A letter defending the proposed quarry in Santa Margarita claimed the number of truck trips is “exaggerated” and said the Environmental Impact Report said 273 truck trips per day would be an “infrequent” occurrence. The undeniable fact is that Highway 58 is a narrow, twisting, two-lane road that sees heavy usage from the folks living in this rural area, along with large numbers of workers traversing it to the solar projects.
Assuming the quarry will average only 216 truck trips per day, operating an average of 12 hours per day, there would be 18 trips per hour (versus the EIR’s average of almost 23 per hour). For 12 hours every day, the people in the area will contend with huge, lumbering trucks — traveling very slowly on roads never intended for heavily laden vehicles: One truck trip every 3 1/3 minutes, all lined up along Highway 58, obstructing everyone who lives or works in the vicinity. Will they move aside to let us evacuate in case of an emergency? Oops — Highway 58 doesn’t have shoulders.
Let’s be realistic and stop pretending this project will not be devastating to the area and its residents.