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By OC Supervisor Lisa Bartlett
The signs of summertime are finally here! After what seemed to be a never-ending, rainy winter and spring, the sunshine is finally beaming, and school is out. Now we can all enjoy the many blessings we have living in Southern California. Beaches and hiking trails will start to get crowded, family and friends’ BBQs will fill our weekends, and we look forward to those long summer days. We are so lucky to live in Orange County, which includes more than 42 miles of pristine coastline. While we welcome all of our visitors who support our local economies, parking and crowded streets will become a greater concern for our residents.
There are many benefits to living in a coastal city, but we are all too familiar with overcrowding and traffic logjams. Traffic should never be the cause of restricting fun. We want our residents and tourists to be drawn to our beaches and local attractions. For this reason, it has been a priority of mine, along with the Orange County Transportation Authority (OCTA), to put together a public transportation solution. Through a partnership among the county, OCTA, and our cities, the Project V city circulator trolley system was created—and South County was the first region up and running with the new program.
After years of my advocating for this project, dating back to my days serving on the Dana Point City Council, the South County Trolley system, partially funded by Measure M (also known as OC Go), is flourishing. The trolley routes currently in Dana Point, Laguna Beach, San Juan Capistrano and San Clemente have brought a new means of transportation to already congested traffic areas and have relieved overcrowded parking areas. Trolley routes have multiple stops at local popular areas and attractions. Most of the routes connect to each other and other transit hot spots, including Metrolink stations. The best part is that these trolleys are all free of charge during the summer months.
One way to utilize these free connecting city trolleys is to attend one of our free County Summer events sponsored by OC Parks. Here is a list of some of those events occurring this summer in South County:
Summer Concert Series (5-8 p.m.):
- August 22 – Tijuana Dogs and Family Style, Salt Creek Beach, Dana Point
- August 29 – LIT and Crash Boom Bang, Salt Creek Beach, Dana Point
Summer Cinema Series (6-10 p.m.):
- August 23 – The Lego Movie 2, Laguna Niguel Park, Laguna Niguel
- August 30 – The Princess Bride, Laguna Niguel Park, Laguna Niguel
- September 6 – Lilo & Stitch, Salt Creek Beach, Dana Point
- September 13 – The Endless Summer, Salt Creek Beach, Dana Point
One of my main priorities as your representative on the Orange County Board of Supervisors and OCTA is to continue to increase mobility and public safety through our transportation infrastructure. Like the city trolley project, there are many local solutions to regional issues. I will continue to work with our local governments, stakeholders and residents to come up with innovative solutions to issues affecting our residents on a daily basis. I encourage you to try using the city trolley system to get to summer hot spots and visit neighboring communities. Please visit octa.net to see the routes for each trolley. I hope you have a safe and memorable summer!
Lisa Bartlett is the chairperson of the Orange County Board of Supervisors, serving as the representative of the 5th District. She was re-elected in 2018.