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).
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
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.
Supervisor, 3rd District