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September 13, 2005 > Councilmember Cho on Highway 84

Councilmember Cho on Highway 84

TCV: In the past you have been an opponent of Highway 84. Yet in recent council meetings, you have cast "aye" votes for the Historic Parkway and Option 2. Why?

Cho: Initially, I was against it and for the past several years I have been opposed. The purpose of the original route was to connect to Foothill Freeway. There is some legitimacy to say it is connected to nowhere, moving a bottleneck from one area to another. However, I do believe there is traffic impact - maybe not as severe as in some other areas - creating a need for an east/west corridor.

TCV: Some say the traffic concerns can be addressed by modifying other streets that form east/west connections (i.e. Mowry Avenue, Isherwood Way, Decoto Road).

Cho: Isherwood way, for instance, does not have the capacity to be designated as an alternate route. If we don't put something through [the Historic Parkway], what will be done with the vacant parcels of land? Short of leaving it completely open which I don't think is going to happen, something is going to be done with that land. Many were in favor of selling it off to build houses. Along with houses, there will be roads for people to go in and out causing additional traffic impact.

TCV: What part of your decision is based on local control of the proposed route?

Cho: In consideration of supporting Option 2, there were restrictions I felt were necessary. One major restriction would be no trucks allowed on the route which is possible with local control and similar to restrictions along Paseo Padre Parkway.

TCV: Motions for Option 2 and the Historic Parkway failed on September 6th, but the council did vote to ask for definitive agreements with other interested parties. Would a "yes" vote for Option 2 automatically signal approval of this route?

Cho: Even a 'yes' vote for Option 2 would require another EIR (Environmental Impact Report) so it is not an automatic approval. The impact of a road along the creek and traffic impact at Decoto and Paseo Padre need to be studied. If, for instance, the report shows that the intersection of Decoto and Paseo Padre cannot handle the anticipated traffic, then that option is off the table.

My vote for the Historic Parkway was symbolic. The original Highway 84 concept did not send money to other projects, but to the extent that we can satisfy both the need for funding of the Mission/I-880 intersection and a portion of the Historic Corridor, it would be a win-win for everyone. Using the entire Historic Corridor would leave no surplus for anything else.

TCV: Did the vote September 6th indicate some progress toward resolution of the Historic Corridor?

Cho: I had hoped that this could have come about in a friendlier manner. People in the community and others feel they are being coerced, threatened and forced into a position that could have been taken without a monetary threat. The concern Tuesday night was of ambiguity about how things would play out. If nothing is in writing, nothing is guaranteed. The result of Tuesday night was to try to put everything in writing so we understand what the rules are going to be and then move forward.

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