Monday, October 01, 2007

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 Commision 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.

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 enivornmental 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.

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 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?

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 yopu feeling outraged now? Angry? Frustrated? And would you like to do something about it?

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 Commision 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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