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Compromise Rejected on Highway Project

May 27, 1998|STEVE CARNEY

A compromise plan from Councilman Mark Schwing in the debate over widening Imperial Highway failed to receive support this week from either side.

A November ballot initiative asks Yorba Linda voters if they want to reject widening of the highway within the city.

Opponents of the measure say the road needs to be widened for traffic and safety reasons.

But those who want to keep the highway as it is say they don't want to disturb the sleepy character of their city.

At Tuesday's council meeting, Schwing suggested a plan that would widen the highway to four lanes from Esperanza Road to Yorba Linda Boulevard, then six lanes to the western city limits.

He also suggested a 40-mph speed limit to ensure the road would be more like Yorba Linda Boulevard than a high-speed thoroughfare that trucks and commuters would use as a shortcut between freeways.

He said the city's General Plan--its guideline for future growth--recommends the extra lanes.

But Councilman John M. Gullixson, who supports widening the highway, said Schwing's proposal would only confuse voters if it went on the ballot.

And several residents who oppose widening the highway also criticized Schwing's plan, even with the speed limitations.

His motion failed 1 to 4.

"I was trying to find a compromise and end the fight," he said after the meeting, adding that it now appears the two sides will remain entrenched until November.

"To me, it was a big compromise. I was surprised there wasn't at least a little discussion."

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