Mailbag: Road widening is the wrong solution

September 08, 2011

On Aug. 26, a post on the Laguna Beach city website notified us about plans for road widening of Laguna Canyon Road at El Toro Road 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 the Complete Streets policy (DD-64 for Caltrans). Has Laguna Beach once again allowed Caltrans to shove more traffic down our throats? Under Caltrans, our village is bisected with Coast Highway, and now we wish to trisect 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 — 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 meets the second Tuesday of every month at 5 p.m. in the Susi Q Senior Center.

Les Miklosy

Laguna Beach

The writer is the chairman of the Task Force for Complete Streets in Laguna Beach.


Move into other cities a smart one

I want to thank the people in your business department for negotiating circulation with subscribers of the Los Angeles Times. I am a dedicated reader of the Coastline Pilot and strongly patronize the Laguna Beach merchants. This will make the availability much more convenient and on time. It was a great marriage, and I hope everyone (merchants and subscribers) are as happy as I am that this was done.

Also, it is a shame that the trolley service was discontinued Aug. 31 at the end of the festival season. My wife and I rode it many times and often with as many as several couples to go out for dinner and an evening of shopping with local merchants. This made it easier for the group especially when it came to parking and coordinating everyone. We found many other couples doing the same thing and oftentimes parking at the Gelson's/Monarch Beach parking lot.

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