Stop TCA Toll Road Routes #9/#18, also known as The Beltway Option, in South Orange County
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The Transportation Corridor Agency (TCA) has proposed eighteen new Toll Road routes in South Orange County, CA including #9 and #18, also known as The Beltway Option. These routes would greatly impact the communities of Ladera Ranch, Rancho Mission Viejo, and San Juan Capistrano. They would be devastating to the quality of life unless we work to STOP them NOW. It doesn’t take a traffic engineer to figure out that the biggest traffic problem in South Orange County is along the I-5, with its northbound and southbound traffic on weekday and weekend commutes. Proposed Toll Road route options #9 and #18 would NOT HELP to solve any of the traffic problems along the I-5 corridor in South Orange County. Additionally, these proposed options are problematic for the following reasons:
1) These routes are grossly expensive, close to $1 BILLION; tunneling adds an additional $500 MILLION* and we as taxpayers would be footing this bill for a road WE DO NOT WANT.
2) Diminished property values; would also be a decrease in property tax revenues for the County of Orange.
3) Destruction of pristine habitat for native plants, endangered species, and other wildlife on The Reserve of Rancho Mission Viejo. This partnership is the result of more than twenty years of study and collaboration between Rancho Mission Viejo, the County of Orange, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, California Department of Fish and Game and the environmental community.
4) The US Department of Fish and Wildlife has deemed the area a permanent reserve and has stated the land is to be kept in its natural state
5) The California Geological Survey has deemed this area a very high potential for landslides. The preserve is geologically unstable and costly landslides have occurred in the preserve as recently as 20 years ago, which is mere seconds by geologic standards.
6) The County of Orange and the Orange County Fire Authority have designated this area as a high fire danger area.
7) Significant threat to all area watersheds during construction and after including: Lower Trabuco Creek, San Juan Creek and Horno Basin (also a wetlands habitat).
5) Noise and pollution that would affect tens of thousands of men, women, and children. Cars and trucks release at least forty different toxic air contaminants, including, but not limited to, diesel particulate, benzene, formaldehyde, 1,3-butadiene and acetaldehyde. If we don’t permit factories emitting these pollutants in our neighborhoods, neither should we permit the construction of major roadways that result in the same pollutants.
6) Destruction of open space and trails.
7) Will be close to three local schools including Capistrano Valley High School in Mission Viejo, Esencia K-8 in Rancho Mission Viejo, and Stoneybrooke in San Juan Capistrano. Construction of any toll road near a school is unlawful under Section 17213 of the California Education Code, which prohibits freeways from being constructed within 500 feet of one. Living near a freeway was recognized by the California legislature to have detrimental effects on learning because of decreased lung capacity and exacerbated asthma, as well as higher risks of cancer.
8) Would be adjacent to Capistrano Valley High School in Mission Viejo and Esencia K-8 in Rancho Mission Viejo which is in violation of the Capistrano Unified School District (CUSD) agreement to protect students from pollution of this magnitude.
9) All but requires the exercise of imminent domain for acquiring the land in the developed neighborhoods surrounding Avery Parkway.
* Source: Get Moving OC Forum #2- October 5th, 2016.
The constituents of Ladera Ranch, Rancho Mission Viejo, and San Juan Capistrano, stand united in opposition to routes #9 and #18, either as toll road or as arterial roads. NO to The Beltway!
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