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September 04, 2007


241 Flight Stewardess

Were there meals aboard? Looks like Calvert and Tran have been eating well. Damn that helicopter must have been overloaded!


I'm all for putting your bias up on your blog, but please be accurate. Opponents don't say the road will touch the beach. They contend the support structures necessary in and around San Mateo Creek will alter the hydrology at world-reknown Trestles surf beach.

How much did that flight of fancy cost taxpayers, by the way? And what was it for? Calvert is the first one listed on the TCA's list of officials who support the extension, err, completion, of the 241.


Exactly, it does not touch the beach. My point is you would not know it by listening to opponent's rhetoric on the subject.

Re: ocwatcher


Trust me, the cost of this helicopter tour is a but a drop in the bucket compared to the cost of 20 years of environmental processes.


Isn't it amazing that during the driest time of the year (August), during the driest year in three decades, there is still water in San Mateo Creek?

Perhaps you should look up the terms "ephemeral" or "intermittent" - they are two words the are relevant to your basic understanding of streams in Southern California.

This California Resources Agency page on streams is a good place to start:


Matt McClain

Dear Mr. Cunningham,

If I may, few points of clarification...

Actually continuous water flow is not required in order for a waterway to be termed a river or creek. Such waterways are termed "intermittent rivers" and are actually quite common (e.g. San Juan Creek, Los Angeles River).

Moreover intermittent waterways actually do support fish populations; in this case it provides critical habitat for the endangered California Steelhead Trout.

Also, at no point has the Surfrider Foundation or any of our coalition partners stated that the proposed 241 extension would "touch" the beach.

Unfortunately the same cannot be said for the copious amounts of oil and toxin laden runoff that will be generated by the proposed toll road project. Considering the TCA's previous failures in treating runoff on the SR-73 toll road, there is every reason to be concerned that their performance on this project will be equally incompetent.

Inaccuracies aside, kudos for yet another amusing blog. As always, they keep our staff here at the Foundation in stitches.


This was fascinating! I always wondered why the bumper stickers say "Save Trestles"? The new freeway doesn't go anywhere near the train trestle, let alone the beach that sits beyond it.

OC needs this freeway, and we need it now. A more slickly produced version of this flyover would go a long way in educating people like me who weren't exactly sure what all the fuss is about. I had a hunch this was all tree-hugger crazy talk, but from the aerial footage and the computer generation flyover I am now convinced. And where's the river? All I saw was an algae pond that looks like something I would avoid during a day at the beach, and a dry riverbed leading nowhere.

Let the Toll Roads build this new freeway we need, reduce traffic on the 5, and make all of those currently idling cars more efficient by speeding them up. I'll laugh the next time I see a "Save Trestles" bumpersticker. What is there to save, even if the freeway got close to it?

Scott Thomas

As if Ken Calvert had any question as to whether he would find the view of his favorite project different from a helicopter. If Mr. Calvert and Mr. Lowe would like to strap on some walking shoes and see the San Mateo River up close and take some time to learn a few big words like ephimeral, we "tree huggers" would be happy to show them the importance of the clean waters in the creek.
Sure protecting Trestles from pollution and sedimentation is an important component to the battle with the 241. But they know all to well its just one of the issues with the 241.
Why didn't Mr Calvert and Mr Lowe point out to destruction that will occur to the the Donna O'Neill Land Conservancy to the pilot and reporter. Why didn't they discuss how the road, self dubbed the "Green Alignment", would destroy most of the San Onofre Campground?
I suspect it is because even from the high and mighty view in the sky, it is too easy to understand whats really wrong with the 241 route, but better concentrate attention to topics they find hard to grasp, like streams that run dry in southern California.
Didn't we recently learn a little about how inaccurate the view of officials can be from the seat of a helicopter?(Hint:Katrina)
Please, let's have an interview with elected representatives and TCA officials after they and their families take a tour of the Conservancy on foot and spend a weekend camping in the park. Please let's hear from them after thay take an evening walk from the campground to Trestles. Let them tell us then how they would like to camp under a 6 lane highway sound wall or share the Conservancy with a highway.

Hippies should join flappers and beatniks and fade into history

So a stream doesn't need water, freeways don’t provide traffic relief and the hippies over at surfrider are laughing at us poor slobs stuck in traffic.

Up is down. Down is up. Got it.

I wish that getting me home with my family would be seen as slightly more important than a freakin' trout.

Don't these pompous Surfrider staffers, that are "in stitches" about the idea of traffic relief, have a spouse or kids to get home to?

Heather Johnston

If you are so concerned about traffic solutions, then why on earth would you turn to the TCA? After all - they're not in the traffic mitigation business. If they were, they would be building HOV lanes and expanding municipal transit (bus & light rail). Nope...the TCA's sole purpose is to build toll roads. Period. By their own admission, the 241 extension will do little to alleviate current or future congestion along the I-5 corridor. In fact, they (along with Rep. Calvert) freely admit that it will be necessary to widen the 5 at some point in the future. Which begs the question, why not just do it now? After all, according to the leading traffic engineering firm in the USA - Smart Mobility - widening the 5 freeway is the best, most cost-effective and least environmentally impactful solution available in terms of dealing with traffic congestion through South Orange County.


We should do both; widen the 5 freeway and build the 241. Traffic moves faster, quality of life improves, property values increase, and the surfers can still catch a wave down at Trestles.

I was driving down to Oceanside this weekend and watched the big double-decker Surfliner speed alongside me on those tracks the beach is named for. You could easily see the brown, sooty smoke that comes belching out of the diesel locomotive of an Amtrak train, and the wheel assemblies on each coach look greasy and oily. The tracks must be awash in oil and industrial waste. What is the Surfrider Foundations position on the Amtrak, Metrolink and Santa Fe railroads operation along that train track? It seems to me that would be a much bigger fish to fry when it comes to saving the habitat of the Spotted Mouse Trout or whatever it is that lives in that algae pond.

Just an honest observation and a semi-serious question. What is Surfrider Foundation and the Sierra Club doing about the dirty, sooty, oily operation of those very busy train tracks by several different passenger and freight railroads? If they succesfully defeat the 241, will they next go after the railroads?


Moreover intermittent waterways actually do support fish populations; in this case it provides critical habitat for the endangered California Steelhead Trout.

And you have evidence of that, I suppose? Other than the person who thought they saw one several years ago?

And perhaps we can call the steelhead what it is: a rainbow trout that commutes between the ocean and fresh water.

But I guess it doesn't sound quite so endangered when you call it a rainbow trout.


Also, at no point has the Surfrider Foundation or any of our coalition partners stated that the proposed 241 extension would "touch" the beach.

Mr. McClain, I'm glad we have you on record that the completed 241 route won't touch the beach -- although I assume putting "touch" in quotations marks isn't some sort of spin safety hatch.


Such waterways are termed "intermittent rivers" and are actually quite common.

Is that why in your foundation's video you only have two shots of the creek near its terminus where it has water? You might consider including footage of the dry gulch that rarely has any water in it, in order to give the targets of your propaganda a more accurate idea of the area.

But then again, that would undercut your efforts, because its hard to get people excited about a dry gulch that is like every other one they see in Southern California.


After all, according to the leading traffic engineering firm in the USA - Smart Mobility - widening the 5 freeway is the best, most cost-effective and least environmentally impactful solution available in terms of dealing with traffic congestion through South Orange County.

Is that the study where the guy came down from the Bay Area, drove around the 5 for a couple of days, eyeballed the freeway and said widening the 5 was the best solution?

I'm all for widening the 5. But let's complete the 241 as well.

Meanwhile, you folks at Save Trestles can go somewhere else and test out your hypothesis that building roads doesn't reduce congestion. Although we tried that here in California starting in the 1970s.

It didn't work.

Talk to me McLain

Hey, Westsider has a good point about the trains on Trestles. What's Mr. McLain have to say about that? He's awfully noisy about run-off from a road that hasn't been built. What about run-off from a train track that's right over the creek?

talk McLain to me

The McLain mentality. This is from the Save Trestles website:

The TCA's ---(Transportation Corridor Agency- toll road pavers) look'n to pour $125,000 MORE of our Tax Dollars down their 25 year-old Trestles scam-plan-road to hire yet another slick-suited PR Firm to counter what us rag-tag Wave-huggers at Trestles i.e. San Mateo Watershed are doing to TCA's Bury-Pristine-Wilderness-Plan, as they scheme to ruin the last healthy surfbreak in 600-miles of SoCal coastline and make I-5 traffic worse???.

Guess the $35,OOO a month they pay to slick suited Sac-lobbyist to hawk their Lust For Concrete ain't gett'n it done.

So - TCA's Green Answer - shovel more Green (too bad it's our green). And what about the $10's of millions TCA's already shoveled-over (last 25 years, burying our state environmental laws to cement their flawed toll road scam?

Like who's ever gonna drive a Trestles price-spiked toll scam at $12 bucks one-way with a Free I-5 dead ahead?
You got it. Nobody.
So keep screaming - because TCA keeps scheming - with our money.

Sac's a long ways away, but they're listening - otherwise TCA wouldn't keep pouring our good-green, down their bad, bottomless Trestles toll-hole to oblivion.

A real sophisticated crowd, these environmentalists.

felipe Bascope

Are you for real? First off, what's this red vs blue (Screw red state and blue state, how about a green state?), left vs right? How about plain old common sense?

Your toll road theology is worthless and filled with blind thinking and endless flaws.

Get a clue - we (As in a lot of us) wish your helicopter went down in the creek so you can really get some hands on experience on what goes on down there.

I commute to LA everyday (and carpool as often as possible) What do you know about traffic? Get of your arse and carpool, take the train (WHICH EXISTS IN YOIUR AREA, I WISH I HAD THAT OPTION), but quit your bitching - you sound like a bunch of wussies.

I say before a toll road, give it back to the marines.

Keep it real


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