpayer money. If I were to overextend myself on my home, no bank would refinance me. It is incomprehensible how the TCA continues to be able to overextend themselves at the expense of taxpayers and the free roads they promised have yet to become “free”. Even if you don’t use it, you pay for it.
      2) The 5 through South County has been under construction for years. There is no traffic study to base a true need of the toll road upon.
      3) A toll road dumping onto the 5 would create a bottleneck and cause congestion. Once travelers get past San Clemente to the Base, there is nowhere to go. If people do use the toll road, adding more cars will just cause congestion. I travel this route daily. This area is NOT the problem in Orange County.
      4) The damage the toll road would do to communities, wild life, schools, businesses, air quality, and open space is immeasurable.
      5) I am not aware how other cities are being affected right now, but San Clemente residents are already experiencing repercussions of the toll road. We have been told that we now need to add the possibility of the toll road as a disclosure when selling. Homes are falling out of escrow. Which affects the agents, the sellers, and the buyers. Effectively damaging financial interests of all involved in these transactions. Most families rely on their equity and now are at risk.
      6) Loss of value to homes and loss of homes would create a significant loss of property tax revenue to the County.
      There are so many more solid reasons why we don’t want a toll road in South County, anywhere.
      I have a few questions for you:
      1) What are the benefits of the toll road? Please base on facts.
      2) Do you feel that the TCA’s admittedly low percentage of traffic relief is worth the cost (physical and financial) of the road?
      3) It has been said that the toll road should be completed so that people can get to San Diego faster for dinner, or that others can get to the beach faster a few times a year. Do you feel this is a valid reason to destroy open space and wildlife habitats?
      4) Why back the completion of the toll road, and not arterials? La Pata is free and has been a great asset to the area.
      5) Is your perceived benefit worth the displacement of families and destruction of their homes? Loss of businesses that are relied upon for jobs?
      6) Is it worth the additional health risk to the communities already dealing with questionable air quality? Close to schools and near/over homes.
      7) Try to see things from an affected South County resident perspective: Would you want your home, the one you worked so hard for, the one you raised your children in, the one you count on for your retirement, to be taken by eminent domain or placed in the shadow of a toll road? With road noise, waste, etc. raining down upon you? Would you want to constantly be living your life in fear of this? We have been for years.
      8) Do you believe the TCA should be allowed to continue? I know that I am frustrated and feel they are taking advantage of their position. A non-public company that deceived customers, used questionable tactics, and did not follow proper protocols would probably not be allowed to continue business once discovered.
      9) How can TCA’s exorbitant debt be justified and then they be allowed to be extend credit and continuous renegotiation of contracts? Why support a company that is not fiscally responsible at your expense and that of all taxpayers?
      10) Comparing Irvine to San Clemente? Irvine was built mostly around the freeways with no loss of homes and at more reasonable distances from traffic, the toll road would be built through an established city – homes that have been in place for 40+ years. This is apples and oranges.

  • Tomsche

    Well-written and well said, Cord Bauer. The TCA is NOT our friend.