Full disclosure: I'm not too informed on the 241 Toll Road. I don't see how extending it to San Onofre will reduce traffic on the 5 Freeway. I don't surf so don't particularly care if the legendary waves of Trestles disappeared. I do know that the Transportation Corridor Authority is one of Orange County's worst governmental agencies, and that environmentalists care a bit too much about nature at the expense of other issues.
But after hearing both sides go at it yesterday on AirTalk with Larry Mantle on KPCC-FM 89.3, I know why the TCA didn't get its plans approved by the California Coastal Commission: arrogance.
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One of the people interviewed was Lance MacLean, chairman of the Foothill Eastern Transportation Corridor Agency and a member on the Mission Viejo City Council. MacLean told Mantle he was "disappointed" in the Coastal Commission's decision, said "there was no winners" and went on to claim commuters were "doomed," our air quality would "degrade" and state parks would no longer receive $100 million that the TCA promised them if the Coastal Commission allowed the 241.
A couple of minutes later, Huell Howser of California Gold called, "compelled to call in with my two cents" he told Larry through his trademark twang. Huell acknowledged Southern California needed to alleviate traffic but then went into an impassioned defense of state parks and a vicious critique of those who want to tamper with them. Trestles, he said, "wasn't set aside for a park until something better came along; it was set aside FOREVER." View clips from Huell's Trestles special here.
MacLean's response? He called Huell's statements "alarmist."
Alarmist. Saying Huell Howser is an alarmist when it comes to California state parks is like saying Vin Scully overreacts during Los Angeles Dodgers broadcasts, that John Wooden cheers too much whenever the UCLA Bruins play at Pauley. Lance: You don't question Huell when it comes to California treasures; you shut up, learn, and hope you can ever have an ATOM of the respect Howser commands amongst Californians. By the way, it's pronounced "Cristianitos Road," not "Christianitos." And how's the sign stealing treating you these days?