Dharma Cloud Foundation

P.O. Box 37
Caspar, CA  95420

Tel 707 964-6456   Fax 707 964-75

October 13, 1999

California Coastal Commission
45 Fremont Avenue, Suite 2000
San Francisco, CA 94105-2219

Dear Commissioners:

I was appalled to learn from Steve Scholl that the Commission staff has scheduled a workshop on bridge railing alternatives that is to be given solely by Caltrans!  This is akin to the ACLU inviting the Communist Chinese to provide a workshop on alternatives for expanding civil liberties.  What are you thinking?

During the hearings on the Noyo Bridge, Caltrans made abundantly clear its total opposition to all sensible alternatives to its own “see-little” concrete monstrosity, the California Type 80 Railing.  In the hearing on the revocation request for the Noyo Bridge Permit, Caltrans gave all of the “reasons” why no other railing design was feasible.  In a Caltrans-led workshop, the Commission will learn nothing about feasibility of using existing, superior alternative railings. By providing Caltrans this forum, the Commission is only giving Caltrans an opportunity to further justify its intransigent position.

Why should Caltrans be given more opportunity to address the Commission than those who are trying to defend the coast against the depredations of Caltrans?  Not only is this extremely unjust, but given the charge of the Coastal Commission to preserve the coast, completely incomprehensible.

If the Commission is truly interested in educating itself on the possibilities for safe, legal, and scenic bridge railings, it can do so.  On behalf of Dharma Cloud Foundation, I offer to organize and underwrite the cost of a workshop presentation on alternative bridge railings.  This presentation would provide the Commissioners with information on engineering, legal, safety, and bureaucratic constraints on railing design and use.  To make this presentation as valuable to the Commission as possible, I request the following:

·        Delay the date of the bridge-railing workshop to February in order to allow adequate preparation time.

·        Provide the Dharma Cloud Foundation with presentation time at the workshop equal to that given Caltrans.

By accepting this offer, the Commission will provide itself with balanced information on the possibilities for preserving scenic vistas while meeting current safety constraints – at no cost to itself.  I request that you consider this offer at the next Commission meeting, if the Commission is not able to accept this offer without formal approval.

I would be happy to work with staff to develop an outline for the presentation.  My goal is to assist the Commission to uphold the mandates of the Coastal Act.  I would happily look to the Commission and staff for guidance on how best to further this goal.




Vince Taylor