By George Brody, San Clemente
A couple of weeks ago the Transportation Corridor Agencies, after two decades of trying, finally capitulated on trying to get approval for the extension of the 241 toll road. As it was reported in The Dispatch, Stefanie Sekich-Quinn from the Surfrider Foundation was very happy about her participation in defeating the TCA effort.
So, we, the residents of San Clemente and San Juan Capistrano, and towns further north, should thank Stefanie for condemning us to become prisoners in our homes on weekends. The already heavy traffic in both directions of Interstate 5 becomes really congested on Saturdays and Sundays. For example, a trip from San Clemente to San Diego may easily take two hours or more if there is a traffic accident. We all remember the accident last month when vehicles in both directions were trapped on I-5 for more than four hours. I presume Stefanie was not involved in that.
In fact I wonder if Stefanie ever uses the I-5 in our area. Does she even live here? Several years ago, TCA made several open-forum presentations explaining to the public what the plans were and the reasons for needing the extension connecting the 241 to the I-5 south of San Clemente. It would not increase the traffic in the surfing beach areas. It would not have interfered with any surfing activities. In fact it was going to provide collection basins that would prevent dirty water from washing into the ocean. Only clean water would go into the ocean.
At one of those meetings, the Surfrider Foundation and the Audobon Society, who was concerned about interfering with the pocket mouse in the area, bussed a large number of their members all the way from New Mexico and Arizona to protest against the TCA. And protest they did—vocally and rowdily. They interrupted with whistles and cat-calls those speakers who wanted to present viewpoints in favor of the 241 extension. They would not let them talk. For their participation they got T-shirts saying “Save Trestles.”
After this disappointing meeting, I approached a couple of young men wearing these T-shirts and asked them why they thought the 241 Extension would harm Trestles. They replied, “What is Trestles?”
Stefanie: You are cordially invited to participate in one of our I-5 traffic jams and to enjoy the problem you helped to create.