Due to a conflict in my schedule (CFPD meeting 6-9pm), I may miss a chance to comment at the MCC meeting this Wednesday, June 25, 2014. My thoughts are:
First, having sat through most of the Hwy 1 Safety and Mobility studies, I clearly remember most of the Midcoast residents were in favor of raised median islands to assist pedestrians crossing Hwy 1. I also distinctly remember the loud opposition to adding any kind of stop lights (now called Hybrid Beacons) on Hwy 1 which is already at a level of service D during morning commutes and F on weekends.
I would like to remind everyone that one of the main reasons the Hwy 1 Safety and Mobility Study got traction in our community was the need for safe crossings after Moss Beach suffered three serious pedestrian accidents in the span of 2 years:
On Dec. 3, 2009 twelve year old Julian Ruiz was struck by an SUV near the Moss Beach Sheriff’s sub-station while crossing Highway 1 on his bike. Surgeons had to amputate the sixth grader's right foot.
On Dec. 9, 2011 Sheriff's Deputy Mark Garcia was flagged down by a group of people who found Cathy Silva lying on the shoulder on Highway 1 in front of the El Gran Amigo Taqueria restaurant.
On Jan. 10, 2012 a teenage girl was hit by motorcycle while crossing Highway 1 near the Moss Beach Sheriff’s sub-station, as she was walking eastbound across the highway on her way to school in the early morning hours.
So, after more than 5 years and countless meetings with public input, I find it unconscionable that there is no raised median at California or Virginia Aves. in Moss Beach. If you think about it, Moss Beach is at most risk because of Hwy 1 bifurcates the population. People west of Hwy 1 need to cross to get to essential services like the Post office, Coastside market, Moss Beach Park, bus service and more. And people east of Hwy 1 need to cross to get to the ocean, trails, the taqueria, etc. Add to that the speed limit of 50 mph higher than the 45 mph all through Devils Slide and Montara (which has few residential houses on the west of Hwy 1) and you can see why the solutions presented are unacceptable.
And while I am on the 50 mph speed limit in Moss Beach, I was told by Nicholas Calderon, after the June 18, 2014 meeting that Cal Trans doesn't support raised medians where the speed limit is 50 and above. I find this confusing when one of the presented solutions at the meeting for Marine St. (down by the north end of the airport where there are few pedestrians crossing) where the speed limit is changing from 55 to 50mph as you enter the residential part of Moss Beach has a proposed raised median. That seems like a contradiction.
Finally, I would like to address the pedestrian crossing at the Pt Montara
Lighthouse and the whole misconfiguration of the intersection of Carlos St. (MB), 16th St. (Montara
) and Hwy 1. I would invite you and some of your staff to come and inspect that intersection. I would also ask you to borrow one of the radar guns from the Sheriffs office and clock the speed going north on Hwy 1 during the morning commute. I will sit there with you (you provide the coffee/donuts) and we can measure the traffic speeds. I contend that it will be over 60 mph as they approach Carlos St (on a blind curve). I think the proposed crosswalk there will give people unfamiliar with the road conditions a false sense of security. As a solution for that whole area, I propose:
- Move the crosswalk further north, closer to 16th St. where there is a better line of sight and provide a raised median.
- Reconfigure Carlos St to intersect 16th St and not Hwy 1 where it presently is and let only 16th St. intersect Hwy 1 there. This will eliminate the confusing left turn lane there which does double duty for north bound traffic turning into the lighthouse and MWSD and the south bound traffic turning left into the east side of Moss Beach.
- Reduce and enforce a 45 mph speed limit in ALL the populated areas of the Midcoast.
I have only focused on Moss Beach in this email but I heard similar comments from other residents throughout the Midcoast and support there calls for safe crossings in their communities as well.