Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Speeding Our Way to Wasteland on the 241

{This is Part 6 of my special report on the proposed extension of the 241 Toll Road to San Onofre State Beach (aka Trestles). If you'd like, you can find the other stories in the "Speeding Our Way to Trestles" series here. As the debate heats up over Trestles and the 241, I'd like to go in depth and examine all the issues involved... And I'd love for you to come along for the ride as we explore what can be done to relieve traffic in South Orange County AND Save Trestles Beach. Enjoy! : ) }

What would really happen if TCA were allowed to extend the 241 Toll Road all the way to Trestles? Would it really do no harm to Trestles, as TCA suggests? Or could it potentially destroy "The Yosemite of Surfing"?

Can this beach survive a toll road in its backyard?

Or is THIS what Trestles will become if TCA has its way?

So how would a toll road affect San Onofre's unique environment? Follow me down below for more...

(Cross-posted at Calitics)

What would happen if San Mateo Creek were to be tampered with? If TCA intends to build a toll road through San Onofre, then they would certainly be obligated to engage in some serious earth-moving... And all that earth-moving would alter the sediment flow of the creek, which would rid Trestles of its great waves. So if we were to allow this toll road to be built, we can almost definitely say goodbye to one of the best surf spots on the planet.

And what would happen to the seven endangered species who call San Onofre home? What would happen to the California gnatcatcher loses its home forever? What would happen if the Arroyo toad were to lose its humble abode? What would happen if we were to lose the thread-leaved brodiaea (a lovely violet lily) forever? The construction of the Foothill-South 241 Extension would rip through and destroy the native habitat of all of these, along with other threatened and endangered species. Do we really want to lose these treasures forever?

What would happen to the water quality at Trestles if the 241 Toll Road were built through San Onofre? TCA is promising that they will treat all polluted storm water before it runs off to Trestles. But can TCA really eliminate ALL pollution from the runoff storm water? Can TCA get rid of all the oil, grease, heavy metals, and other toxins that would be released into the creek as a result of all the cars traveling on the nearby toll road? Advocates for Trestles aren't buying it, and neither am I.

So what would happen if we were to allow TCA to build a toll road to Trestles? Oh, the entire ecosystem of San Onofre would be destroyed forever. The waves would vanish. The endangered species would die off. The water would turn dirty. And oh yes, we would have lost one of the greatest treasures in California. Can we really afford to lose it?

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