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Alternate Ideas to an Entry Toll

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Editor,

There was a piece in the Nov. 13 edition, offering up solutions for Laguna’s traffic congestion.  The primary suggestion was to charge a toll when entering the City of Laguna Beach for any driver that was not a resident.  Coast Highway, just like Laguna Canyon Road, is a state highway. It is an actual transportation route that runs along most of the California coast from Dana Point to Mendocino. It was not built just to provide access to Laguna Beach, as if this town was some sort of theme park.  Also the traffic problem does not begin and end at the city’s borders as the article would suggest.

Newport’s traffic is just as bad if not worse, and Dana Point gets congested too. So fear not, because from a legal standpoint, this silly idea will never happen.

Laguna Beach, like most other coastal towns, has insane traffic problems during the summer months.  It has been this way for a long time.

I first started working for the Laguna Beach lifeguard department in 1975, and I have to tell you that the traffic was pretty much the same then as it is now during the summer.

In my opinion the city has taken reasonable steps to help the situation with the trolleys and ACT V parking.  Is there more that could be done? Probably, yes.

The OCTA bus route #89 runs from Laguna Beach up to the Laguna Hills area. This bus works for many people. But I always wondered why there was not a bus route that continued up the canyon into Irvine. There are many places in the commercial area on the other side of the 405 freeway there, where parking might be arranged, in particular on weekends when most of those businesses are closed. The trolley already runs into Dana Point, which is great. Maybe it could run up to the Newport Coast shopping area as well. That way people using the state beach parking lots could jump on the trolley and get into town.

There will always be traffic issues in this great city, and the more voluntary options we can provide for residents and visitors, the better. But increasing debt, raising taxes, and having a Laguna Beach border patrol checking your residency papers when you enter the city is not the answer.

Jon Brick

 

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