Hearing, yes; circus, no
Re “Let the public speak,” editorial, July 15
Thank you for your editorial pointing out the strangeness of the Commerce Department’s most recent actions regarding the hearing on the Foothill South toll road.
The public’s opinions need to be heard. Some will be vociferous, but there’s good reason. Perhaps they’re appalled by the illogic behind the road, or by misleading statements made by the Transportation Corridor Agencies (does anyone except the TCA believe that building the road will improve water quality in the San Mateo Creek watershed?). The TCA has consistently portrayed this as a battle for traffic relief and the public good. But many now see that the TCA’s plan is not a good traffic solution, is financially risky and has undesirable side effects. These points need to be made to the Commerce Department in a well-managed, polite and businesslike hearing.
Having attended the Coastal Commission hearing earlier this year, I am not sure that another public circus (I mean hearing) is the best way to solicit well-reasoned public input on the toll road.
If there really are 10,000 people who want to make their opinions known, it would take about 21 days of nonstop, round-the-clock testimony to give everyone their three minutes of fame. Furthermore, I suspect that a huge percentage of these alleged 10,000 people will be kids on summer vacation -- not commuters who need the roads to earn a living.
I don’t have the luxury of a three-month summer vacation to devote to a meaningless public spectacle.