Fwd: Midcoast Hwy 1 Traffic & Safety Improvements

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Ashley Gray

Jun 19, 2014, 1:59:47 AM6/19/14

I hope this email finds everyone in the Northern Coastside Community Association (NCCA) and other neighborhood friends (bcc'd - if interested in joining in the conversation, please join the google group) in good summer spirits.

I received the email below, attended the meeting tonight, and thought I'd share what I heard and learned with those who might be interested but did not attend. if you were also there and would like to share, supplement, and/or challenge anything observed though my lens, please do so.

there is more information, including details of proposed options, referenced in the emails below too. you will also see that there are re-broadcast details if you'd like to watch the meeting in its entirety.

Dave Holland (pretty sure that's his name) is a coastsider who opened the meeting for Coastside Supervisor Don Horsley who was late on the scene. he introduced that the main topic/focus of the evening (and next step in an on-going five year process) was to present proposed improvements for pedestrian safety (safer crossings) on the coastside highway one corridor. he related how this particular project had started back in 2009, phase 1 & 2 being approved by the San Mateo Board of Supervisors, followed by $1.5 million to develop studies, of which the hired consultants were presenting different alternatives this evening for community feedback. and they would get feedback.

the consultants' presentation was brief, slick, well put together, and ultimately......largely not well received.

most of the 50 or so in attendance (and all who spoke) seemed angry, adversarial, suspicious, frustrated, and sometimes conspiracy oriented. the "outsider" consultants and involved government agencies faced a tough audience tonight. Horsley's aide, who had the difficult assignment of moderating, had some flustered moments in face of the mutiny he faced. one key piece that he said that rang my ears was that the proposed alternatives were not an either/or choice. he said, reiterated by others on the panel, that they wanted to start a process of dialogue with the community in an effort to improve safety. not too sure how much weight that statement carried with this crowd however...

again, the specific details and drawings are on the links below, but my overall impressions from those invested enough to come out and speak were that the plan includes too many crossings, signs, lights. in addition to the negative aesthetic issues, there was great concern on what these proposed solutions would do to traffic. (my opinion - best question/point of the night was that the presentation lacked any statistical evidence for the needs of the proposed crossing, lights, signs.) a major counter theme voiced by many was the calling for mediums versus hybrid stoplights and crossings. the mediums, as it was argued, provide people who needed to cross (and cross "wherever they damn well please, not necessarily at crosswalks") a safe refuge. most agreed there are opportunities to get across one flow of traffic, but to sync up opportunities from both north and southbound traffic is hazardously tricky at best.

most of the two hours was dedicated to Q&A, although in my opinion it was short on both. it was mostly rant and rave, no substantive constructive dialogue, and no real answers to the few good questions asked. as I have learned from attending many of these meetings (as well as GGNRA meetings), this is the nature of these events. for better or worse, this is local democratic government at work. regardless, and despite the adversarial vibe of the event, my hope is that the County and the consultants were listening to the substance (and not distracted by delivery) of what was being said and come away with a better understanding of the issues most coastsiders seem to be concerned - traffic. in his final comments, and to his credit, Supervisor Horsley sounded like he had been listening. I hope so.

lastly, Horsley also said that there was currently no funding for any changes, but make no mistake, changes will happen. you can have a voice in what those changes will look like - whether your concern is pedestrian safety or traffic flow. please go visit the links below, read, study, have a conversation, weigh the options, and then let your voice be heard. this is going to affect all of us. one (of many) of the coastside's greatest attributes is its passionate residents - we've stopped a highway and built a tunnel. changes are a comin' - let's make sure we like 'em.

thanks for your consideration.


Begin forwarded message:

From: Lisa Ketcham <lisa.k...@comcast.net>
Date: June 13, 2014 at 10:25:42 AM PDT
To: Lisa Ketcham <lisa.k...@comcast.net>
Subject: Midcoast Hwy 1 Traffic & Safety Improvements

Here's an opportunity to review and comment early in the planning phase of Midcoast highway projects that will affect us all. In addition to the County project webpage, the MCC has Highway 1 page with more background and related info: http://www.midcoastcommunitycouncil.org/highway-1/

The June 18 meeting, with a presentation by the design consultant, will be video'd by Pacific Coast TV, broadcast on Channel 27, Thursday 8pm and Friday 10am, and available on Youtube (check MCC website for link).

Lisa Ketcham

Begin forwarded message:

From: "Don Horsley" <DHOR...@smcgov.org>
Date: June 10, 2014 3:43:22 PM PDT
To: "Don Horsley" <DHOR...@smcgov.org>
Subject: Highway 1 Congestion and Safety Improvement Project

Dear Friends,

In 2012, the County of San Mateo secured $1.5 million to design and permit a series of pedestrian crossings, raised medians and left turn lanes on Highway 1 throughout the Midcoast. These projects present an opportunity to improve pedestrian mobility and ensure that every resident on the Midcoast, child and adult, can safely cross Highway 1 to access residential neighborhoods, parks and businesses. They also aim to improve vehicular mobility by utilizing left turn lanes and raised medians.

To ensure these projects meet the needs and desires of the community, the County will be holding a public engagement meeting on:

Wednesday, June 18th
Farallone View Elementary School
1100 Le Conte Ave., Montara

The County will also be holding a second community engagement meeting in early July on a date to be announced shortly.

For additional information or to provide feedback, please visit planning.smcgov.org/highway1. To give all Midcoast residents an opportunity to participate in the process, I encourage everyone to forward this email and the attached flyer to your neighbors and friends. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact my office at 650-363-4569. Thank you.


Don Horsley

Supervisor, 3rd District


bill kehoe

Jun 19, 2014, 4:33:02 AM6/19/14
to Farall...@googlegroups.com
I would like to offer a slightly different version to the Hwy 1 meeting tonight.

First, the meeting, which was supposed to be from 7 - 9 pm, didn't get underway until approximately 7:25 pm which was a waste of many people's time. 

There were 10 slides (I attached them here) with drawings of the planned changes from Miramar to Gray Whale Cove. There was a lot of info on the different control lighting but the presentation was short on details and a good explanation of some complex drawings which I think left people confused and raised even more questions.

It didn't help when the presenters showed a cartoon of  young boy with his dog learning how to push the button for a stop light (really in this day and age was that necessary?) and there was another video which I can't even remember now which left some thinking that the presenters were trying to run out the clock.

I think it does a disservice to many of the community who did speak to label them "angry, adversarial, suspicious, frustrated, and sometimes conspiracy oriented". More than half of the speakers were polite, offered suggestions and comments for their safety concerns and traffic flow issues through the Midcoast.

Yes, I think there were many people there who were frustrated because after 5 years of meetings where the public has been adamant about not adding traffic control lights their solution is put "on demand stop lights (they call them Hybrid Beacons) at Surfer's Beach and Gray Whale Cove and other various and assorted flashing yellow lights throughout the area.

There was a lack of raised medians (especially in Moss Beach where the speed limit goes up to 50 mph!) which allows pedestrians to safely cross one lane at a time with a mid-lane refuge to wait. The consultants showed their lack of understanding of our Hwy crossings when they stated raised medians were not needed for two lane roads they were for  four lane roads. Obviously, they have never tried to cross Hwy 1 on a busy weekend. Many people supported the idea of the raised medians to facilitate crossing and their effect of calming (slowing) traffic through our communities were people are most likely going to cross.

There is more but you can watch PCT replay of the meeting. There is another meeting scheduled for July fr those who missed tonight. Check midcoastcouncil.org for details on how to send comments.

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Thank you,

Bill Kehoe
2014-06-05 Hwy 1 PPS Alternatives_3.pdf

bill kehoe

Jun 19, 2014, 4:41:22 AM6/19/14
to Farall...@googlegroups.com
One more issue raised was a lack of turn lanes available for both getting on and off the highway and left turn lanes across oncoming traffic. These have also been brought up most of the meetings over the past 5 years but no explanation was given as to their absence.

Kate Kostrzewa

Jun 19, 2014, 2:38:28 PM6/19/14
to Farall...@googlegroups.com
Are any of you on NextDoor Montara?  Postings abt this topic on that site would reach addtl local residents.  

Kate Kostrzewa

Lisa Ketcham

Jun 19, 2014, 9:52:12 PM6/19/14
to Farall...@googlegroups.com
Here's the link to 6/18/14 Hwy 1 meeting on Youtube:

Comments on each location can be submitted online here:
or by email to Nicholas Calderón, Supervisor Horsley's Aide for the Coastside: ncal...@smcgov.org

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Jun 20, 2014, 1:31:56 AM6/20/14
to Farall...@googlegroups.com

Sorry I did not make the meeting as I had hoped but had to make dinner for my wife and by that time it was too late. I believe Supervisor Horsley has good intentions but he may not be familiar with the history and culture of the Coastside. Caltrans has never willing paid any attention to the Local Coastal Plan which calls for Highway 1 to remain a two-lane rural highway in rural areas on the Coastside. Caltrans years ago purchased rights of way for widening HWY 1 to four or six lanes when developers proposed one city on the Coastside from HMB to Montara Mountain with a population of 185,000. In those days they didn't understand that the limiting factor on the Coastside is water. Nevertheless, the County keeps pushing and planning for development and the Coastsiders keep pushing back.

The latest episode in this tug of war is the money Caltrans received from the Feds and decided to retain consultants to study HWY 1 from HMB to Montara Mountain with the alleged purpose of improving the safety, which could use improving especially with most of the people living on the east side of the highway and wanting to get to the beach on the westside and the constantly increasing traffic flowing north and south on the highway. This of course is exacerbated by the fact that Caltrans is quick to ask for our advice but never follows it until we force it to follow our direction in courts of law. That is the background for what you witnessed tonight. Having witnessing this struggle for the 30+ years we have lived here I do not think it is about to change, even though the Supervisor may have more influence with Caltrans than any we have had in the past.

Thanks for attending the meeting and reporting on it.


Ashley Gray

Jun 20, 2014, 12:45:29 PM6/20/14
to Farall...@googlegroups.com
thanks Lisa.

I really encourage everyone to take a look at the suggested changes on the below link, submit a vote for options you like, and make a comment for those you don't. yes, it will take some time, but a lot less time than it will take you to get to Pacifica and/or HMB if they add all the proposed crossings. good grief!

I also strongly suggest emailing Nick at Sup. Hosley's office with a summary of your concerns/thoughts. mine are below.

thanks for your consideration.


Hi Nicholas,

I attended the meeting Wednesday, looked at all the proposed plans and would like to submit my comments for consideration.

I am not in favor of crossings that stop traffic or muck up our coastal views. traffic is a major concern and these options appear to worsen an increasingly frustrating driving experience.

I am concerned about pedestrian safety too, but believe there is a middle ground.

please consider adding safe refuge medians for pedestrians as a preferable and viable option.

Ashley Gray
Montara resident, engaged community member, voter
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