To say yesterday’s Save Trestles hearing was anything but a success wouldn’t be doing it justice. As I sat there with an open mind (ok, I lie), listening to both sides plead their case in front of a thousand plus people, I couldn’t help but think this rally shouldn’t even be happening in the first place. The overwhelming majority of people are obviously opposed to building the toll road through and along the San Mateo Creek and if these politicians were really “for the people” they wouldn’t even think twice about this decision. But I’ll keep politics out of this one…
What became very apparent by listening to the speakers who oppose the 241 toll-road is that there’s a lot more at stake here than a worldclass surf break. From protecting one of the last, pristine coastal parks in the country, to saving a species of mouse, to the Panhe People losing more sacred land, the number of common sense reasons why we don’t need this road are and should be pretty obvious.
The developers, union workers, big corporations, and lobbied politicians on the other hand had their own selfish reasons for supporting the 241 Toll Road. From saving time in traffic, to creating jobs, to making money off new cable TV subscribers(hint: Cox Communications), they didn’t seem to care they’d be destroying one of mother natures few remaining gifts in return for the all-mighty dollar or saving a couple minutes in the car everday. And if I understand correctly, the road won’t positively affect people traveling in that direction. These issues were still heard, despite being met with plenty of ‘booos’, thumbs down, and dollar bills waving in the air that signified their being paid to be here, which as one speaker noted, “ethically voids out any argument they have.”
Surfrider did a wonderful job of showing appreciation to the supporters – free t-shirts, a concert, face painting, and food coupons that they were handing out by the dozen. I could have eaten $100 worth of free fair-food, had I wanted. To bad they didn’t have a beer garden or I just might have.
A couple of standout moments from the event were…
Jim Moriarty’s quote: “you can never save the oceans, but you can always be saving them”
The guy holding up the sign that read: “live better, get barreled” opposed to “live better, build roads”. For some reason getting barreled does sound like a better life to me than laying concrete.
92 year old Eloise who got up on the podium and shouted NO!
The young boy, who couldn’t have been more than 10, pleading the case for both himself and his whole generation.
The lady from San Bernadino who drove 100 miles to save the campground, saying her family is too poor to afford a normal vacation with hotels so their summer vacation every year is camping at San Mateo, something they’ve been doing their who lives.
All the other people who graciously gave up their time to support more than one noble cause.
Saving Trestles is a fight that’s not over yet and may never be. But as more and more people get involved and act on this issue, one can’t help but be very confident that the people will be heard and the right thing will done. I’d say we outnumbered the other side by 10x, and if that’s not power in numbers I don’t know what is.