Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Highway 1 coastal road improvements will move ahead in Pacifica

"What are the takeaways from the final completion of the Devil's Slide tunnel? Well, the button worn at Monday's tunnel opening says it all -- in Pacifica we are not finished with the Rt. 1 safety improvements. 

Think highway safety
One with the people
But the tunnel's long road to completion should be instructive in Pacifica's effort to fix a one-mile bottleneck on Rt. 1. Forty years to tunnel completion because way too many people argued is troubling.

The upside is the tunnel was completed in a very environmentally productive manner. Endangered species were protected and even moved to a larger, more protected site down the coast. Native California plant species were used in the landscaping. A large group of Bay Area elected officials from Congress and supervisor to city councils all assisted in the funding.

One with nature
The same geography that made Devil's Slide a funnel for coast traffic also affects Pacifica. We are defined by the same coast geography that funnels fully 50 percent of Pacifica traffic through the Rockaway-Vallemar stretch of road. When you have only one north-south road, safety becomes paramount.   

Even a Pacifican can figure it out
In discussions with elected officials and invited guests during Monday's tunnel opening, we came away with a renewed belief that Pacifica's safety improvements on Rt. 1 will continue to move ahead. Half Moon Bay is also making long-awaited improvements to their Rt.1 lifeline. The congested 92 and Rt. 1 intersection with Main Street has been vastly improved to everyone's relief.

So the real tunnel lesson? Say yes to a long overdue congestion and safety solution on a one-mile stretch of road that currently holds up thousands of Pacifica residents a day. We can improve this stretch of road in an environmentally conscious manner.

That is not only common sense but it's the law. We can draw upon the support of area-elected officials to secure the funding. The tunnel has shown us the way." 

These opinions are those of Mr. Wagner and Mr. Stechbart and do not necessarily reflect the position of the Pacifica Tribune.

Posted by Kathy Meeh


todd bray said...

Oh boy, do you two ever check your made up factoids? Hum... I guess you don't need to if you make them up. Opinions are not facts gentlemen.

Anonymous said...

More wisdom from Bray the genius. Bray, the city attorney proved you wrong last Monday night at council.

Anonymous said...

Bray, gets all his facts from Bohner one of the imfamouse Vallemar hippies and Noobes.

Bray, show us the letter Peebles corp. sent you.

todd bray said...

Hehehe, thoughts are not facts Anon. Hahaha. Rant on Anon, rant on.

Anonymous said...

What set of facts are we talking about todd bray? The set of facts during the Peebles debate that there would be too much traffic for this project or the current facts with the new tunnel bringing more traffic through Pacifica saying there isn't any traffic. I think these two and the emergency crews make much more sense then people who do not drive at this time, live passed the congestion and have too much time on their hands.

todd bray said...

Rantanons, I like it... Rantanons.

Chris Porter said...

I agree with Anon 3/28/13 at 10:10 am and I do drive at the commuting time and do agree with Mark and Jim and did show up in person at the Council meeting to say so. I do my own talking, in person, and don't let a letter to Council do it for me. You had plenty of recent Council members that spoke your language Todd (Pete, Julie, Sue and Jim) but the tide may have turned now.

Anonymous said...

Chris Porter 1

Todd Bray 0

todd bray said...

And Dramanons

Kathy Meeh said...

Today I had business in Half Moon Bay, and took the drive through Devil's Slide tunnel. Its the longest tunnel in California according to local news, but the ride was smooth, efficient and the time went quickly.

Prior to tunnel entry, there is a sign which advises to turn on your headlights. Inside the tunnel there is what appears to be a walk lane on one side of the one lane road, and a wide lane on the other side. (The wide lane seems like a good idea in event of accident, emergency or wide load, but FMV the side lanes imbalance seems unusual).

The tunnel is well lighted, and the friendliest drive seemed to be north to south. Returning south to north, I found the green signal light, which radiated on the tunnel walls, somewhat disturbing.

Traveling south, coming out of the tunnel two bicyclists from the old Devil's Slide road were peddling south. There was no bike lane for them, so we all traveled together at 15-20 miles per hour until it was reasonable for me and others to take a chance and drive around them. (This is a two lane country road).

Traveling north to Pacifica on highway 1 there was a bicyclist peddling south, probably to take the old Devil's Slide road. Again outside that Devil's Slide hiking, bicyclist protected road, there is no bike lane north or south on highway 1.

I don't know what the plan is going forward, but FMV bicyclists traveling a busy coastal highway with automobile traffic is a significant safety hazard. Traffic was busy at 10:30 AM traveling south, and returning at 12:30 PM. Environmentalists got their tunnel, but it looks like much more road work is needed.

Anonymous said...

All I wanted for Christmas was a scooter.

Anonymous said...

Wow, this is overwhelming, humbling. It's not just a tunnel, it's the path to enlightenment. Who knew? Have the North Koreans seen this? Get them a copy of that letter. Put down your missiles. You guys just need a tunnel.

Kathy Meeh said...

"It's not just a tunnel, it's the path to enlightenment." 3/28/13, 11:18 PM

Here's how I was enlightened after seeing the result: Cutting a 4 lane highway through that hill to the straight road on the south side might have been a more practical idea. Currently the tunnel ends on part of the curvy road.

With the money saved by building the 4 lane highway (rather than the 2 lane tunnel), add a 4 lane highway to Pacifica on the north, and to Half Moon Bay on the south. Include some kind of separate biking trail.

If environmentalist had left CalTrans alone, that's probably what they would have built. Ah, the simplicity of enlightenment.

Anonymous said...

Well, all righty then, it's just a tunnel.