No Mo’ Toll Road to Trestles: We Win

 

In the words of Congressman Ken Calvert, “thanks to Reps. Susan Davis and Loretta Sanchez (D-CA), a toll road project that has been years in the making has been set back indefinitely.” 

Look at what I found this morning at JOMO Blog! I see a lovely epitaph to “Foothill-South”, the now dead effort to extend the 241 Toll Road south to San Onofre State Beach. Susan Davis’ “rider” requiring TCA to comply with state law has survived in HR 1585, the domestic spending bill. And since building a toll road through protected coastline is a clear violation of state law, there’s no way that TCA’s planned alignment of the 241 extension can survive.

It wasn’t that many years ago that Congressional Republicans passed an Amendment that exempted TCA from state law, and TCA proceeded with this proposed alignment through San Onofre. It constantly boggled my mind how one of the last stretches of pristine shoreline could be forever lost, just because a few Republican politicians didn’t want to think of better alternatives. But now, the alternatives are becoming the ONLY options. Since building a toll road to Trestles won’t be an option, TCA will have to look at other ways to extend the 241.

However, I hope this necessary examination of alternatives won’t stop there. How about doing more than just this toll road? How about proposing long-term transit solutions liking expanding Metrolink service and providing more convenient mass transit options? And how about developing new communities in a sustainable way that works in harmony with our environment instead of against it?

I hope we all look at this as not just a defeat for TCA, but a win for everyone. This is a win for good environmental policy and good transportation planning. This is a win for all of us. :-)

  6 comments for “No Mo’ Toll Road to Trestles: We Win

  1. DP Resident
    December 15, 2007 at 11:03 pm

    We could save a whole lot of time if the environmentalist tell us where they would allow the toll roads, power plants, refineries, chemical plants that we need to build. Or should we export all the dirty jobs outside the country? If what they really want is zero growth, then have the honesty to admit it.

    Jerry Brown tried this no new freeway B.S. year ago – and look where it got us.

    We have gone from
    NIMBY – Not In My Back Yard
    to
    BANANA – Build Absolutely Nothing Anywhere Near Anybody

    (funny how the AS word was “work union” considering all the union jobs that ain’t gonna happen….)

  2. Andrew Davey
    December 16, 2007 at 9:38 am

    DP Resident-

    With all due respect, I don’t think we’re talking about “zero growth”. I think we’re looking for the best ways to pursue SMART GROWTH. Think about it for a moment.

    What have been the long-term effects of freeway expansions? I don’t see less gridlock on the road. What have been the long-term effects of exurban sprawl? I don’t see everyone being able to afford a home. How has our current (non)plan for growth helped us?

    So how about rethinking growth? How about creating more neighborhoods where we can walk to most everywhere we need to go… Including fast transit options to more distant locations? And how about expanding our transit options to give people more convenient ways to get around?

    We have a climate crisis to solve, a fossil fuel addiction to kick, limited land left to develop, and limited resources (like water) left for us to use. We’ve been awfully wasteful for the past few decades, and that’s why we’re in this conundrum now. So why not stop the bad habits and start some good ones?

    That’s all I ask. :-)

  3. Robin
    December 17, 2007 at 10:22 am

    I hate to burst your bubble, but the toll road is far from dead. While the passage of the Susan Davis amendment is a blow for the TCA, but it is not the nail in the coffin. The case of the Foothill-South Toll Road will be heard before the Coastal Commission in early February in San Diego. This will be a critical vote, but still it most likely won’t be the last. This fight still has a ways to go. Please inform your readers of the upcoming Coastal Commission it is crucial that they attend and demand that the Coastal Act be upheld.

  4. Andrew Davey
    December 17, 2007 at 11:06 am

    Robin-

    Yes, you do have a point. Knowing how knuckleheaded the folks at TCA are, they will most likely continue trying to resurrect the Toll Road to Trestles. That’s why you can count on me to continue to keep an eye on this, and to remind everyone when the Coastal Commission meets in February to (hopefully!!) seal that coffin shut on the Toll Road to Trestles.

    We’ll keep the heat on, and do our part to let the Commission know that we want no’ mo’ Toll Road to Trestles. :-)

  5. December 17, 2007 at 3:07 pm

    Robin;

    While you’re right, and TCA has every right to continue building the road, they now have to figure out how to:
    A) build it in a way that conforms with CA state law (i.e. rethink a significant portion, if not the majority, of the project, Environmental Impact Report and all)
    or
    B) Get around the law another way, which could take months if not years to engineer, and looks especially difficult as more scrutiny is piled upon their pet Congressmen like Ken Calvert and Gary Miller.

    The TCA’s budget predictions made certain presumptions based on the construction of the 241 extension as far as toll revenue is concerned. Of course, they also planned to be spending money constructing it right now – at least $1 Billion dollars I’d wager, what with the price of gas these days.

    With Respect,
    Alex Brant-Zawadzki
    http://www.jomoblog.com

  6. JD
    January 20, 2008 at 9:37 am

    While I am against anything that could negatively impact Trestles and the State Beach, I do feel there is a definite need to expand some freeways that by-pass San Clemente. Besides mass transit, what are the other options? Are there other proposed paths that may connect with I-5 further South (maybe just North of the check point)?

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