Fullerton’s Transportation and Circulation Commission voted to recommend the West Coyote Hills development plan last night. Commissioner Jay Park was absent and Johnnie Simmons cast the only dissenting vote.
Traffic was the big issue. Some said there would be no significant increase, others that any increase would not be a problem, and still others that increased traffic would destroy the quality of life in the region. Commissioner Edmundo Duvignau, who chaired the meeting, offered his own traffic solution. He’s going to move.
Joan Wolff, consultant city planner, said the project could be expected to generate 8584 trips daily, affecting traffic throughout the city.
Jim Pugliese, project manager with the developer, said the city’s traffic study showed the development would have no significant impact on traffic, but during the public comment session, several residents were skeptical.
Winnie Hopkins, a Fullerton resident, said the Amerige development had increased traffic in her neighborhood.
“Each time one of these developments comes, it’s like a drop in a bucket,” she said. “Overnight your bucket’s full. I feel like we’re full. We’ve had it. … Is there any point they will say, ‘Hey, we can’t take any more cars!’? … When will this stop? Will we ever stop adding cars to our street?”
Chris McCarthy, a La Habra resident, pointed out that traffic increases won’t be confined to Fullerton.
“After the Coyote Hills La Habra homes were built and when the Beach/Imperial businesses opened, the traffic could back up on Imperial Highway… nearly to Euclid,” she said. “The traffic was horrendous. … My short commute doubled. … It’s of great concern to me what the main arteries of the area will daily experience when you have over 8000 additional drivers starting out to use these businesses. … It’s only going to get worse. … The traffic is going to be really bad and it is going to change the quality of our lives.”
After an hour and 15 minutes of public comment by 17 residents who largely opposed development, the commission briefly discussed the issue and reached agreement in less than 15 minutes.
Commissioner Edmundo Duvignau, who chaired the meeting, did not deny that increased traffic could be a problem, but said, “Our city is changing and we’re gonna have to adjust with it.”
He’s expecting increased traffic on the street where he lives, due to other development projects.
“I don’t like it so I’m gonna move,” he said. “I have that option.”
David Rizzo moved that the current plan be found adequate, though perhaps not ideal, in the question of traffic and circulation. All members present agreed except Johnnie Simmons, who, when asked by Duvignau if she had any comments, said only, “I have a problem with the traffic. I do not think it meets the criterion stated here.”
This post was originally published with a different headline.
Old headline: “Don’t Like the Traffic? Move, Says Commissioner”
New headline: “Don’t Like the Traffic? Move!
Commissioner Duvignau didn’t say that people who don’t like increased traffic in their neighborhoods should move. He said HE is going to move. That seemed to me like a suggestion that other people could do the same, but that was only my interpretation, and it may have been wrong.
Here are Duvignau’s words, in context: “Our city is growing, whether we hate it or we love it. I personally love this city. I’ve been here, I dunno, 15 or 18 years, and I don’t want to move. I want to stay here. But I have to understand that, you know, the city is changing. My kids won’t see the Williams Army Surplus Store that was down the street. You know, it’s a bar now. We have to live with it. I live on Acacia on some low-income housing and Acacia will now be a route… State College will close in the next year — I’m not sure how many of you know that — in order to make it a crossing for the railroads so that we can have better traffic flow. I have to deal with Raymond and State College closing and traffic going down Acacia. I don’t like it, so I’m gonna move. I have that option. I live in an apartment. I understand that, and it’s different. But whatever the outcome here is tonight, our city is changing and we’re gonna have to adjust with it.”
I apologize for any confusion that may have been caused by a post disappearing and reappearing with new Web address, and I apologize if I, however briefly, misrepresented the intent behind Commissioner Duvignau’s words.