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.”Ã‚Â
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.