In preparation for an April 25th City Council meeting, Turtle Rock residents are organizing their neighbors, alerting them to the Concordia University Expansion Plan that, if approved by the City Council, will bring thousands of additional cars to Turtle Rock village, compounding existing traffic problems already facing Turtle Rock villagers.
In an open letter to their neighbors, organizers Karen Jaffe (Kjaffe1964@gmail.com), Joe Martinez (firstname.lastname@example.org), and Brian Teeter (email@example.com) wrote: “We are organizing a consortium of 11 Turtle Rock neighborhoods, representing over 10,000 residents. We are proud to live here in Turtle Rock and happy to have Concordia University as a neighbor. However, the recently proposed Campus Expansion Plan submitted by Concordia University, combined with the rapidly growing traffic congestion along University Drive and Ridgeline Drive, poses serious problems for every Turtle Rock resident.”
Jaffe, Martinez and Teeter go on to cite a number of specific concerns:
- The Concordia University Campus Expansion proposal will raise the number of average daily car trips to and from the campus by 57 percent — from the current limit of 3,500 to a new level of 5,500.
- The proposed mitigation measure of adding a stoplight at the intersection of Ridgeline Drive and Concordia East — less than 500 feet from the University Drive/Ridgeline Drive intersection — will make matters worse. The existing traffic chokepoint at University Drive will become even more congested and dangerous, especially during the morning and evening rush hours.
- Pointing to 9 traffic accidents at the Ridgeline/Concordia intersection since 2010, Jaffee, Martinez and Teeter are calling for a serious traffic study by the City, yielding a comprehensive traffic management plan with specific provisions to ensure the safety of Turtle Rock residents and others.
The Jaffe-Martinez-Teeter letter says City officials, including Planning Commissioners, have met frequently with the Concordia University staff. But Concordia officials and the City Planning Commissioners have not met with Turtle Rock residents in the planning process. “We are being left out of the decision-making. And that’s wrong.”
Organizers are urging the City Council to put the Concordia University Campus Expansion Plan “on hold” until a proper, comprehensive Environmental Impact Report has been prepared and a specific traffic management and traffic control plan has been approved by the Irvine Planning Commission, the newly established Transportation Commission, and the City Council.
The letter concludes by urging interested residents to get involved in several ways:
- First, join the Facebook group — Irvine for Responsible Growth — and get updated information on the Concordia Expansion Plan.
- Second, sign the petition to limit the Concordia University Expansion plan to conform to the original master plan and traffic limits: www.ipetitions.com/petition/limit-concordia-expansion
- Third, plan to attend the Tuesday evening, April 25th Irvine City Council meeting at the Irvine City Hall (corner of Harvard and Alton). Plan to be there by 5:30 p.m.