Sunday, February 10, 2008

Why stopping the six lane toll road through San Onofre State Beach means a lot to me

On February 8th, The New York Times reported, "Park Toll Road Plan Rejected in California." “After a marathon public hearing in which hundreds of people spoke, the California Coastal Commission voted late Wednesday to deny approval for a toll road through a popular beach state park.

"The 8-to-2 vote against the road, which would bisect California’s fifth-most-visited state park, San Onofre State Beach in north San Diego County, was seen as a significant victory for the region’s environmental movement and a major setback to a 20-year-effort to ease traffic congestion in the increasing sprawl of southern Orange County."

I celebrate this victory because I got involved in the effort to stop the toll road, admittedly too little, too late, but I like to think that my effort, though small, contributed to the preservation of San Onofre State Beach.

On January 24th, I went to a meeting to learn more about the threat to San Onofre State Beach and posted about it here. Then on February 4th, I posted an action alert, "Help Save California's State Parks," sent a link to quite a few people and wrote a letter to the Coastal Commission. Thanks to the many people who e-mailed me that they had sent a letter to the Coastal Commission.

The bigger message for me is that citizens can come together and make a difference. Some of us some of the time feel hopeless about affecting the 2008 election, stopping US imperial overstretch with wars of choice, etc. This victory, saving one state park in California, gives me hope.

You can watch the Coastal Commission hearing about the fate of San Onofre State Park here (go to agenda item 8 b. and click on the icon to the right of the b.)

(San Onofre State Beach: Visit USA)


John in Cincinnati said...

Now, who ever said Poitics isn't personal?

Dan Gurney, Mr. Kindergarten said...

Yay, Gail, and thank you.

San Onofre is near and dear to our hearts: it is where our son went to surf camp and learned to surf.