This community opinion was contributed by Shirley Trevino. The opinions expressed do not necessarily represent BenitoLink or other affiliated contributors.
To the voters of San Benito County:
As a resident of this area, I would urge voters to vote No on N or the Strada Verde Project as it is known. I do so for the following reasons:
- Of most importance is the destruction of beautiful open space. 2,700 acres would fall prey to building after building of concrete.
- Cars going to and from the project will add undue stress on our already over traveled roads. The roads are one lane and today the traffic backs up to past Gilroy. There is no immediate infrastructure plan and none of us want more traffic we want less.
- The added traffic will definitely add more pollution to our area. We must not create more pollution in our area, we should be taking steps to reduce it. There are definite negative effects of pollution. All types of pollution are detrimental to human health and wildlife and contribute to climate change, which puts our entire area in danger.
- The project will involve “an automotive proving ground, with a variety of test tracks for use in designing autonomous vehicles… and include a three-mile-long straight track, a performance track where cars would be tested under various simulated road conditions and traffic, and a durability course where car systems would be evaluated for stress and endurance.” In addition to the commuting traffic to the site, there would be added pollution by the cars that will be tested; we will be facing a double curse.
- Automobiles need oil and gas to operate. What is the plan for discarding these chemicals? These pollutants could saturate our soil and could involve improper waste disposal and put water, humans, animals and plants in danger. Soil polluted by chemicals eventually become infertile and unable to support crops and other plant life. Toxic soil may also cause illness and filter into our water system.
- Proponents of Strada Verde state they will bring jobs to the area but there is no infrastructure to support such growth. There is no immediate housing plan, especially affordable housing.
As residents of this area we are the only ones who can protect our land from the above dangers. We must vote no on the project and not let developers decide our future and our children’s future.
Shirley Trevino, Concerned Citizen