On Aug. 26, a post on the city’s webste notified us the intersection at Laguna Canyon Road and El Toro is planned for road widening by Caltrans. Days later the post reads “repaving” not “widening” but still offers no mention if the project complies with legal mandates for highways under Complete Street Policy (DD-64 for Caltrans).
Has Laguna once again allowed Caltrans to shove more traffic down our throats? Under Caltrans our village is bisected with Coast Highway; now we wish to tri-sect the city with another four-lane super highway?
What is the end game of this highway strategy? Whose strategy is this? Do we want to increase traffic flows in and out of Laguna Beach? Have we not had enough of traffic? Check with the technical literature and the experts (Shoup, Vanderbuilt, Jacobs) they clearly state examples where increased vehicle capacity is sucked up immediately by latent demand of drivers. In English that means for any traffic capacity you add to a road, drivers will simply change their driving habit to fill the extra capacity and congest the road.
Widening this road is the wrong solution for traffic congestion in Laguna Beach and it defies Complete Streets Policy. At best this is business as usual for Caltrans. There is a better way to reduce traffic and revitalize business tourism in Laguna Beach. Discover how.
The task force for Complete Streets Policy meets the second Tuesday of every month at 5 p.m. in the Senior Center.
Les Miklosy, chair, Task Force for Complete Streets