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Rancho Ortega Blog discusses matters of public interest in South Orange County, including the communities of San Juan Capistrano, Ladera Ranch and Rancho Mission Viejo.

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Capistrano Unified Joins the El Horno Debate; Requests Access for School Buses

In a letter addressed to San Juan Capistrano’s City Manager, Capistrano Unified School District has requested access to the El Horno Street underpass for school buses, saying “[i]f the El Horno Street underpass were available to the school district for bus passage during the construction period, the district believes it would minimize delays transporting students to school, given the construction of the Ortega overpass.”

We’ve embedded the full letter below:

El Horno Underpass Correspondence by Josh Francis

A PDF is also available here.

The Orange County Register first reported the letter in this article.  According to the article, the San Juan Chamber (which made its own request of the City regarding El Horno) is supportive of CUSD’s request:

Chamber Executive Director Mark Bodenhamer said he wasn’t aware of the school district’s request until Friday. But “from our perspective,” he said, “if the end result of us pushing this idea and bringing it up is we get school bus traffic, emergency vehicles and public transportation … that’s a huge success for us. That’s a lot of traffic that’s being diverted off a severely limited overpass.”

The City of San Juan Capistrano has not addressed either request.  While local residents remain strongly opposed to opening El Horno to all traffic, there seems to be momentum for a limited opening of El Horno for emergency vehicles and, perhaps, school buses.  You know how we feel about opening El Horno on a temporary basis, but we agree with the Chamber — any traffic relief will be welcome!

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