Although the recent coverage of the proposed Las Pilitas Quarry in New Times (“Las Pilitas Quarry: A rock and a hard place,” Aug. 15) fairly represented both viewpoints, the coverage of potential traffic impacts exaggerated the number of truck trips that could occur in Santa Margarita by not fully explaining the traffic projections as detailed in the environmental impact report.
The New Times reported that “operation of the quarry can drive anywhere from 198 to 273 truck trips per day.” While this number is stated in the EIR, the article does not mention the meaning behind the number or account for the average operating capacity of the quarry. An average of 273 truck trips a day would correspond to 100 percent production capacity, something very infrequent for a quarry, as anyone familiar with the industry can attest to. Therefore, it is unrealistic to worry about as many as 273 daily truck trips, since the actual traffic volume will likely be much lower on adaily basis.
I had early concerns about this project, but the more information I’ve learned, the more supportive I’ve become. That being said, the misrepresentation of the traffic projections needs context to thwart further misconceptions regarding the project.