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Hype for Toll Roads Obscures Reality

December 17, 1995

When the Times did its excellent story on the Orange County Foothill and Eastern transportation corridors (Nov. 26), I wondered why our toll road was not mentioned, the one down the middle of the public right of way on [the Riverside] Freeway?

On reading [the] op-ed paean by [Claremont McKenna College] Professor Ward Elliott ("Toll Lanes Aren't Elitist; They're Smooth Riding for All," Dec. 8), I can see that this is not a toll road at all; no it's a [high-occupancy/toll] HOT lane. Are you sure he isn't a stockholder too? Please, give us the facts, minus the hype and silly stuff.

[California] 91 has long been the most congested stretch of freeway in Southern California, worse than the [Harbor Freeway] or [San Diego Freeway].

This condition is due, I speculate, to inadequate planning, the intense residential development of surrounding hills in Anaheim and Yorba Linda, and the failure of Caltrans to make improvements, as it has done on other freeways.

Now, graciously, we can travel this private toll road on public property for only $2.50 (one-way) or "free" if we have three or more in the car. This does not seem like a good deal for the public who must use the road, daily, to drive between Riverside and Orange County.

The uncounted cost of this private development on public property should also count the uncountable millions of hours lost over the past years by private motorists who found themselves stuck on the 91, day and night, due to this private road construction.

PATRICK F. FLYNN

Yorba Linda

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