Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Highway 1 studies are complete, let the city more forward to fix our traffic congestion

Pacifica Tribune, Letters to the Editor, 3/31/15, "Commute Traffic" by Jack Kerns

Image result for Highway 1 traffic, Pacifica, CA picture
Come on NIMBIES, get a clue: TRAFFIC!
Fixing the 1.3 mile highway 1 congestion
means widening. There is no Plan B.
"The tentative decision issued in the California Environmental Quality Act ("CEQA") Highway widening case, as reported in Jane Northrop's excellent article last week, highlights the time and money spent by public agencies such as Caltrans for a project to improve the general welfare of the public. 

State Environmental Impact Reviews ("EIR"), like Federal Environmental Impact Statements ("EIS"), which I worked on as attorney with the federal government, are major undertakings, as illustrated by the length of Caltrans EIR for the Highway One widening, more than 2,000 pages and another 1,500 pages of technical studies incorporated by reference, and over ten years in duration, and counting. 

Groups such as Pacificans for a Scenic Coast ("Pacificans") have a right to their day in court, but in this particular instance, they remind me of a "Not In My Backyard" (NIMBY) group that I witnessed many times in the context of actions involving the federal government. 

Commute traffic on highway one is an enormous problem (having experienced myself), further exacerbated by the new tunnel, and it only makes sense to widen the road to alleviate the traffic problem.

The EIR examined many alternatives and recommended mitigation to minimize impacts, all with opportunities for the community to comment. Every action has a cost, and in this case, in the eyes of Pacificans, it comes down to their narrow minded values (in this instance) versus the needs of the larger community. 

To pursue any further legal action challenging the project at this point is selfish, ignores the common good, and takes money away from the project to defend it in court. As Jim Wagner points out in his letter to the editor, any further legal action is simply "sour grapes." 

Related, Fix Pacifica reprint articles - Pacifica Tribune/Jane Northrop, Staff Writer, 3/17/15, "Tentative decision reached in CEQA highway widening case."  Pacifica Tribune/Letter to the Editor, "Moving on Highway 1" by Jim Wagner, 3/17/15.

Note:  photograph by John Green from San Mateo County Times, article by Julia Scott, 10/16/11, "Battle brews over proposal to widen Highway 1 in Pacifica."

Posted by Kathy Meeh


Anonymous said...

"Any further legal action", whether in the courtroom or the election booth, is the right of people who have their own concerns about how best to serve the common good. That's how it works in this country.

Kathy Meeh said...

601, are you suggesting the "common good" has something to do with frivolous lawsuits dragging out the public process, running up the cost, running out the timed funding to terminate a "common good" project?

In this case, the "common good" traffic congestion project you choose to confuse is the studied and funded 1.3 mile highway 1 widening. Whereas, periodically the State of CA updates our highways. This is one of those needed projects. And if our City Council acts now for the "common good", our City may be a beneficiary, (rather than continuing to be a lagging NIMBY-land victim of traffic congestion, development, and everything else nonstarter).

Anonymous said...

This highway one widening project will use too much water resources. Plus, South Hwy One, Pedro Point work crew has disappeared. Dead end. More confusing. SMH. What. A. Mess. Forgeddaboutit.

Anonymous said...

The occasional traffic that occurs on Highway One is no different than what is experienced everywhere during commute time. Carpooling, changing your times of travel, leaving in plenty of time to get to where you need to go and many other less costly (both monetarily and environmentally) should be considered by the small contingent of Pacificans that continue to suggest that expanding the highway would be a positive solution for our community. Increasing lanes will not resolve the issue, studies worldwide show this. Changing our transit habits will. Don't be fooled by transit "solutions" put forth by CalTrans from the 1970's-1980's; data shows these do not work and that CalTrans needs to expand their set of options from those that were part of the "build it" time.

Kathy Meeh said...

811, sure let's see those "world wide studies" as they apply to our road congestion, where traffic enters and exits from multiple directions into a concentrated highway area.

For our particular situation, with a planned inadequate city business infrastructure, the best solution is exact the one studied and presented by CalTrans. (Thanks again for several decades nothing, NIMBIES!)

Anonymous said...

8:11 you're wasting your breath. People on this blog don't think studies show anything about what will happen here unless they were done here under the exact same conditions. Just because the principle of induced demand has been shown to apply everywhere else, it doesn't mean it applies here because the situation in Pacifica is not the same as all the other places that have been studied. Another example is that everywhere else where 3 lanes go down to 2, the merge creates a traffic backup. That won't happen here if they widen the highway between Fassler and Vallemar because, well, Pacifica is different and the things that are true everywhere else aren't true here.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, Pacifica is like the Misery Spot, uh, Mystery Spot in the Santa Cruz Mountains. Other than "follow the money", the natural laws just don't apply here.

Anonymous said...

Kathy Meeh at 8:27pm.

You're welcome! Glad to support all possible efforts that prevent the unnecessary highway widening.

Kathy Meeh said...

NIMBY 1231, no compliment to you and others who continue to obstruct and defeat the viability of this city. As for Highway 1 widening, such progress is based upon science vs. unsubstantiated ideology (including your 4/9, 8:11 pm comment).

Example, Steve Sinai made several productive comments on the City wants to know.." article, this one 4/7, 11:31 pm:

"The project's final EIR says that in regards to the Highway 1/Reina Del Mar intersection, average vehicle delays both ways would decrease by approximately 65% in both peak hours (AM and PM). Travel times through the corridor would be 8-11 minutes shorter. I trust Caltrans' computer models and experience more than I trust your guessing."

That's all. Fixing Pacifica includes fixing highway 1 traffic congestion. And after 10 years of process, there's an opportunity, a plan and funding. Let's do this!

Anonymous said...

"Science"? You think that what Caltrans does is "science"? LMFAO.

Anonymous said...

I like the science that said grade separation (overpass) at Vallemar was the best solution. Hubba hubba that was really good science!

Kathy Meeh said...

139, here's the SCIENCE from California Department of Transportation, District 4.

And where's your voodoo? Remember: those "studies worldwide" you claimed at 4/9, 8:11 pm? Let's compare those "studies" to this specific Highway 1 widening project. Come on, you got to do something besides "LMFAO" (your comment again). No substance makes your ideological NIMBY comment look, well...

Anonymous said...

Does typing a word like 'science' in all caps give it more gravitas or something?

Anyhoo...this weekend, when you're stuck in southbound Hwy 1 traffic backed up all the way to Manor, remember that the Caltrans SCIENTISTS told us the delay caused by the bridge project would be 30 seconds max!

Kathy Meeh said...

318, you changed the subject to traffic delays at Highway 1/Linda Mar Blvd, DUH! How's that for gravitas? That's all you've got? Usually there isn't much of a delay turning that corner East direction though.

Remember the San Pedro Bridge/100 year flood project (complete with endangered and other species delays) is the City improvement you're suppose to love. BE HAPPY!

Anonymous said...

Yeah 318! And if you're beamed up by aliens there's no DELAY at all. Happens all the time.