California bill to block toll road sidelined
July 28, 2020
A California bill has been sidelined that is intended to ensure that no toll road extension is permitted through the city of San Clemente. Specifically, the legislative pursuit covers the southern extension of state Route 241.
California law designates SR 241 from Interstate 5 south of the city of San Clemente to SR 91 in the city of Anaheim. The 12-mile stretch of state highway is a toll road for its entire length in Orange County.
The Senate voted in June to approve a bill on a 24-6 vote to remove from statute the highway alignment that state and regional transportation agencies no longer recognize.
Sponsored by Sen. Patricia Barnes, R-Laguna Niguel, SB1373 is intended to clarify that SR 241 is prohibited to run through the city of San Clemente. The clarification is sought to protect the city from having tolls added within city limits.
In March, the Transportation Corridor Agencies, which oversees Orange County toll roads, announced it was no longer considering the extension of SR 241 through San Clemente.
Bill supporters say that while the decision is a step in the right direction, a change in statute is necessary to prevent future reconsideration of the option.
Toll road measure derailed
Barnes’ measure was sidelined after the Assembly Transportation Committee decided to only consider legislation related to COVID-19 before to the end of the regular session Aug. 31. As a result, the effort must wait until next year for further consideration.
“Although I am disappointed that there is not enough time in the 2020 legislative session to hear SB1373 … South Orange County residents can rest assured that I will continue to fight for transportation solutions that benefit our entire region,” Bates said in prepared remarks.
The 2021 regular session is scheduled to begin in January.
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