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News

Environment, 1; Toll Road, 0

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Jim Moriarty, Executive Director of the Surfrider Foundation at yesterday's California Coastal Commission hearing | Photo by Branimir Kvartuc of EpicSurf.com

Commuters and some politicians say the Foothill South 241 toll road needs to finish in order "to relieve congestion and accommodate development southern Orange County and take some of the burden off Interstate 5, the heaviest traveled corridor between Los Angeles and San Diego," the LA Times is reporting.

A section of the proposed six-lane toll road being developed by the private company, Transportation Corridor Agencies, is proposed to cut through San Onofre State Beach.

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Environmentalists, surfers and others joined in the extremely large opposition yesterday at the California Coastal Commision meeting in Del Mar submitting 2,500 requests to speak during public comment, taking 12 hours to complete.

It was worth it, they won.

"It was the largest and most important meeting the CCC has ever had. Over 3000 surfers and activists attended the meeting to have their voices heard," Branimir Kvartuc wrote in an e-mail to LAist. Kvartuc, who took the above photo, also owns Eppic Surf, a website that is the myspace/facebook meets flickr for surfers.

During public comment, the Times caught one frequent camper said "There are only so many state parks left, and we really should not pave over them."

Peter Douglas, the commission's longtime executive director, said the 'toll road project is not only inconsistent with the law, it also raises fundamental questions about what of kind of environmental and social future we want for our coastal communities, our families, our children and theirs.' [LA Times]

The Transportation Corridor Agencies plans to appeal the CCC decision and says efforts would be made for the state beach's "sensitive wildlife habitat." The state property includes Trestles Beach, the world class surfing site.