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Carl Love: Traffic jams are a way of life in southwest Riverside County

By in Press Enterprise on January 6, 2018

By Carl Love

There I was, sitting in Temecula traffic on the northbound 15 Freeway at rush hour.

I suppose that statement’s redundant because, if you’re there, you’re sitting.

While we were parked – and there were a lot of us – our local civic leaders (representing Lake Elsinore, Menifee, Murrieta, Temecula and Wildomar) were meeting that late November evening at Temecula City Hall to try to do something about this mess.

Temecula City Councilman Matt Rahn said this stretch is ranked as one of the “worst congested freeway segments in the United States,” not company you want to be keeping. Yet the section is not at the top of any state or federal plan, which is why our politicians are fuming.

As for my travels, it was 4:40 p.m. and I was on the on-ramp off Temecula Parkway. Heavy equipment was everywhere because they’re trying yet again to improve one of our local roads. It took me five minutes to get to the actual “free” way. “Stuck” way would be more like it.

Ironically, by the time I actually got to the 15, I was stuck behind an Armada, which is probably the kind of naval fleet it would take to clear a path through this mess.

I passed a billboard advertising new homes starting at $400,000, which is the core of our problem — people moving here. I bought my first house here in 1988 and paid $125,000.

People keep coming. And we keep getting more stuck.

As I passed Temecula City Hall, traffic crawled. I wasn’t sure whether to curse or bless the politicians trying to fix this. Curse because they and their predecessors approved the construction that basically increased the southwest Riverside County population from about 50,000 some 30 years ago to approaching 500,000 today? Or bless them because our homes have appreciated so much […]    

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