Monday, May 16, 2011

The TCA, stooping to new levels of desperation to build a road through a state park

Reprinted from Jim Moriarty's Blog

The fight to preserve the last clean watershed in Southern California will never end. Those of us that fought the Save Trestles fight know that. The pristine lands and intact watershed that feed into Pacific Ocean, forming Trestles, are too valuable for this fight to end.

To many of us these lands are priceless. They are open spaces that have been set aside as public lands and secured as State Parks. This protected designation was done by Presidents Nixon and Reagan. They said State Parks are ours, they belong to the people of the state. With the recent announcement of 70 California state parks being closed the value of remaining parks is even higher.

To a few, protected lands such as State Parks have a price. These people, real estate speculators, literally put a price tag on State Parks. The hubris to think of taking something so valuable away from the public is stunning. These people would financially benefit from State Parks ceasing to exist as a protected, California State Park. At the top of this list is the TCA. If that's not enough, the TCA builds fee-based private roads and they build these with public funds.

Think of that for a second. What if I walked into your house, took a family heirloom which had been passed down for generations and sold it on eBay. Taking something belonging to others and then selling it for personal gain is usually considered robbery.

But this scenario doesn't seem to be bold enough for the TCA. Their recent campaign is in a category I can only label "odd."

Trying to draft off public sympathy for the horrendous disaster in Fukushima, Japan the TCA is trying to now literally sell the road as an escape route.

First of all, shame on them. Is there no level the TCA will stoop to to sell a toll road through a state park?

Second, they know that in the event of a disaster all lanes on both sides of the divider of Hwy 5 would be shifted to head north only. Even if such a road existed south of San Clemente there would be no way to go south to access it.

Third, even if you COULD go south in the event of a disaster why would you ever even consider it? God forbid, if there was a major issue at the San O nuclear plants I think it's logical to think that every single person in the region would flee away from the plants instead of finding a way to drive toward them.

The logic behind TCA's recent marketing campaign is in bad taste. It's desperate and fear mongering. It's odd.

Their choice of a spokesperson is also short-sighted. Jim Dahl, previous multi-decade fire fighter, knows that all lanes of the 5 would be dedicated to moving people north. He knows that the last thing a disaster response plan would suggest is that people drive toward a nuclear plant which is experiencing a failure.

Shame on you TCA.