Shaky Tunnel?

Just like the El Toro Airport, forces are at work to kill another urban project that will force the OC in to a dangerous crunch in the next 15 years. The NIMBY’s have taken to the hills and have started their frontal assault on the proposed Tri-Tunnel connecting Riverside to the OC and a possible new airport.

In today’s San Francisco Chronicle, the paper mentioned that we are thinking of the unthinkable, an 11 mile tunnel that will run through the heart of earthquake country. The proposed tunnel would start a mile from a fault line that has produced a 6.0 earthquake in the past.

While we continue to veto every single project in this county that would provide its residents with some form of comfort in this ever growing county, no one has proposed any project that will ease the issue. We built the toll roads to ease the traffic crunch, but those have quickly become a boondoggle, we proposed the CenterLine light rail project which would have created quick access to the Universities and key sites in the OC but that was quickly killed, and finally the kicker was the fight against the El Toro Airport and the selection of a Great Park instead.

Does anyone want to come forward with a good idea?

Really, anyone?

Or should the haves force the have-nots into Riverside and San Bernardino counties where the housing is cheaper but the commute is longer? Should we continue to build and build and build until we get to the point where we can no longer build the urban programs that this county needs and will eventually cost us way too much. In a strange move I applaud the City of Anaheim for their Platinum Triangle project; they took the initiative and moved forward in creating a key urban center for the OC. When the County fails to act the cities have to pick up the slack, just because a few NIMBY’s turn down an urban project that would bring the people to the gates of their gated communities.

Currently living next to the 91, I see the traffic every single day. It’s a parking lot, pure and simple. Just to keep pace with the amount of traffic we would need 12 additional lanes by 2030, and thousands of people and businesses would be displaced if such a project happens. If the mayor of Laguna Nigel is against such a project, then why doesn

4 Comments so far

  1. No Tunnel (unregistered) on November 22nd, 2005 @ 3:39 pm

    Thankfully, this is another boondoggle that won’t get built. Why should we provide easy access for IE residents at great expense (~$6B) instead of solving the real problem: the IE needs to develop its own employment base. This is not an OC problem, and I and all my neighbors in Irvine will fight tooth and Nail to stop this like we did the Airport. This time, however, we can join hands with our buddies in Newport and present a united front.

    By the way, as usual, Larry Agran is ahead of the game on this one and already working against this unneeded, unwanted, wasteful project.


  2. Mike Randall (unregistered) on November 22nd, 2005 @ 10:45 pm

    You pretty much made my point.

    Here we have an opportunity to provide a project that will help the citizens of Orange County and the Inland Empire in gaining access to jobs in both directions, yet you argue that the jobs should be created in the Inland Empire.

    Wrong!

    The jobs should be created here in Orange County, the money and the economics should remain in Orange County.

    If you relized how many dollars and jobs were lost by the loss of the El Toro airport, the failure of this county to bulid a light rail to move its citizens from the northern part of the county to the southern part, and the constant traffic on the 5, 91, 55, 57, and 22 you’ll see that something has to be done.

    While you may be aginst the tunnel, how do you propose we solve this problem. What do the mayor’s in Southern OC propose to solve this problem? Really, provide us with solutions, not walls to solutions. If the tunnel is not bulit then the 91 will have to be doubled-decked (and we all know how well that went with I-80 in the Bay Area). Or the 91 has to be expanded forcing people out of their houses and busniesses along the 91 freeway in Anaheim Hills and Corona, and that would impact busniess and the economy in Northern Orange County.

    Don’t simply fight projects because you do not want it to go through your neighborhood, provide us with a workable solution.


  3. No Tunnel (unregistered) on November 23rd, 2005 @ 5:06 pm

    The tunnel is a “solution” to a non-problem. Orange County is jobs rich with a higher jobs to population ratio than the surrounding areas. How would I, as an OC, resident gain from spending $6B to provide IE residents access to OC.

    Correct answer: I don’t. And since people like me vote and, ultimately, make policy, I’d wager 10-to-1 that this tunnel idea will be buried.

    If I am a business owner and I want to hire people at a lower cost, then I need to move to a lower-cost environment — Riverside, Phoenix, or Kansas. By making it harder for businesses to import cheaper labor from inland, I allow the free market to solve the labor problem instead of government subsudizing it via expensive infrastructure projects, whether it’s a tunnel or extra freeway (91).

    Clearly we don’t need El Toro airport, tunnels, or light rail to generate jobs. We have the lowest unemployment rate of any county in California. The argument that Orange County “needs jobs” holds no water and has no facts to support it.


  4. Mike Randall (unregistered) on November 23rd, 2005 @ 5:53 pm

    I return to my original question: “Where is the solution.”

    OC may have the lowest unemployment rate, but I’m sure those figures only comprise of those who live in Orange County, not those who live in the IE.

    Second, when you attack the Airport and the light rail its the same problem that constantly plagues politics in the OC, a failure to look towards the future to solve our problems, instead are urban planners are stuck in the present and the past.

    I’m not in total agreement of the tunnel, to be honest. But I do feel that if the discussions of a solution are handled properly, we can find a mutual benefencial solution to this problem. Not the constant “No” that always resonates from Southern OC.



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