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HIGHER MORAL GROUND: Op/Ed on The Trestles Toll Road

| posted on July 22, 2010

I won’t sell the San Mateo creek down the river, and neither should you. Opposing the 241 Foothills South Toll Road is a pretty easy decision for a surfer, especially in light of three crucial questions:

“Bob and his urine-filled mattresses stacked ten high and two deep on the ’68 F-150 will have to continue to suffer.”
Click here to view a Photographic Retrospective on Trestles.

1) Will the wave mechanics at Trestles (Uppers, Lowers, Church) be affected due to the building of or the existence of a this Toll Road?

Dave Skelly, a surfer and former Surfrider Foundation member, is the geotechnical expert hired to study this very question. Skelly told me that he is 99.99% sure that the building of this freeway will not affect the wave matrix at Trestles. As a surfer and a lover of the valuable wave resources at Trestles, I don’t think it is unrealistic to demand a 100% guarantee. In fact, a 100% guarantee should be the standard litmus test for all development that threatens waves and surfing.

2) Will the water quality at Trestles (Uppers, Lowers, Church) be affected due to the building of or the existence of this Toll Road?

I don’t know how 16 miles of new roadway with millions of cars dripping their petroleum byproduct into a pristine watershed can help the water quality. Do you? If it can’t help the water quality, I’m not a big fan.

3) Will the traffic on I-5 be helped by the building of this toll road?

According to the OC Transit Authority (OCTA) in the year 2030 severe gridlock is a fact, with or without the toll road. But never mind that, my NIMBY attitude tells me that I don’t need, nor do I want, LA/OC traffic getting down to San Diego any faster. Bob and his urine-filled mattresses stacked ten high and two deep on the ’68 F-150 will have to continue to suffer.

Let us summarize.The toll road construction means that the wave quality is in danger (a 100% guarantee isn’t too much to ask). The toll road construction means that the water quality is in danger (show me a roadway that doesn’t pollute). The OCTA is on record saying that traffic congestion relief is negligible, especially as time moves on. Three strikes, folks. Three strikes and the toll road is OUT!

But never mind me and my skewed opinions. Let’s look to a higher moral standard. What about Howard Jarvis, the famous anti-tax legislator – how would he feel about a taxed roadway? I’m guessing that Mr. Jarvis is probably against a “tax” road. Roads should be free. What the hell happened to all the gas tax revenues? Okay, perhaps Howard Jarvis isn’t exactly the beacon of moral high ground. He was a politician after all.

Let us look to a real hero, Ansel Adams. What would the famous naturalist and photographer say about this 16 miles of cement, concrete and flavourless tax kiosks? Would he be in favor of destroying part of the last undammed watershed in SoCal? I like to imagine that Mr. Adams wouldn’t be too stoked on the toll road. And what about John Muir? How would he feel about this toll road taking out part of our state park? My gut tells me that Mr. Muir would be first in line to protest this toll road.

I’m going to que up behind Mr. Jarvis, Mr. Adams and Mr. Muir. Please join us.