Stupid Toll Road (STR-241) to Nowhere, Still Nowhere Fast


A movement to pave over San Onofre State Beach and Trestles with a toll-road-to-nowhere-for-nobody-but-developers was rejected by the California Coastal Commission and Federal Commerce Department in 2008. We now have the opportunity to have Trestles recognized for its historical contributions by being listed in the National Register of Historic Places, and stop that toll road project for good. Meanwhile, toll road developers use the labor unions to influence the State Water Boards decision, expected in May, whether to grant a permit for the “Stupid Toll Road” to dump contaminated runoff into creeks and the ocean while keeping the dream alive of paving over Trestles.

toll road, orange county, california

Surfing at San Onofre / Trestles, is historic: from Trails’s campsites, north past S.O.N.G.S., to San’O surf beach, to the Marine’s beach club facility at Church, on up to Lowers, then Uppers, and finally Cottons Point, Marines and civilians surf Trestles together in perfect harmony. It should not become a toll road off-ramp. Photo: Chris Carlson – AP

I’ll try and keep this brief, because if you’ve lived in Orange County, California for the last 15-years you hold an advanced degree in stupid toll road high-jinxs: how to wrangle government deficit-spending into approving a toll road to nowhere few would ever drive on — same as the the other toll road through the Laguna Coast, SR73’s fate today. Lonesome Roads, paid for by you and me, while being priced-off OC toll roads keeps us packed onto freeways, because TCA’s 51-miles of Stupid Toll Roads in OC aren’t for traffic. They-are-for-housing-development-period. Heck, if they were for traffic, we’d all be on them.

Yesterday (Weds, 3-13-13) in Costa Mesa’s city hall, those against Stupid Toll Road-241, re: STR-241, and those craving STR-241, jammed (and I mean jammed) into the cramped Hall to debate STR-241 in front of CA’s Regional Waterboard.

Save Trestles, Coastal Commission

Labor unions spoke out in vain at the Coastal Commission in 2008. More sustainable transportation options will exceed a few short-term toll road construction jobs. Photo: LA Times

The board was clearly overwhelmed, putting off their Yes-No decision until May (maybe) in San Diego. Let’s hope next time they rent a bigger room. A lot bigger room. If you believe TCA’s lobbyists / speakers, STR-241’s a done deal. But if you believe the No-Go-Toll Roaders, it’s a dead duck. Killed by three government agencies half a decade ago, as in dead and buried. That STR-241 has no funding to build, doesn’t seem to bother TCA.

Because, if you want to pave a road to nowhere, no one will ever drive, do you even need money? Apparently not. TCA’s doing its smoke & mirrors thing. OC’s magic toll roads, no one drives. Or hardly anyone. So, see you in May, in San Diego, for another Stupid Toll Road…Dog & Pony Show.

Oh, our Labor union pals showed up. With all the free lunches they’re getting (see where the same fellows showed up at a hearing to restart the leaking San Onofre Nuke Plant), and no exercise, they really are, filling their seats to the max.

labor unions, Orange County,TCA

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About Jerry Collamer

Jerry Collamer is a creative communications specialist. Backgrounds in National Advertising and Television Communication. Writer. Artist. Native Californian with a world-view career arch. Pragmatic and common sense urban activist -- co-founder of Wild Heritage Planners.