Saturday, September 24, 2011
Highway widening through Pacifica is a safety issue
From Pacifica Tribune, letters-to-the-editor, 9/21/11. "We are retired professional firefighters who have served in Pacifica collectively for over 100 years. We support the Highway 1 traffic bottleneck solution being considered.
It is imperative that Rt. 1 be widened with improved east-west turning lanes for very sound reasons. Safety, in our opinion, is the No. 1 reason this improvement needs to be facilitated as soon as possible. Our firefighters are dedicated, hard working professionals. We understand the consequences that delays in help can cause. The condition on Rt. 1 at this choke point is intolerable.
Everyone has seen the commute traffic congestion. Couple this traffic density with poor road shoulders and you have a problem with emergency vehicles getting through. A break down, accident or flat tire only makes matters worse. We have heard the arguments that "it's only a 15 minute delay".....15 MINUTES! -- that can be the difference between life and death for someone suffering from an accident or heart attack.
For most of the coast, the nearest hospital is north of Pacifica which requires ambulance runs north on Rt. 1. If a fire emergency breaks out during commute times, fire engines are en-route as well. If a large fire is in the north end of Pacifica, equipment has to be sent north to assist or repositioned to the south to provide standby coverage. Firefighters and EMT personnel absolutely cannot afford to be delayed during emergency service calls.
In any event, we believe it irresponsible to wait any longer to implement a Rt. 1 widening to solve traffic congestion we have seen increase for over 20 years. Rt. 1 is a regional highway and thousands of Pacificans use it as their only way out of town. For emergency personnel, Rt. 1 is our lifeline to protect Pacifica. We do not want to tell any Pacifica resident we were late to a fire or medical emergency because we were stuck in traffic."
Jim Bonner, Battalion Chief, Pacifica Fire Dept, retired. 38 years of service
Bob Trapp, Battalion Chief, Pacifica Fire Dept, retired. 33 years of service
Steve Engler, Battalion Chief, Pacifica Fire Dept, retired. 30 years of service
Posted by Kathy Meeh