Letters - Residents Say "No" to Ortega Widening

Although we have received a number of emails about the letter, due to space limitations we are listing below only a few. Names are being withheld to protect privacy.

“We were “served” with [the letter] from a bunch of unelected “kings” who are spending big money and confusing the facts like it’s an Olympic sport. Included is a pre-stamped [petition] card that we’re supposed to return to them.
The errors and omissions in the letter are really blatant… consider the following claims. My response (the truth) is listed below each claim:
 Claim:  “We face danger every day as we try to enter and exit our communities”

Would traffic flying by at 55 / two lanes in each direction somehow make that safer?
 Claim:  “Just recently a horrific crash between a car and a truck occurred and one person died”

If this is the accident I think it is, it happened just before the choke point and the person was allegedly speeding and drunk.  
 Claim:  “In 2015 alone…37 injury accidents occurred on Ortega or cross streets to Ortega”

99% of them were (far) East of our city’s boundaries, or nowhere near the “choke point” (This definition allows an accident on Rancho Viejo and other major streets - anywhere - to be counted…because they cross Ortega)
Claim:  “The city has been planning for years….but the 0.9 mile portion…leads to increased traffic accidents” 

That total lie has been disproven repeatedly by the city’s traffic engineer ~ yet it continues to be stated as “fact”
Claim:  “[Traffic engineers who conducted a study many years ago] … strongly recommend completion…as it ‘provides direct safety benefits’ ”

Isn’t this the same study that required a variety of other major events to occur – first;  (La Pata connection to San Clemente, etc.)
Claim:  “San Juan is in danger of LOSING the $10 million…Denying the Improvement Project will not stop traffic… this is a state highway, not a city road” 

Pretzel logic on display here.  If the city has no say, why bother with the city council? Could it be that the OCTA no longer supports this project and without the city demanding it, will not be done? As far as LOSING the $10 million, I’m far more upset I personally LOST the $380 million lottery on the $1 ticket I (never) bought.  These are the same people that think taxpayer-funded grants are endless sources of money to be spent – whether or not they make economic or logical sense.

What really upsets me is the signers to this letter. It’s positioned as if they’re the authorized representative for the tracts they live in. Not sure about you, but I certainly never elected Ted Rosenfeldt [one of the letter signers] to speak on my behalf.  
"Who, exactly, are the “Neighbors for Ortega Highway Chokepoint Improvements” ~ or is this just another name for the Rancho Mission Viejo Company?”

Recently I received [a letter] asking me to sign a petition card to support the widening of the Ortega. To me, the letter makes no sense. How can widening a road, which will increase the speed limit, make it safer; especially when high-school drivers will be competing with multi-ton trash trucks at higher rates of speed? These people just need to accept that many of us residents like our semi-rural road the way it is…”

"Thank you {council members Patterson, Ferguson and Perry] for halting the expansion of the Ortega Highway at it’s .8 of a mile-long 2-lane stretch.

 My property and house border that stretch of road, and you [council members] are the only ones giving a voice for those families that will suffer the greatest impact of a widening project, and those persons wanting to retain the natural beauty of the area. We who border this part of the highway don’t want to stare at a wall, feel imprisoned by a wall, nor hear the noise walls will cause by bouncing sounds between the them and the Northside hills. We don’t want to lose the large mature trees which line the highway, shade our yards, provide natural soundproofing and natural privacy. We don’t want to see the hillside carved and concrete lining this otherwise beautiful area.

The site for the High School was chosen despite this stretch of the road. It is not dangerous and cannot become more dangerous. More traffic is dangerous. With the State in a drought crisis, I believe there should be a moratorium on building now. I also believe that La Pata may ease many of the traffic problems (to the dump and the High School).

 Ex-sheriff Brad Gates expressed horror over a fatality on this stretch, but he failed to mention that fatality accident happened at 2:30 a.m. on the Easter Weekend. In all my 16 years living here, there has never been a fatality besides the recent sad one mentioned here, but not to be blamed on the width of the road or traffic delays.

The current level of traffic noise we are used to. We don’t want it doubled. Those who live here know how to deal with the traffic delays and, like anywhere else, planning ahead for it is a way of life. The delays are not all day every day – like anywhere else, the traffic increases only during rush hour. There are no safety issues.

I know [council members] are taking terrific hits over [their] stance; however, I remember [they] campaigned on that very platform and it was a big reason [they] were voted into office. I believe most people want to keep the integrity of the natural beauty of the highway. It is the entrance to our charming city, after all.

 Thank you for your efforts. "

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