The TCA Rears Its Ugly Head Again
Here we go again. The evil forces of Mordor are on the march once more, again with their eyes set on the surfer's version of The Shire (sorry, I was just down at Lower Trestles and it truly does resemble an overgrown Shire). But, yes, for you non-Lord of the Rings fans, I'm talking about the Transportation Corridor Agency's (TCA) renewed campaign for a toll road that would increase traffic flow to the San Onofre state park and wreak havoc on the San Mateo Creek watershed, a sensitive marshland surrounding Uppers, Lowers, Cottons and Churches surf breaks.
Their latest campaign uses fear tactics. How classy! The TCA is capitalizing on worry sparked by the Japanese earthquake, tsunami, and ensuing nuclear power plant meltdowns by instigating that San Clemente needs another escape route in case of an emergency. But according to the Surfrider Foundation's website, "neither the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, or Southern California Edison have supported the TCA's claims that the current evacuation routes and plans need to be supplemented by construction of the toll road." Furthermore, Surfrider Foundation points out that, "because both sides of I-5 would be restricted to northbound traffic only [the proposed toll road] SR-241 would not be able to receive any diverted traffic."
In 2008, with the Surfrider Foundation as our main rallying point we were all able to thwart the proposed toll road. We just might have to roll up our sleeves once more and keep the modern day Orcs at bay. For developing information on the situation check www.surfrider.org and www.thetollroads.com.—Cheyenne Arnold