Coming to you on this fall’s San Luis Obispo city ballot is Measure H, replete with seductive, soothing words that promise cure-alls too good to be true. Indeed, if its supporters were to be believed, it would be quite tempting to say, yes, I want what Measure H is proposing.
But do we really?
Do we want more traffic in our neighborhoods?
Do we want to slow down public safety and emergency medical response to our homes?
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Do we want to ruin plans for parks, open space, bike paths and hiking trails?
The answers, of course, are no, no and no.
Yet these unwanted outcomes are exactly what would happen if Measure H were approved.
Measure H is reckless ballot-box planning that will do only one thing:
Create a permanent dead-end on Prado Road, forever blocking its planned extension to Broad Street (a plan adopted with the city’s General Plan in 1962).
It’s already hard enough to get across town! Do we really need another dead-end plan? No, we don’t.
But if approved, Measure H will postpone any hope of improvement for as far as the eye can see. Even worse, along with slowing emergency response, the Measure H dead-end would:
Increase traffic congestion and safety hazards in southern San Luis Obispo, especially on Tank Farm Road, Broad Street, South Street, South Higuera Street and Los Osos Valley Road.
Kill plans that include 500-plus acres of parks, open space and playing fields in the Margarita, Orcutt and Airport areas.
Nullify current planning efforts to provide more affordable in-fill housing for middle-class families.
Favor Los Angeles-style urban sprawl by forcing the in-fill housing to be served by Prado Road into more rural areas.
Measure H does not cure anything, but it does kill more than 10 years of good planning and wastes millions of dollars in professional staff work and objective traffic and environmental studies (Measure H was drafted by an attorney secured by its sponsors and has been subjected to absolutely no study).
Here are several other reasons to vote “no” on Measure H:
It disregards the decisions made by six different City Councils and is opposed by nearly all City Council members serving since 1990 (the current City Council is unanimously opposed to Measure H).
It dismisses the work of the Planning Commission, Parks and Recreation Commission, Cultural Heritage Committee, Architectural Review Committee, Bicycle Committee and Mass Transit Committee.
It ignores countless citizens who provided advice through the appropriate process over a period of years.
It is offensive to a large and growing list of your friends and neighbors, including dozens of youth sports advocates (including past and present American Youth Soccer Organization and Parks and Recreation Commission members).
This measure got on the ballot because members of a small, narrow, special interest group couldn’t make their case through the appropriate process. Using scare tactics and false promises, they got people to sign their petition. For example, they made claims about the proximity of the Prado Road extension to the Damon-Garcia Sports Fields and talked about better alternatives.
Their scary claims have been proven false time and time again. Measure H offers only a dead-end, nothing else. The alternative route that Measure H’s backers talk about is equally misguided in that it would funnel more traffic onto Tank Farm Road and force large volumes through one of San Luis Obispo’s largest family neighborhoods in the Edna-Islay area. This neighborhood of 600 homes is on record opposing such an option.
But don’t take our word for it. Judge for yourself by visiting the city’s website at www.slocity.org and www.noonmeasureh.com. The facts supporting the long-standing plan to safely extend Prado Road to Broad Street are easy to find. Measure H is a mirage and beyond its shimmering promise lies a toxic mess.
Please vote “no” on Measure H — it’s a dead-end.
John Spatafore, Hilary Trout and Stacey White are co-chairs on the No on H committee.