Addressing the I-15 Southbound Bottleneck in Corona with Private Jobs

(2/18/13) – IE Transit Talking Points Short

Commuters and travelers who frequently use the southbound I-15 through Corona are well aware of a major bottleneck near El Cerrito Road which can cause congestion to spill over onto the eastbound 91 Freeway, thus creating miserable traffic conditions in the area during the PM rush hour and weekends.

A proposal by the Riverside County Transportation Commission would have addressed this; the proposal was to add two High Occupancy Toll Lanes and a single general purpose lane from the 60 Freeway, through the Corona bottleneck, to Lake Elsinore where southbound traffic demands normally decline. Now, RCTC has proposed a scaled-back version, where the added lanes would terminate at Cajalco Road.

Should that be the case, the infamous bottleneck will merely shift 2 miles south from El Cerrito Road to Cajalco. RCTC cites the lack of tax revenue as the reason behind the project reduction. Lackluster private sector Inland Empire job growth is certainly a problem, no question. 

However, Riverside County Supervisor Kevin Jeffries, an RCTC member whose district includes Lake Elsinore, has it right when he wrote in an e-mail, “Our focus really needs to be on private sector job creation here in Riverside County so that our residents don't have to spend hours commuting to and from work everyday.” That’s right. Let’s get some manufacturing, logistics, and other service-sector jobs into this region by designating areas as specific plans. Portions of the additional tax revenue can be used to fund transportation projects. RCTC can then start planning again for multi-modal transportation options for the I-15 Freeway and finally clear the infamous Corona bottleneck.