September 9, 2008

Transportation Corridor Agencies

A poll released by the California State Parks Foundation today found that 70% of Orange County residents have heard about plans to build a toll road to connect to the 241 south of San Clemente. Of those that have heard of the proposal, 51% support the project, 36% oppose the project and 11% don't know.

According to the Transportation Corridor Agencies, the poll then goes on to ask inflammatory, misleading, false, and irrelevant questions to develop a conclusion that the more people learn about the project, the more likely they are to oppose it.

Q15 states: "The toll road would force the closure of most of the state's fifth most visited park as well as its most popular campground."

FACT: The route for the completion of the 241 does not require the closure of any campsites within the San Onofre State Park.

-- San Onofre State Beach park is on property owned by Camp Pendleton. The lease allows rights of way to be granted through portions of the park.

-- The toll road will pass through the inland portion of the park. There will be no impact to the beach portions of the park that are used by most visitors.

"Given the strong measures adopted by the Transportation Corridor Agencies (TCA) to minimize noise impacts we believe the campground will remain enjoyable, accessible and open. There is no reason to believe San Mateo Campground will be negatively impacted by the SR241 project." -- Mike Chrisman, California Resources Secretary

Q16 states: "The toll road would threaten Trestles, one of the cleanest beaches in the County and the most treasured surf spot in the state."

FACT: The toll road would not threaten Trestles. A recent independent peer review of reports concerning the 241 Toll Road and surfing conditions in the vicinity of San Mateo Creek has concluded that the project will have no impact on surfing or wave formation.

Richard J. Seymour, Ph.D., research engineer at Scripps Institution of Oceanography and noted consultant in coastal oceanography, conducted the review: "No substantial change, either positive or negative, to surfing quality would result from the project," Seymour stated.

Q17 states: "Costs for this road have skyrocketed to over $1.3 billion dollars, funds that could be better used in other ways to relieve congestion."

FACT: Funds to construct the toll road will come from the issuance of toll revenue bonds repaid by the drivers who choose to use the toll road. The funds are not available to be committed to any other project and the toll road will not take scare highway funding away from any other project.