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March 10, 1991
In regard to the Feb. 24 Times article on new tollways being acceptable to the majority of Orange County residents, I see your poll as being inadequate. Conduct of such a poll should include the interviews of thousands of local residents. The benefits that the tollways would provide should be weighed against the monetary cost, destruction of existing wildlife habitat, increased air pollution and increased population pressures that would result from the tollways' growth-inducing impacts.
April 8, 2014 | By Dan Weikel
After years of contentious debate, a long-running and sharply criticized plan to extend Orange County's toll road network to the San Diego County line has been shelved. The extension would have added miles to the county's maze of tollways but also would have cut - in the view of some - perilously close to San Onofre State Beach and one of the state's most treasured surf breaks. On Tuesday, officials with the Transportation Corridor Agencies announced they had canceled environmental studies for the massive 241 extension and said they would pursue less-ambitious alternatives.
March 8, 1998
The main roadblock to new tollways is that not enough people will use the tollways to pay off the costs of building them ("Move Toward Tollways Hits Numerous Roadblocks," March 1). Although not featured in the article, an analysis of the problems affecting the San Joaquin Hills Transportation Corridor toll road should be done, in particular the low usage of this road. Every time I have been on this road, there are not more than 30 cars going in both directions. The toll booths have lots of empty lanes.
July 4, 2013 | By Dan Weikel
Without a proposed $2.2-billion bond sale to refinance its debt, a major Orange County tollway could eventually default on its bond payments, according to a report released Wednesday. The analysis by the state treasurer's office supports plans by the Transportation Corridor Agencies to restructure the debt at lower interest on the Foothill-Eastern toll road, which is failing to live up to ridership and revenue projections. "We are pleased with the outcome of the study," said Lisa Telles, communications director for the corridor agency.
February 12, 1993 | JEFFREY A. PERLMAN
People who drive a truck, a bus or a car with a trailer will pay more than motorists in single cars to use three tollways in Orange County. By unanimous votes, the boards of the San Joaquin Hills and Foothill/Eastern Transportation Corridor agencies approved a seven-tier system of charges for the tollways at meetings Thursday in the Santa Ana City Council Chambers. However, the twin boards won't set the actual tolls for each class of vehicles for several months.
After years of protests and legal battles, the San Joaquin Hills Transportation Corridor opened shortly after midnight Wednesday, drawing thousands of Thursday-morning commuters who took advantage of the introductory free ride. Despite a handful of sign-toting opponents and rain that contributed to at least 14 accidents, most of the motorists sliced through at high speed--in dramatic contrast to fellow travelers crawling bumper-to-bumper along the waterlogged San Diego Freeway.
July 4, 1996
Whether talking about the Mexican toll roads (June 25) or the L.A. subway, it seems like a case of dumb and dumber. IRWIN SPECTOR Toluca Lake
October 15, 1999
Your readers count on you to provide factual, unbiased accounts of the news, and I am no longer convinced you are doing this when it comes to the toll roads. It seems that long ago when they were in planning and construction phases, you reported on facts. Now that they are open and successfully being used by residents, businesspeople and visitors to Southern California to improve their lives, you slant every story against them and print only toll road opposition letters. Isn't it true that some 1.4 million people take the toll roads every week?
December 22, 1999
Re "Lockyer Had Warned of Toll Pitfalls," Dec. 17: I can't think of another article in the last few years that so enraged me. If anyone ever needed proof that we now have a government of the korporations, by the korporations and (especially) for the korporations, this is it. Riverside County Supervisor John F. Tavaglione asks, "What was going on in the minds of state legislators when they passed this thing?" Methinks it was probably more like, "What was going into their wallets and purses?"
August 8, 1993
Robber barons in medieval times extorted a fee from travelers crossing their domains. In the guise of building more roads to ease traffic, politicians are encouraging entrepreneurs to build toll roads. The argument that "it saves taxpayers money" doesn't hold up unless the roads revert free to the public when the debt is repaid. Once the entrepreneurs from all over the United States and Europe get their hands in the motorists' pockets, they'll never let go. MARVIN LANDFIELD Mission Viejo
June 20, 2013 | By Dan Weikel
Local water quality regulators Wednesday night halted a $200-million tollway project in Orange County when they denied a discharge permit for the controversial proposal. On a 3 to 2 vote, the San Diego Regional Water Quality Control Board declined to issue a permit to the Transportation Corridor Agencies in Irvine, the operator of 51 miles of toll roads in Orange County. The TCA sought the permit for the planned Tesoro Extension that would lengthen the Foothill tollway 5.5 miles from Oso Parkway in Rancho Santa Margarita to Cow Camp Road east of San Juan Capistrano.
June 13, 2013 | By Dan Weikel
The leaders of Orange County's largest toll road network on Thursday approved a $2.4-billion bond sale to refinance one of its highway corridors -- a move that will probably extend the number of years drivers will be forced to pay to use the tollway. The restructuring could shore up the operation's sagging finances but would add 13 additional years of toll-paying -- meaning the Foothill-Eastern system would not become a free road until 2053. The corridor includes the 241 and 261. The Foothill-Eastern, which slices through the hills of Orange County, have been battered by poor ridership just as its debt payments have been increasing.
April 10, 2013 | By Dan Weikel
Because of the weakened financial condition of Orange County's largest tollway network, a new study recommends that its leadership postpone a road project and stop borrowing money until state authorities can review the operation. The assessment released Wednesday by the nonprofit Pacific Research Institute in San Francisco is the second critical review in recent months of the Irvine-based Transportation Corridor Agencies, which oversees 51 miles of tollways, the biggest system of its type in the state.
July 4, 2012
Re "O.C. tollways to stop taking cash," July 1 So let me make sure I understand. If you have a product for which you are losing customers, and you want to increase revenue, you should raise prices and make it less convenient to use? That appears to be the strategy of the Transportation Corridor Agencies as it raises prices 5% to 10% and eliminates the use of cash on the tollways, requiring all users to have a FasTrak or other account. Who is the business strategy genius they're getting their advice from?
November 7, 2011 | By Nicole Santa Cruz, Los Angeles Times
Each time Stephanie Hatch drives from her home in South Orange County to San Diego, she takes a deep sigh. Hatch of Trabuco Canyon avoids taking her toddler son south — despite attractions such as Sea World and the zoo — for one reason: traffic. The last time she drove that way was last spring. But if there were an alternative to the 5 Freeway, she said, that would change. "You think, 'Oh gosh, this would be so much nicer if we had the toll road,'" she said. Hatch is referring to an extension of the 241 Toll Road, which has been discussed for years but is vehemently opposed by environmentalists, among others.
May 6, 2011 | By Nicole Santa Cruz, Los Angeles Times
Drivers on the San Joaquin Hills toll road through western Orange County could be paying tolls for an extra six years under a proposed agreement that would restructure about $430 million of its $2.1 billion in debt. The agreement is asking bondholders to lower payments for 13 years and restructure the way the agency pays interest on certain bonds. An agreement, which would push back the bond maturity dates by six years, to 2042, is expected in two weeks. "Basically … what we're trying to do is be proactive about the way we manage finances here at the agency," said Tom Margro, chief executive of the Transportation Corridor Agencies, which also operates the Foothill and Eastern toll roads, which includes a portion of the 133 Freeway.
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