The initiative's sponsors are advocating a tunnel because it would prevent the driving hazards of the bypass, protect the quality of life for coastside communities and visitors, and preserve the environment.
Save Our Coast was formed in 1986 to sponsor Measure A, the landmark environmental initiative for San Mateo County. The initiative won with a 63% vote, resulting in the prohibition of onshore oil facilities for offshore drilling and strong protections for rural areas of the coast. In 1992 Save Our Coast led the successful fight to defeat Measure D, the pro-development initiative, with an overwhelming 82% "no" vote. In mounting the tunnel initiative, Save Our Coast is serving as an umbrella for the three organizations that have historically opposed the bypass at Devil's Slide: Sierra Club, Committee for Green Foothills, and Committee for the Permanent Repair of Highway 1.
Twenty-five additional environmental organizations, including the Audubon Society, Greenpeace, Natural Resources Defense Council, and Earth Island Institute, have endorsed the tunnel alternative.
Citizens' Alliance for the Tunnel Solution is a union of the two pro-tunnel groups formed following last winter's Devil's Slide road closure, Citizens for the Tunnel and Pacifica's Tunnel Alternative for Highway 1. Together they have submitted to the San Mateo County Board of Supervisors over 8,000 signatures from coastside voters supporting a tunnel solution.
SOC/CATS gathered over 34,000 signatures to qualify the initiative for the ballot. 22,019 valid signatures of San Mateo County voters were needed.