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CalTrans Asks For Public Input On Interstate 5 Expansion

Your browser does not support this object. View the original here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6LQwuO5s3OE

Video published July 30, 2010 | Download MP4 | View transcript

Above: Hear the details on see the proposed plans to widen Interstate 5 from La Jolla to Oceanside.

Transcript

This is a rush transcript created by a contractor for KPBS to improve accessibility for the deaf and hard-of-hearing. Please refer to the media file as the formal record of this interview. Opinions expressed by guests during interviews reflect the guest’s individual views and do not necessarily represent those of KPBS staff, members or its sponsors.

TRAFFIC CONGESTION IN SAN DIEGO CAN TURN A SHORT TRIP INOO A LONG ORDEAL. THERE ARE MANY SOLUTIONS TO THE PROBLEMS. THERE ARE LANES ON A FREEWAY BUT NOT FOR LONG. CALTRANSIT IS GOING ALONG WITH PLANS TO WIDEN INTERSTATE 5 OVER A 30-MILE STRETCH. THE FIRST IN A SERIES OF MEETINGS WAS HELD THIS WEEK TO GATHER PUBLIC INPUT FOR THE PROJECT. GATHERING ME FOR THE DETAILS IS ALISON ST. JOHN. WHY IS CALTRANSAYING I 5 NEEDS TO BE EXPANDED?

THE ROAD WAS BUILT 40 YEARS AGO. BY 2030 THEY ARE PREDICTING ANOTHER 50,000 DRIVING DOWN IT. IN TERMS OF TIME IT IS LIKE A 25 MINUTE DRIVE. IF THEY DO NOTHING IT WILL TURN INTO AN 80 MINUTE DRIVE. IF THEY DO THIS PLAN IT WILL EXPAND. >> 25 NANTSU --25 MINUTES TO OCEAN SIDE. WHAT ARE THE PLANS THAT ARE BEING CONSIDERED?

THERE ARE FOUR OPTIONS. I THINK YOU CAN DO NOTHING, OF COURSE. RIGHT NOW THERE ARE FOUR OR FIVE LANES IN EACH DIRECTION. ALL OF THEM HAVE TWO EXTRA LANES IN THE MIDDLE ON EACH SIDE WHICH MAKES FOUR EXTRA LANES IN THE MIDDLE OF THE FREEWAY WHICH WOULD BE FOR RAPID TRANSIT BUSING AND CAR POOLING. THE THING THAT DISTINGUISHES THE OPTIONS IS THERE IS AN OPTION OF A BARRIER BETWEEN THE FOUR MIDDLE LANES AND THE GENERAL PURPOSE LANES OR YOU CAN PUT DOUBLE YELLOW LINES TO DIVIDE THEM. THE BOTTOM TWO OPTIONS HAVE AN EXTRA GENERAL PURPOSE LANE ON EACH SIDE. SO IT WILL TURN FOUR LANES INTO FIVE LANES AND FIVE INTO SIX LANES.

I WOULD ASSUME IT WOULD BE WIDER WITH A BARRIER THAN A BUFFER. WHAT ABOUT THE SCENIC VIEWS THAT YOU HAVE AS YOU DRIVE?

THIS WILL DEFINITELY CHANGE THE EXPERIENCE OF DRIVING UP OR DOWN I 5. AT THE MOMENT YOU CAN SEE TREES AND SOMETIMES SEE THE OCEAN. THERE WILL BE A LOT OF VERY HIGH SOUND BARRIERS, VERY SIMILAR TO MANY OF THE FREEWAYS IN L.A.

I GUESS LOS ANGELES IS CREEPING UP. WHY DOES CALTRANS WANT PUBLIC INPUT?

THE PUBLIC INPUT IS WHICH OF THE FOUR OPTIONS. IT LOOKS LIKE IT IS DEFINITE THEY ARE GOING TO HAVE TO EXPAND.

WHO IS GOING TO MAKE THE FINAL DECISION?

CALTRANS AND FEDERAL HIGHWAYS.

HAVE ANY OBJECTIONS COME FORTH?

THERE ARE MANY PEOPLE CONCERNED. SOME PEOPLE SAY THERE SHOULD BE MORE PUBLIC TRANSIT AND PEOPLE WHO ARE CONCERNED ABOUT WE ARE TRYING TO CUT DOWN ON CARBON EMISSIONS AND THERE ARE CONCERNS BECAUSE IT IS CROSSING SIX LAGOONS AND SOME PEOPLE WILL HAVE THEIR HOMES TAKEN AWAY THROUGH IMMINENT DOMAIN. CALIFORNIA COASTAL COMMISSION SAYS ONCE THEY PICK AN OPTION THEY WILL START WORKING MORE SERIOUSLY ON MITIGATION AND DIFFERENT WAYS FOR MAKING UP FOR THE ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT. THEY ARE TALKING ABOUT PUTTING MORE MONEY TOWARDS RESTORATION FOR LAGOONS. THERE IS IDEAS OF HAVING UNDER THE FREEWAY PUBLIC WALK WAYS WHICH WEREN'T THERE BEFORE. THERE ARE VARIOUS IDEAS OF ADDING BENEFITS TO THE COMMUNITY TO MAKE UP FOR THIS.

IT IS IMPORTANT THAT PEOPLE ATTEND THE PUBLIC MEETINGS IF THEY FEEL INVOLVED. WE'LL HAVE TO WATCH AND SEE WHEN THOSE MEETINGS ARE COMING UP. THANKS SO MUCH.

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