South County Traffic Relief Effort

The South County Traffic Relief Effort (SCTRE) environmental phase is a Caltrans led effort and TCA is the sponsoring agency. The EIR/EIS scoping phase began on Friday, November 8. As part of this phase, Caltrans will take additional public comments and consider new ideas or alternatives brought forth before the formal environmental analysis of the alternatives beginning in mid-2020. Please visit SCTRE.org for more information.

With Orange County’s population expected to increase by more than 250,000 residents by 2035 and traffic projected to increase in South Orange County by 66 percent by 2040, the Transportation Corridor Agencies (TCA) are committed to identifying regional mobility solutions that will alleviate traffic congestion through South Orange County. 


SCTRE Public Scoping Process

The California Department of Transportation (Caltrans), in partnership with the Foothill/Eastern Transportation Corridor Agency (F/ETCA), is initiating the preparation of an Environmental Impact Report/Environmental Impact Statement (EIR/EIS) for the South County Traffic Relief Effort. This begins with the public scoping process, which is to garner public input on the proposed project’s preliminary Purpose and Need and the current range of preliminary alternatives to be studied. Caltrans is the lead agency for the proposed project under the California Environmental Quality Act and the National Environmental Policy Act.

Two meetings to provide opportunity for community engagement have been scheduled. These meetings will be held in an open house style format with no formal presentation, so attendees may arrive at any time during the event hours. The locations are as follows:

November 20, 2019 from 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. at the Norman P. Murray Community and Senior Center located at 24932 Veterans Way, Mission Viejo, CA 92692.

December 4, 2019 from 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. at the Ocean Institute located at 24200 Dana Point Harbor Dr, Dana Point, CA 92629.

Public comments will be accepted at both meetings as well as online at SCTRE.org and via email at scoping@sctre.org. Comments can also be mailed to the following address:

Caltrans District 12, 1750 East 4th Street, Santa Ana, CA 92705, Attn: Env/SCTRE Scoping.

Public comments regarding the ten alternatives and the no-build alternative will be accepted by Caltrans as part of the formal scoping portion of the Project Approval / Environmental Document (PA/ED) phase of the process. At the public meetings, there will be an opportunity for the public to comment verbally to a court reporter and in writing. Caltrans has agreed to extend the comment period for a total comment period of 60-days.

Upon completion of this scoping process, Caltrans will prepare the Draft EIR/EIS for public review and comment. It is anticipated that the Draft EIR/EIS will be available for public review in 2023.


Initial Outreach

In 2015, TCA conducted a South Orange County Community Ascertainment Study to determine if there was agreement that a regional traffic relief solution was needed.  The residents and community-based leaders interviewed came to a consensus on two major issues:

  1. There is excessive traffic on the Interstate-5 (I-5) freeway during morning and evening commute times, on weekends and whenever there is an accident or incident on the freeway.
  2. There is an expectation that their local elected officials and public transportation agencies should develop and implement a solution.

In collaboration with the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans), the Orange County Transportation Authority (OCTA), the County of Orange and other transportation planning agencies throughout the region, TCA began an initial process including three well-attended public forums in South Orange County to identify potential mobility improvement solutions.  Over two years, the public submitted 20 ideas that were reviewed for their technical and feasible merit.

In 2017, TCA conducted an initial screening of the 20 ideas submitted by the public for the South County Traffic Relief Effort. The ideas were sorted into four categories:

  • Category 1 – Already Being Advanced or Implemented
  • Category 2 – Ineffective or Premature
  • Category 3 – Infeasible due to Regulatory or Financial Constraints
  • Category 4 – Mobility Benefits/Further Study Needed
  • Initial Screening Study
  • Summary
  • Q&A Document

Seven of the 20 ideas, plus a No Build option were included in Category 4 and advanced forward for additional analysis as part of the Project Study Report / Project Development Support (PSR-PDS).

Mobility Timeline

 


Scoping Meetings

The California Department of Transportation (Caltrans), in cooperation with the Foothill/Eastern Transportation Corridor Agency (F/ETCA), is initiating the preparation of an Environmental Impact Report/Environmental Impact Statement (EIR/EIS) for the South County Traffic Relief Effort by conducting public scoping meetings to obtain input on the proposed project’s preliminary Purpose and Need and the current range of preliminary alternatives to be studied. Caltrans is the lead agency for the proposed project under the California Environmental Quality Act and the National Environmental Policy Act.

The public will have 30 days (November 8 through December 9, 2019) to review and provide comments. Two public scoping meetings have been scheduled. These meetings will be held in an Open House style format with no formal presentation, so attendees may arrive at any time during the event hours. The locations are as follows:

  • November 20, 2019 from 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. at the Norman P. Murray Community and Senior Center located at 24932 Veterans Way, Mission Viejo, CA 92692.
  • December 4, 2019 from 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. at the Ocean Institute located at 24200 Dana Point Harbor Dr, Dana Point, CA 92629.

Public comments will be accepted at both meetings as well as online at www.sctre.org and via email at scoping@sctre.org. Comments can also be mailed to the following address:

  • Caltrans District 12, 1750 East 4th Street, Santa Ana, CA 92705, Attn: Env/SCTRE Scoping.

The opportunity for the public to comment during the scoping period will conclude at 5:00 p.m. on December 9, 2019. At the public scoping meetings, there will be an opportunity for the public to comment verbally (to a court reporter) and in writing.

Upon completion of the scoping, Caltrans will prepare the Draft EIR/EIS for public review and comment. It is anticipated that the Draft EIR/EIS will be available for public review in 2023.

Throughout the environmental review process, Caltrans and TCA will continue its ongoing discussions with the community, stakeholders, environmental organizations and elected officials.  This is a public process and the community is encouraged to participate and remain engaged every step of the way to ensure your community’s needs and priorities are considered.  For more information, please visit the project website at www.SCTRE.org.

South County Traffic Relief Alternatives Map

 


Library

Environmental Settlement and Protective Agreements

City of San Clemente Request for Idea 18

 

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