A Free Toll Road Would Cut Canyon Congestion

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Editor,

I don’t live in Laguna Beach, but I drive to and from quite often. I always have to carefully time my trips because of potential traffic issues. The following are my thoughts on trying to mitigate some of these ongoing traffic trouble spots.

Suggestions for decreasing traffic volume: move traffic from Coast Highway/Laguna Canyon to the toll road.

The following is a quick, relatively inexpensive to implement, short-term solution. With the assumption that both the city of Laguna Beach and the Transportation Corridor Agency (TCA) have complementary interests, the city would like to reduce the number of cars that are “just” passing though while the TCA would like to increase usage of the highway 73 toll road (TR). By working closely together a reasonably priced and balanced solution could be achievable.

How to move traffic to the toll road. Make it free. As a first step experiment, offer free usage of the TR for a limited period, and maybe only during morning and afternoon rush hours. With the right publicity, you should be able to see immediate results. I believe that there will be a reduction in traffic volume through Laguna during these hours of free usage of the toll road. On the other hand, the toll road will be able to measure any changes in traffic volume during the free periods, some of that additional traffic will have nothing to do with Laguna Beach traffic reduction. Based on the results you should be able to decide on future steps.

Or:

While free is good, it’s not always feasible. So instead of free for all, make the toll road subsidized for select drivers from the neighboring cities (from San Clemente to Costa Mesa) that regularly pass through Laguna.

This is how you select these drivers. First, strategically position the same technology that the toll road uses to charge their customers. By analyzing the data collected, you will be able to identify driving patterns, i.e. where are these drivers coming from, where are they headed, how often and when do they drive through Laguna Beach, etc.

Some of these drivers, meeting certain criteria and with the right incentives, can be diverted to the toll road.

With continued monitoring of the driving patterns and adjusting the incentives you will get more cars using the toll road and less on the Canyon Road.

Please consider these options.

 

Yori Neumark, Laguna Woods

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