San Clemente set to battle toll-road options

A new line pointing into San Clemente has appeared on a Transportation Corridor Agency map as a potential route for completing the stunted 241 Toll Road.

The new idea would extend the 241 from Oso Parkway south into San Clemente, merging onto I-5 somewhere around where the freeway crosses over Avenida Vaquero.

That’s about a mile north of Avenida Pico – another 241 to I-5 merger location that the TCA already has been investigating.

And it’s a couple of miles south of a third merger location under study – running the 241 through San Juan Capistrano to join I-5 somewhere along San Juan Creek Road.

San Clemente City Council members discussed these and other TCA study options Tuesday, March 21. They said they think the TCA is intent on completing the 241 at one of these locations after the agency settled lawsuits with environmental groups in December.

Under the settlement, the TCA will no longer try to run the 241 behind San Clemente to connect with I-5 at Basilone Road, near Trestles Beach, an embattled proposal that went back decades.

In response to the TCA’s insertion of a new San Clemente route for the 241 into the study, the City Council voted 5-0 to ask the agency to add still another 241 option – connecting the 241 with the 73 Toll Road.

“If they are still drawing lines, I want this one to be considered,” San Clemente Mayor Kathy Ward said. She said the TCA gave up its north-south route in the legal settlement, “and now we need to look at east-west connections.”

A letter from the City Council will restate the city’s opposition to 241 extensions to San Clemente, request the 241 to 73 option and advocate arterial highway improvements for mobility.

Mike Chesney, chief strategy officer for the TCA, said Wednesday, March 22, that the agency welcomes ideas and intends to vet them all through an environmental process. Besides the 241 options, the study already looks at arterial connections, arterial widenings, widenings for…

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