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Building the San Joaquin Tollway Through Laguna Canyon

December 09, 1990

It appears Laguna Beach has been given an ultimatum: Either the city adamantly approves the construction of the San Joaquin Hills Tollway through its beautiful Laguna Canyon or the city will suffer the loss of a $10-million contribution offered by the county toward the $78-million purchase of Laguna Canyon.

Elected officials should not be permitted to apply political pressure on any city to carry out their foolish policies and programs.

The whole question of protecting Laguna Canyon from major development has for three decades been controversial.

The county's determination to build the San Joaquin Hills Tollway has created a tremendous conflict between advocates and opponents.

For years Orange County government has been scheming for ways to finance the freeway on Irvine Co. land with no success. Subsequently, the toll road was their last resort.

It will bring profound environmental changes, and the beauty and tranquility of the canyon will be destroyed forever. The fact is that new freeways are magnets for commercial and industrial developments, and trying to cram toll roads down our throats will not realistically eliminate or mitigate traffic congestion, or reduce the distressing high level of carbon combustion in the transportation sector or clean up our dirty air. The key to the problem is not more freeways.

I.Z. WILLIAMS, Newport Beach

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