New Poll Takes Its Toll

A public opinion survey released this fine Wednesday morning shows that 73% of Californians are opposed to extending a toll road through San Onofre State Beach.

Last September, the Transportation Corridor Agencies commissioned their annual public opinion poll on how much we all love toll roads. Their plan to extend the 241 toll road through the heart of SOSB depends upon their claim that people think it's a good idea. “Their numbers never resonated with us, based on thousands of conversations we've had with community members” says Brittany McKee of Sierra Club, which commissioned the new poll along with Natural Resources Defense Council.

On Sept. 1, 2005 the Weekly published its own interpretation of TCA's poll.

They never mentioned anything about the road going through a state park; questions were vague, or did not “mention or factually present the basic action,” according to John Fairbanks of Fairbanks, Maslin, Maullin N Associates, the public opinion firm that conducted this latest poll.

The new survey, conducted between February 18 and 22, polled 800 likely voters, with a margin of error of +/- 5%. It claims that 49% of respondents strongly oppose toll roads through state parkland, with another 20% somewhat opposing. On the specific issue of a toll road through San Onofre, 56% of respondents strongly oppose the idea.

Fairbanks puts it best: “Putting a toll road through a state park doesn't work with voters.”

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