Cord Bauer, San Clemente
While researching the history of the Transportation Corridor Agencies (TCA), I found that while the projections for the toll roads were under $800 million, the final costs were over $4 billion. It’s breathtaking how the TCA blew past projections by $3 billion. It made me think of the Solyndra Scandal and how that cost taxpayers over $500 million, which is peanuts compared to the TCA.
I found that 2.7 percent of OC residents work in San Diego County, while 22.7 percent work in L.A. County. Estimated ridership numbers on the toll roads still haven’t been met, even after 20 years. Surprisingly, traffic on Interstate 5 has been mostly stable for the past 20 years. A recent OCTA study backs this up.
During my research I also found an article from 2008, when the TCA chose the Green Alignment. It says, “But TCA notes that there were 38 alternatives studied, and they all failed for various reasons—primarily due to their negative effects on both natural habitats and homes and businesses,” said Jennifer Seaton, TCA spokeswoman.
I’d like to know how all these failed alignments are now back in play, when the only real changes are increased TCA debt and toll rates.
What checks and balances have they put in place to protect Orange County taxpayers? What’s stopping the TCA from feeding us more cost overruns and missed ridership projections with the next extension?
Perhaps the TCA is gambling that a revolving door of board members will stifle accountability. Maybe they want to pit one community against another in a bid for new toll routes. Either way, it’s been done before.
For 20 years the TCA has been doing the same things over and over and expecting different results. We need to dissolve the TCA to end this insanity.