NEWPORT BEACH (CBSLA.com) — City leaders, Caltrans and residents gathered Wednesday to discuss the prospect of adding toll lanes along a stretch of a busy thoroughfare in Orange County.
If agreed upon, the lanes would be created along the 405 Freeway and would cost almost $19 per day for a round-trip.
“I think freeways oughta be free in California,” Larry Leifer, a Newport Beach resident, told KCAL9’s Stacey Butler. “For somebody using that toll lane on weekdays annually, it would cost them $5,000.”
Westminster Councilwoman Diana Carey said that when Orange County voters passed Measure M, the half-cent sales tax for transportation, they were promised one general-purpose lane in each direction of the freeway.
But toll lanes weren’t part of the original agreement.
“If we want to do that, then the voters of Orange County should vote on it,” Carey told KCAL9’s Stacey Butler. “It’s a very expensive proposition.”
But while the O.C. Business Council agrees the toll lanes may cost money, they also said the lanes would save drivers time.
“It speaks to the quality of life for individuals,” said Bryan Starr of the O.C. Business Council.
Should the project be approved, the toll lanes could be completed by the year 2021.