Saturday, March 30, 2013

Highway 1 traffic congestion is a safety hazard

Pacifica Tribune Letters to the Editor, 3/27/13.  "Rt. 1 traffic hurts safety" by Sharon Ferguson

Here comes the fire department
"Editor:  I believe the retired Pacifica firefighters when they say Rt. 1 traffic congestion hurts emergency vehicle response times. That is a common sense statement. You can see the delay as you sit in it. And here comes more traffic from the opened tunnel! The delays from Rockaway to Vallemar slow everyone down including fire trucks and ambulances.

Now we have lawyer Bohner playing with the facts when it suits his desire to stop all Highway 1 safety improvements. Bohner claims a fire department "spokesman" says he is not aware of emergency response delays. Mr. Bohner artfully omitted the end of the first sentence and the entire second sentence of the actual statement.

Pacifica landslide rescue
This time not your house
Here is the real two sentence quotation, without Mr. Bohner's selective manipulation: "North County Fire Authority spokesman Matt Lucett said he is not aware of Highway 1 congestion causing the failure of any emergency vehicles to meet 911 response time requirements, but can see the advantage to widening the road. "We definitely would agree it's a good thing. Any time we might be able to improve traffic flow would be beneficial, whether we're responding to an incident on the freeway or using that freeway as a corridor to get to an incident," Lucett said. Here is what the retired battalion chiefs have said, and they drove the trucks in actual traffic: "Emergency Services need a Rt. 1 Fix.

This time not you
"We are retired professional firefighters who have served i in Pacifica collectively for over 100 years. We support the Rt. 1 traffic bottle neck 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 number one 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! 15 minutes can be the difference between life and death for someone suffering from an accident or heart attack.

Yes, they are on their way
15 minute delay
"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. Signed
15 minute delay on Easter

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"

So who are you going to believe? Firefighters responding to actual emergencies or a lawyer who finds every possible excuse to oppose a safety modernization to the Coast Highway?" 

Posted by Kathy Meeh


Anonymous said...

Of Course Bohner and the hippies and noobees know more then everyone else.

Anonymous said...

I'd believe someone who had actual evidence of something - these worthies don't.

Anonymous said...

If there's really a safety issue, why the hell hasn't something been done to fix the shoulders? If there's really a safety issue, it's irresponsible to wait for a widening project that is years away, if it ever happens at all. Fix the damn shoulders NOW or shut the f*** up.

Anonymous said...

I like the rabbits.

Anonymous said...

I can get by the gridlock on my scooter. Beep Beep I am off to save the town.

Anonymous said...

no, the police and firemen are just making up the fact that Hwy 1 is too narrow and dangerous.

Anonymous said...

Widen the shoulders. Problem solved. Police & fire know this.