From the Village Laguna Archives: 1977 Forum on Canyon Road

On January 17, 1977, Village Laguna held a town hall forum with representatives from the Cal-Trans, Orange County, the Irvine Company, and the city on the topic “Shall Laguna Canyon Road Be Widened?” That year Cal-Trans was proposing the widening of the road to four lanes from Canyon Acres to El Toro Road, pointing to the number of traffic accidents and especially fatalities. A questionnaire distributed at the end of the forum was filled out by 91 of the approximately 150 people present, and 68 of them advocated leaving the road as-is, suggesting improvements such as park-and-ride facilities, lower speed limits, stricter law enforcement, turnout lanes, and bus lanes. Of the 22 who favored widening the road, 3 recommended three lanes, two going out of town and one coming in. Village Laguna’s subsequent recommendations to the City Council read as follows: “Village Laguna is opposed to widening the road from the city boundaries to Pacific Coast Highway. Our central business district does not have the physical capacity to handle the traffic, let alone to be used as a transition to Coast Highway and coastal points north and south. Our recommendation would be to encourage park-and-ride facilities at the outskirts of town and maintain the present two lanes with whatever design modifications will improve safety.”