Speeding Our Way to San Pedro… To Save Trestles

In case you haven’t heard, there’s some new news regarding the Toll Road to Trestles.

First off, we have a report from staff at the Coastal Commission that isn’t all that delighted to see a toll road built through San Onofre State Park…

The proposed Foothill South toll road would likely drive an endangered mouse to extinction, wipe out vital habitat, shatter the peace of a popular campground and even worsen global warming, according to a report by the staff of the California Coastal Commission released today.

And now, we have the San Diego City Council going on record opposing the Toll Road to Trestles. Oh yes, and both of these events occurred just before the Coastal Commission meets next week to determine the fate of Trestles. So apparently, things aren’t looking good for TCA’s plan to build a toll road to Trestles.

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So what can we expect at next week’s Coastal Commission hearing? Will this be the final death blow to the toll road? Follow me after the flip for more…

OK, so now the Coastal Commission Staff Report is recommending that the commission reject TCA’s plan for a toll road to Trestles. Why? Why exactly is the Coastal Commission Staff taking such a strong stand against extending the 241 to San Onofre? Perhaps they’re actually paying attention to state environmental law, as opposed to TCA’s complete dismissal of the law.

After all, Section 30231 of Article 5 of the Coastal Act couldn’t be any clearer…

The biological productivity and the quality of coastal waters, streams, wetlands, estuaries, and lakes appropriate to maintain optimum populations of marine organisms and for the protection of human health shall be maintained and, where feasible, restored through, among other means, minimizing adverse effects of waste water discharges and entrainment, controlling runoff, preventing depletion of ground water supplies and substantial interference with surface water flow, encouraging waste water reclamation, maintaining natural vegetation buffer areas that protect riparian habitats, and minimizing alteration of natural streams.

So could that possibly be any clearer? If it hurts animal habitats and water quality, then it isn’t happening. So how exactly does this apply to the proposed 241 extension through San Onofre? Well, how about those ELEVEN THREATENED OR ENDANGERED SPECIES THAT WOULD LOSE THEIR HABITAT FOREVER IF THE TOLL ROAD IS BUILT THROUGH SAN ONOFRE STATE BEACH? How about San Mateo Creek being named as one of the nation’s most imperiled waterways thanks to the threat of a noisy, dirty toll road running alongside it? This is beautiful coastal wilderness that would be destroyed forever if the toll road were to be placed in San Onofre. And judging by what the Coastal Act says, doing something like this violates California state law.

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Oh, and the madness of this toll road to Trestles doesn’t stop there! Not only is it illegal, but it’s also impractical. After all, extending the 241 to Trestles would do absolutely nothing to ease traffic congestion in South County. And if this proposed toll road to Trestles doesn’t ease traffic in South County, then why build it?

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And if the alignment for this toll road to nowhere is blatantly illegal, and it destroys one of the last great untouched beaches in Southern California, then why build it?

OK, so are you feeling outraged now? Angry? Frustrated? And would you like to do something about it?

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Great, then we need YOU to attend the next Coastal Commission hearing in San Pedro! This will be our chance to speak out, and to demand that the Coastal Commission follow state law and deny TCA a chance to destroy one of the last great beaches in Southern California. See if you can make it next week, but if not PLEASE check out Save Trestles’ page with a link to email the commission about Trestles. Also, go to Save San Onofre for all the latest updates on this effort to save this precious corner of the California coast for future generations to enjoy.

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  3 comments for “Speeding Our Way to San Pedro… To Save Trestles

  1. Build the road
    October 2, 2007 at 1:06 pm

    You should probably mention the $100 million TCA offered to the state parks to make sure that we still have a state park in 15 years, not mention money to fix up the Crystal Cove Cottages, and restore 150 acres of Coastal Sage Scrub. I doubt that having tens of thousands of cars idling on the 5 ever day for the foreseeable future is better for the environment not to mention global warming. TCA had Dave Skelly, a Surfrider founding member do the geology study and he found that the surf stays the same with the road and water quality actually would improve on the creek with the road since the 5 would also get treated. Furthermore he’s stated that he wasn’t for the road prior to doing the study on the road. There haven’t been any studies that show that waster quality will degrade because of the road.

    The Coastal Commission staff had already stated that they’re against the road even before TCA submitted their application for permits so I don’t think TCA was expecting a cakewalk. They’ve already done so much to mitigate the effects of the existing 241 and the 73.

    As for the road not being needed you don’t really cite anything that says the road isn’t necessary, the OCTA study which assumes the road will be built wasn’t as optimistic as the TCA study. Look at the 73 and existing 241 those roads get plenty of traffic something like 350 thousand of cars a day not to mention daily traffic jams. The facts are that Rancho Mission Viejo is approved and is going to be built with 14,000 new houses and 3 million sq. feet of commercial space, you can either plan for that or we can live without the road in stop and go traffic in San Juan Capistrano, Ladera Ranch, San Clemente and the 5 the foreseeable future.

    We all love the environment but we have to have some common sense. There is never going to be money for the 5 to be improved and when and if that happens it’s going to take out tons of businesses and residences. This road is the best way to get thousands of blue collar union construction workers into red South County and it’s a good start for getting us represented in the reddest part of the county. It doesn’t take out any houses or businesses and will do much to improve the quality of live for our South County residents. So please stop making this process harder for the majority of residents that are sick and tired of being stuck in traffic. All of this fight is going to cost us either in higher tolls or worse yet lost time and gas money. Let’s get this road built in the same environmental and economic friendly manner as the rest of The Toll Roads.

  2. antony cooke
    October 3, 2007 at 9:54 pm

    I seem to remember reading somewhere that embattled Dana Point Mayor Diane Harkey was strongly in favor of this toll road. Can any reader remember where I might have seen such an article? Or was I dreaming?

  3. Mike
    October 9, 2007 at 10:58 am

    The reason the CCC staff told was against the road from the beginning is because it was blatantly clear that there was no way it could comply with state laws. Rather than listening to them earlier in the process and changing the plan to comply with laws that have been in existence for decades, the TCA decided to simply ignore them and move ahead as if those laws don’t exist. Now when the staff actually document all the ways that this road is illegal, the TCA tries to discredit them, for doing their job.

    Get it out of your head that this road will ever get built in this location and go back to the drawing board.

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