California toll road opponents face setback

| Friday, April 27, 2007

A California state lawmaker trying to stop a toll road from being constructed through a state park beach withdrew the bill during a committee meeting Tuesday, April 24.

California state Assemblyman Jared Huffman, D-San Rafael, withdrew AB1457, which he previously filed to restrict road construction in all state parks.

His target was, and still is, a tolled extension of California State Route 241 – also known as the Foothills Toll Road – which would run through Orange and San Diego Counties as well as San Onofre State Beach.

Huffman told the Copley News Service the bill “just wasn’t ready to go” and didn’t have enough votes to pass.

The withdrawal of the bill during a meeting of the Assembly’s Water, Parks and Wildlife Committee dealt a blow to opponents of the toll road, who continue to be very active in litigation and lobbying efforts.

Transportation officials say the road is necessary to improve mobility in the region, and that any road plan must pass strict environmental reviews.

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