Friday, September 16, 2011

Where are the Jobs?

A few months ago, the TCA shamelessly capitalized on Japan's Earthquake/Tsunami tragedy to try and scare South County residents into supporting their preferred alignment for the SR-241 completion.  Thankfully that effort failed to gain the desired traction and the TCA quickly abandoned it.  Now the predatory vultures are circling once again – this time around the national employment crisis.

According to a recent report by the TCA, Beacons Economics concluded that the completion of the SR-241 toll road would create 13,663 jobs in Orange County.  Alas, what the TCA failed to mention in their media communications announcing their report's findings is that the other traffic alternatives, including a widening of the existing Interstate 5 highway, would result in a comparable, if not greater number of jobs!

Flashback to 2008, when TCA CEO Tom Margro stood before the California Coastal Commission during a hearing on the proposed SR-241 project.  During questioning by Commission member Steve Blank, Margro was forced to admit that all construction projects, whether they were related to SR-241 or not, would create jobs. 

Have a look for yourself:

What's more, because the TCA has non-compete clauses written into their agreements with Cal Trans,  the state is currently being prevented from moving forward with the I-5 widening and other projects.  Not only is this working to stymy job creation, it is delaying improvements that could provide some much needed traffic solutions to South County!

As we have stated before – the TCA does not care about solving mobility issues.  If they did they would be supporting solutions such as increasing municipal transportation, HOV lanes and alternative projects.

Nor does the TCA care about solving the jobs issue in Southern California.  If they did they wouldn't be standing in the way of the CalTrans beginning to work on infrastructure projects that could put Californians back to work NOW, not several years from now.

To be clear, the TCA only cares about one thing – building toll roads…whether they are needed or not.