By Damien Newton, October 22, 2013
In the early days of Streetsblog, one of our favorite projects to cover was the the proposed Foothill South (SR 241) project in Orange County.
It remains one of those fun projects where both sides are colorful and
entirely predictable. On one side are people that love the environment
and clean air making the case for better communities. On the other are
people who love highways making the case for highways.
The 16-mile project was rejected both by the California Coastal
Commission, a state agency that reviews projects that could impact
environmentally sensitive areas and the Federal Commerce Department back in 2008, when George W. Bush was still president.
In October of 2011 the TCA, the state agency in charge of building
highways nobody wants, decided they would segment the project and try to
permit it piecemeal. This is not only wildly illegal, but also doomed
to fail as they didn’t even try to hide what they were doing.
The good news is the TCA’s budget is so awash in red ink even their
Board of Directors is saying the project is dead. But, of course, this isn’t the first time we’ve heard that.