By John Schreiber, Decemberr 2, 2013
The cities of Los Alamitos and Seal Beach this month continued to state their official opposition to a proposal to add toll lanes to the 405 Freeway between Seal Beach and Costa Mesa.
In a letter addressed to Orange County Transportation Authority Chairman Gregory Winterbottom, the 405 Freeway Cities Coalition – which includes Los Alamitos and Seal Beach – said that they are not in any way interested in adding toll lanes to the 405 Freeway.
"There is only one project that the Corridor Cities are interested in and believe would justify the use of Measure M funds," the letter stated. "That project is the widening of the 405 freeway to include two new general purpose lanes in each direction."
The joint letter came in response to a request from OCTA asking local cities to send a list of unfunded project that could potentially move forward with the help of excess toll revenue from the proposed 405 toll lanes.
"Use of pricing to manage and optimize high-occupancy toll (HOD)/express lane throughput generates toil revenue which is to be used to cover debt and required financing costs, operations, maintenance, and capital rehabilitation and improvement costs for the HOT/express lanes," OCTA's letter to Los Alamitos and Seal Beach stated. "Revenues that are available after addressing such items are considered excess revenues and are authorized by statute to be used for public transportation in and near the project boundaries."
The 405 Freeway Cities Coalition said that adding toll lanes to the freeway would betray Orange County residents who voted for a sales tax increase that would help fund new general purpose freeway lanes.
"Constructing toll lanes is a breach of trust with Orange County residents who voluntarily voted for an additional half cent sales tax increase under Renewed Measure M with the promise that one additional general purpose lane would be added to the 1-405 freeway," the letter from the cities said.
Local cities also called for joint meetings with OCTA in which all cities are in attendance.
"To ensure that OCTA understands how united we are on this critical matter, we will only conduct these meetings if all Cities are in attendance at a joint meeting, rather than individual meetings."