Save Trestles on the Airwaves

Categories: 241 Toll Road

Daniel Gannaway, musician and active member of the Surfrider Foundation, has composed a song called "Save Trestles". It can be downloaded from his MySpace page, www.myspace.com/danielgannaway. Why is he giving away the goods for free? "I believe Save Trestles is a really important campaign, and I've contributed in the best way that I know how," says Gannaway. "If Surfrider felt that there was nothing at risk here, there would be no Save Trestles campaign, and I might have slept more and not written this song."

Daniel Gannaway

Gannaway: Dreams about Trestles

Trestles, located just south of San Clemente, is one of the world's finest surf spots, all because of offshore sandbards that are fed by sediment from San Mateo Creek. The Transportation Corridor Agencies acknowledges that their plans to extend the 241 (Foothill South) toll road through San Onofre State Beach would impact the sediment flow, but they say these impacts would be insignificant. Gannaway disagrees, as does the Surfrider Foundation - hence the Save Trestles campaign.

Surfrider, the ocean water quality and surf resource watchdog, knows that Trestles is very much at risk, and on Tuesday evening they will get the chance to convey this fact to the audience of AirTalk with Larry Mantle on 89.3 FM, KPCC, Southern California's leading public radio station and NPR affiliate. The event will be on Tuesday, October 17th, at 7:00 pm at St. Andrews By The Sea United Methodist Church, 2001 Calle Frontera in San Clemente. The public is invited to attend. RSVP at airtalk@kpcc.org; the broadcast will be on Wednesday, October 18 from 10-11 a.m.

Airtalk

Mantle: 3rd Time's The Charm

This will be the third time the toll road has featured on Airtalk. The first was back in September 2004, just after the Public Comment phase for the toll road's Draft Environmental Impact report. The second was in February 2006, just after the Foothill/Eastern TCA voted to approve their choice of an alignment cutting through the Donna O'Neill Land Conservancy, the heart of inland San Onofre State Beach, and right next to a Juaneno Indian burial ground. Expect curses; lots and lots of curses.

In the broadcast earlier this year, then-chairman of the Foothill/Eastern Board Ken Ryan had the temerity to call their choice "the most environmentally sensitive" alignment with "the least impact to the environment." He was either mistaken or lying; environmental groups had long since identified the "green" alignment as the most devastating.

In 2004 Mantle spoke with Lisa Telles, TCA's director of communications. Back then she claimed that the toll road was a necessary step to relieve traffic. "It's not just a weekday commute traffic issue. It's really a weekend traffic issue as well. If you talk to people who live down in South Orange County, they will say the worst traffic through that area is the weekend traffic," said Telles. Which, in retrospect, is bizarre.

It's bizarre because the TCA's traffic models never bothered to take weekends into account. On February 23, 2006, at the Foothill Eastern board meeting that saw the certification of their so-called "green" alignment through the State Park, board member and county supervisor Bill Campbell asked TCA's chief engineer, James Brown, about his traffic models:

CAMBELL: "Your analysisis was on weekdays—what about weekends, did you do that one? BROWN: "The traffic models are not constructed to deal with weekend traffic specifically."

Makes sense. After all, for two years they had known traffic was the worst on weekends, so why bother to factor that in to the traffic models? Ridiculous.

Then there's Brian. In 2004, Mantle identified the first caller to the show as "Brian from Lake Forest" (Timestamp=20:16). Brian's question to Telles: how much will traffic increase over the next ten to twenty years? Earlier in the interview, Telles mentioned the TCA's projection that traffic would increase 60% by 2025. Reporters call this a softball question.

In 2006, the first caller was "Brian from Orange" (Timestamp=12:30). His question to Ryan: what is the TCA going to do about currently untreated water runoff from the portion of the I-5 above Trestles? Again, Ryan had addressed this issue only three minutes earlier in the discussion. Again, this was a softball question. Again it was asked by a guy named Brian, who sounds suspiciously like the Brian who phoned in to AirTalk in 2004.

What are the chances that two years apart, two guys named Brian who sound identical would both be the first callers to AirTalk and both address the TCA representative with softball questions that might as well have come straight from TCA's public relations material? Pretty damn slim - just like the chances that the TCA will be able to build their Foothill South extension without resorting to dirty, petty tricks.

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