|Really bad timing...|
On Tuesday afternoon, I was a bit taken aback to receive a press release from Caltrans saying there were plans to close one lane of traffic -- the only place to pass heading eastbound between Half Moon Bay and lower Highway 35.
It wasn't immediately clear to me where the work was planned (the release said it would begin "at Mile Marker 3.1 in the city of Half Moon Bay..."), so I called the agency spokeswoman for our region. She was pleasant and professional and acknowledged that her agency could have done a better job pinpointing the work.
I asked her whether she was aware of the regular October traffic on Highway 92 and she was. She said the schedule was the schedule and these projects just have to continue when the time comes.
Then, today, we got a cryptic email with with the subject line, "Advisory for heavy traffic on Route 1." It didn't say much but included a link to Caltrans' District 4 website. On it, outlined as if by a yellow Highlighter, were the words, "Heavy Traffic Expected on Route 1 in Pacifica this Weekend, October 18 & 19, Expect Delays and Use Alternate Routes such as I-280 & Route 92."
And that is it. I called the spokeswoman back today and she said it was just an effort to be proactive. Her agency expects heavy traffic on Highway 1 through Pacific due to the ongoing work at San Pedro Avenue. It's the agency's considered opinion that Pumpkin Festival-goers would be better off taking Highway 92. Oh boy.
By the way, there is apparently little chance of the agency postponing the work that is scheduled to shut the No. 2 lane headed eastbound and up the hill on Thursday and Friday. Caltrans says the work is urgent -- besides the grinder has to be somewhere else next week.
It would seem to us that the agency might do a better job of coordinating work around big, predictable events. Perhaps it could avoid roadwork in Gilroy around Garlic Festival time and make sure not to shut the Great America Parkway on San Francisco 49er game days.
That's all we ask here in pumpkin city.