Trestles Saved: 241 Toll-Road Rejected

It couldn’t get any better than this:

According to Surfline:

After countless hearings, protests, and meetings, the proposed 241-Foothill South Toll Road extension was shut down. What started as a grassroots effort to save a surf break and state park, steamrolled through local, state and, finally, federal legislatures.

“This morning we got word that the United States Secretary of Commerce Carlos Gutierrez upheld the California Coastal Commission’s February ruling that the proposed extension to the 241 toll road violates California coastal law,” said Surfrider Foundation Director of Marketing Matt McClain. “This decision makes it near impossible for the TCA to move forward with this project. In short – we won!”

In other words, if the TCA wants to complete the 241, they’re going to have to find an alternative route that doesn’t touch San Onofre State Park.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) released the following statement:

“The commission objected to the proposed project under the federal Coastal Zone Management Act (CZMA) on the grounds that the toll road was not consistent with the state’s coastal zone management program. The department determined that there is at least one reasonable alternative to the project. The department also found that the project is not necessary in the interest of national security. TCA may pursue another route for its proposed toll road that the commission determines is consistent with California’s coastal zone management program.”

Surfrider’s McClain, who was largely responsible for leading the fight to save Trestles (along with coalition partners Friends of the Foothill and Sierra Club) rejoiced, “The TCA’s options are pretty limited. They can appeal but the chances of them winning are really slim. Even if they won, they’d still have to deal with the existing litigation and go back in front of the CCC again. We’re really calling upon the TCA to embrace these alternatives to deal with traffic problems that are environmentally friendly. We have them in a strong hammerlock and we’re waiting for them to tap out.”

The TCA hasn’t released a statement yet and is currently reviewing the Secretary’s decision. They can, however, file a lawsuit against the federal ruling. But, as the ruling states, the TCA should explore alternate routes for the 241.

“This is a tremendous victory for the entire surf community worldwide. It keeps the beach open and accessible with no damage to the break,” said longtime surf industry veteran Bob Mignogna. “It also keeps the area beautiful without a gigantic superhighway covering the Old Coast Highway, which is where we walk down the path to Trestles. This is significant for surfers everywhere because it shows that the surf industry has political clout and together with the coalition partners we can be effective movers and shakers in the political world. This will set precedent for the rest of the surf world by motivating surfers everywhere to stand up and fight for what they believe is right.”

-End-

Let’s keep up the momentum.

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~ by therecessends on December 19, 2008.

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