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.
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.
It was great for locals also. I even used it when I did my volunteer tidepool docent assignments at the various rocks. It would have been great if it could have been extended until Thanksgiving, especially for the benefit of the merchants and restaurateurs. We need to support them.
Thanks again for all the information we get through your newspaper.
Only ban needed is one on view pollution
Banning must be fun.
Banning must be fun since we seem to want to ban so much. Some bans are needed and others may be just "nanny state" irritants or losses to freedom. To mention a few we have banned: Animals off leash, most downhill skateboarding, smoking on the beach, smoking on some public streets, and late night/over night parking in some residential neighborhoods without a permit.
We have banned fishing for fun and food in the ocean (it does nothing but create a feast for sea lions and fish killing birds). We have banned handy economical plastic bags and Styrofoam containers (a banning that is unnecessary, costly and inconvenient just to appease environmental extremists). We have banned light pollution (a real boon to crime and mischief). We have banned use of cars on substantial portions of our roadways for use by bicycles (our fuel taxes pay for the roads; bikes pay nothing.)
And now, some folks are advocating the banning of what they have decided is noise pollution. Worse yet, some want to ban Caltrans from widening Laguna Canyon Road's seven-mile stretch of a miserable single-lane road from downtown to the Toll Road. (With only one lane, it creates a situation where it takes just one slow driver, a gawker, or an accident to turn that short seven miles into 20 or more minutes of stop-and-go hell).
Regardless about how you feel about these various bans, the thing we haven't banned is the one that does the most substantial damage to many people in Laguna — view pollution. The natural vistas provided by our hilly topography adjacent to our beautiful coastline used to provide magnificent view sheds for residents and visitors.
Then people planted over-sized trees creating massive view pollution for their neighbors and the public. Our unique beautiful view sheds were needlessly obstructed or destroyed all over town diminishing the value and enjoyment of property. This view pollution not only costs homeowners a lot, it costs the city a lot in lost property tax income. It is long past time for the city to ban view pollution.
Appreciation for short movie series
I want to thank the Laguna Beach Art Museum, the host of Summer Shorts Film Series held on Aug. 18 at South Coast Cinema, for a terrific event.
As a seasoned filmmaker, I have attended numerous film festivals, screenings and events, but Laguna always does everything with such panache and appreciation for the arts. For those of you who missed it, the range of young talent in Orange County is inspiring for myself as well as audiences everywhere.
Too much time here to complain
I read and laughed out loud at David Hansen's column about all the complaining here in Laguna Beach, (Hansen: "Our crime is in the complaint," Aug. 26).
So, I thought I'd make a list of places I've lived:
Lakeshore, downtown Chicago
Gold Coast, downtown Chicago
River North, Chicago
Little Italy, Chicago
Marina del Rey
Corona del Mar
And nowhere else I have lived have I heard as much complaining as I have in Laguna Beach. You know why?
As George Bernard Shaw said: "The secret to being really miserable is having enough leisure time.'
Stand up for the Clean Air Act
The Clean Air Act was passed with overwhelming bipartisan support and is one of the most successful environmental laws ever passed anywhere in the world.
Hundreds of thousands of Americans are alive today and millions more aren't suffering from debilitating respiratory illness thanks to the cleaner air this landmark law has provided.
The cleaner air standards brought about by Clean Air Act has helped unleash environmental technology industries that generate $300 billion in annual revenues, $40 billion in exports, and employ 1.6 million Americans.
In spite of this tremendous success, big polluters are on the attack and are working with their allies in Congress to gut the Clean Air Act.
Some members of Congress are even threatening to shut down the Environmental Protection Agency, the agency charged with enforcing clean air standards.
Breathing should not kill you or make you sick and we need to stand up to this polluter assault on our right to clean, healthy air.
We need our members of Congress to stand up for America's landmark clean air standards and stop the polluter assault on the Clean Air Act.
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