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Opponents Of I-5 Expansion Proposal Come Out In Force


Aired 11/9/10

San Diego County residents packed a hearing in Solana Beach Monday to comment on a plan to expand Interstate-5 between San Diego and Oceanside. Most people were against the plan.

People for and against a proposal to expand Interstate 5 pack a public hearin...
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Above: People for and against a proposal to expand Interstate 5 pack a public hearing as Caltrans officials review the project in Solana Beach, Calif. on November 8, 2010.

Interstate 5 North Corridor project alternatives.
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Above: Interstate 5 North Corridor project alternatives.

San Diego County residents packed a hearing in Solana Beach Monday to comment on a plan to expand Interstate-5 between San Diego and Oceanside. Most people were against the plan.

It was a lively and at times, boisterous crowd.

Most spoke against a California Department of Transportation proposal to expand a 27-mile stretch of I-5 by adding more HOV lanes and access ramps.

Caltrans has proposed four alternatives to reduce congestion on the heavily traveled corridor.

There is also a "no build" option which many people favored.

"We clearly should not be spending billions of dollars for a project that will temporarily relieve congestion," said Elizabeth Rudee of San Diego.

Other speakers said mass transit and smart growth are a better alternative to expanding the freeway.

Representatives from the San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce and the Associated General Contractors of San Diego were among those speaking in favor of the expansion.

Allan Kosup with Caltrans said if I-5 is not expanded, severe traffic congestion over the next 20 years will hurt the region's economic health.

Kosup said travel times between San Diego and Oceanside along I-5 would nearly double by 2030 without expansion.

The comment period for the project's draft environmental review ends November 22.

Kossup said the approval process for the proposed I-5 expansion will take up to two years.

He said several agencies, including the California Coastal Commission, would have to OK the project.

Kosup said if the project is approved, the cost is between $3.4 billion and $4.5 billion depending on which of the four alternatives are chosen.

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Avatar for user 'hawaiian717'

hawaiian717 | November 8, 2010 at 4:38 p.m. ― 6 years, 4 months ago

My gut feeling tells me that most of the attendees were against the proposal because those who would support it couldn't attend because they commute to and from work during rush hour, and were at work when the meeting occurred.

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Avatar for user 'brixsy'

brixsy | November 8, 2010 at 5:06 p.m. ― 6 years, 4 months ago

My gut feeling tells me that the I-5 expansion is a really outdated and ineffective solution. That's why so many people were against it.

I know that we can come up with something better than this, without the use of imminent domain, the compromised ocean views, and the additional pollution.

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Avatar for user 'EastCountySD'

EastCountySD | November 8, 2010 at 6:12 p.m. ― 6 years, 4 months ago

I'd like to see other solutions too, but given all the constraints, I don't see how they can really help the congestion problem.

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Avatar for user 'NickV'

NickV | November 9, 2010 at 9:29 a.m. ― 6 years, 4 months ago

Yes, the idea of adding 4 or more lanes to the 5 through North County is outdated - adding lanes to a highway is only a temporary measure. What happens in 20 years after the 5 has been widened by 4 or more lanes and those lanes are now at capacity because of growth? Do we keep going all the way to the coast? Now is the time for our State and region to realize that building more lanes only contributes to adding single driver cars. We need dedicated transit to where people work. The rush hour bottle necks could be alleviated or at least provide for the growth in population if we put commuter rail that didn't just go to Downtown. We are missing the big employment centers of Kearny Mesa, UTC/La Jolla and Mission Valley. We also have to plan for a time when driving is very cost prohibitive - the news is reporting today that oil is now creeping back to $90 per barrel and is likely to continue to rise. Having world class roads is important but we can't subsidize one method of transportation. I know everyone in my office talks about how they wish there was a Train to Kearny Mesa! Even L.A. has figured it out and passed a sales tax to fun rail transit - let's not be left behind and manage our growth and not pave over paradise.

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Avatar for user 'mac10'

mac10 | November 9, 2010 at 12:53 p.m. ― 6 years, 4 months ago

Don't be fooled the project would take 4-5 years, cause massive congestion during construction, would add hov lanes only and no regular traffic lanes just like the I-15. It would provid years of misery and debt while only offering limited relief to those who can afford to pay the fastrac tolls.

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Avatar for user 'socialvaccine'

socialvaccine | November 10, 2010 at 7:41 a.m. ― 6 years, 4 months ago

not to confuse [those industrial complex "contracts" are slippery ones].
but on the alternative "menu" we are GEOgraphically[&NATionally] at the "end of the world", that's a serious and unthinkable REALITY! and NAVIGATION is the missing link.
"the beach crowd" aught to have [normative ethics] a "SHIPS & AUTO-RAIL" [ixnay\'ferries'\], express ship and AUTO-rail [NATION WIDE] for your vehicle and you. to THE TROPICS!!! Acapulco! [careful navY-gation][summer time especially] and to S.F. & Oregon & Washington, "auto train" [Amtrack's NY-FL line] or vehicular rail, and very economical SHIPS that takes your "vehicle" to the tropics!
the GEOGRAPHIC "DEAD END" is an ecological [normative >ind contract$!] sociological equation, think big or "think" entrapment, CONTAINMENT! that looks so "free -no way?
10/ hyw 8 to the PORT / rail and far, then... [no 5, please, no gusto]

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Avatar for user 'dboquet'

dboquet | November 14, 2010 at 8:38 a.m. ― 6 years, 4 months ago

It goes without saying.. build it, and they will come...
As a San Diego native, I have seen San Diego's old town charm fade more and more into the west coast sunset.
San Diego has a long tradition of pride about not being another, traffic congestion redden, California city (Los Angeles). San Diego has enjoyed being the secret destination of the rich and famous... old and new like, Douglas Fairbanks, Bing Crosby, Rachel Welch.... many more... have come to enjoy the San Diego lifestyle in anonymity. San Diego' s growth and expansion need not to come at the cost of its tradition and charm.

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Avatar for user 'YouGottaBeKidding'

YouGottaBeKidding | December 8, 2010 at 9:28 a.m. ― 6 years, 3 months ago

Highway expansions are relics of the 20th century. Install a high capacity, afforable, and reliable transit alternative parallel to I-5. Place variable rate congestion pricing on *all existing lanes* to generate capital and operating revnue for both the highway and new transit operations. Ramp-up parking availability at transit access points and include both car-share facilities and van-share at the parking facilities.

Reduce congestion by getting people out of their cars, not by creating more room for more cars.

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