Although the fight to keep the highly controversial 241 Toll Road extension has been going for years and has at times seemed endless, those who oppose the project don’t appear to be backing off any time soon.
Last week the Secretary of Commerce announced that a public hearing regarding the proposed extension is to take place July 25 at the Bren Center on the campus of UC Irvine. This comes on the heels of what was a major victory for Trestles, San Onofre State Park, and all those who oppose the development of the proposed toll road when the California Coastal Commission voted 8-2 against the project. This hearing marks the next battle between the Transportation Corridor Authority and opponents over the continuation of the road, which would essentially lead to the closure of the popular campgrounds at San Onofre State Park as well as putting surrounding breaks, including Trestles, at great risk.
For those who have yet to see it, there was a beautiful section done covering the Trestles battle in the most recent Teton Gravity Research film – Out There. It illustrated the importance of keeping this stretch of coast as is and covered why this is such a vital battle for us to become involved in. Over 3,000 strong showed at Wyland Hall at the Del Mar Fairgrounds to let there voices be heard. This time around there are hopes for an even larger showing. “We are looking forward to the Department of Commerce hearing,” says Mark Rauscher, Assistant Environmental Director for the Surfrider Foundation. “The Department of Commerce has already heard from the experts, now it is time for them to hear directly from the public how the TCA’s proposed alignment for the Foothill-South Toll Road is fundamentally flawed.”
The Surfrider Foundation has been at the forefront of this battle from the beginning. They, along with other groups opposing the Toll Road extension, will be running busses to transport supporters to and from the hearing.
This is truly a battle of epic proportions. It may very well set a precedent for years to come and for that reason is so important to become involved in. If you would like to check out more information you can check out savetrestles.org or surfrider.org.