It’s March of 2017. If you think traffic is bad now, just wait a couple of years. Irvine’s traffic will be much worse, because of what the City Council and Planning Commission approved just this month.
As expected, on March 14th, Irvine Mayor Donald Wagner and Councilmembers Jeff Lalloway and Lynn Schott voted to begin the processing of 1,960 new housing units — mostly apartments. The Irvine Company is determined to build these units in the next three years, near the already jam-packed intersection of Sand Canyon and I-5 Freeway, in north Irvine.
When this project is given final approval by the City Council, in a year or so, it will bring about 4,000 added cars and a staggering 8,000-15,000 daily rush-hour trips to the area.
Meanwhile, on March 16th, the Irvine Planning Commission gave rubber-stamp approval for a major facilities expansion program at Concordia University in Turtle Rock, sending the project to the City Council. Whatever the merits of the project, the Planning Commission’s robot-like, 5-to-0 approval, will bring thousands of additional cars to Concordia, in south Irvine — with many thousands of additional trips further jamming Ridgeline Drive in Turtle Rock and University Drive, alongside Irvine’s first village, University Park.
Geri Zollinger, a patent attorney and Turtle Rock resident, has vowed to continue her opposition when it reaches the City Council for final approval in April. Says Zollinger, “At the end of the day, we get the worst of all worlds: an increased trip count and no movement toward any kind of traffic solution.”
Zollinger added: “Many people at the Planning Commission meeting made it abundantly clear that we are upset about traffic; we are not opposed to updating old buildings. People buy homes here with the expectation that they can get in and out of the neighborhood. Is that too much to ask?”