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You ain't goin' nowhere

The water cooler conversation on Monday morning in our office was like the day after the Loma Prieta earthquake. Where were you when the traffic hit? It took you how long to get there?

My stories were pretty standard. I drove from Montara to Pacifica at 9:45 p.m. on Saturday to go grocery shopping and traffic was still stopped into the tunnel. Thirty minutes to go 4 miles. I came into work on Sunday night at 8:30 p.m. and had to ditch my truck 3 blocks from the office because downtown was gridlocked. When I left after 10 p.m., you could still walk across the roofs of the cars lined up on Main Street.

Was this just a perfect storm — the last weekend before school starts and triple-digit temperatures inland? Or is it something else? Increase in population? Maybe more attention from Bay Area media? Has the tunnel prompted visitors to make the journey?

As Coastsiders, we are no strangers to traffic, but these anomalies seem now to be commonplace. More roads or wider roads is not the answer, and I pray the Powers That Be do not succumb to pressure to lay down more pavement. What we need is fog — some good, oldfashioned, pea-soup, can’t-see-across-the-street fog. Come on, Mother Nature,throw us a bone. We’re all sunburned anyway.


Global warming? Climate change? ... Heck, I don't know; not smart enough to claim anything on that; but one thing that continues to just jump out and slap us all in the face is the elephant in the room - Circulation.

It has been, is and will continue to be our albatross. Our location (and climate) beg for traffic. It will only get worse over time, as we can see from looking back.

This is, imho, the single biggest issue we face and will face going forward and impacts just about everything we do &/or want to do. Build another home? Add cars. Build another anything (from a new library to a new subdivision or shopping center? Add cars. All this, and no growth in land or space.

That is one of the main reasons the City's attempt to update the General Plan, which has been and is going on right now is so important. I do not se any single solution, but I do see pocket solutions, individual things we can do to help our circulation.

District wide CUSD bussing would be one of those "pocket solutions". It won't solve all the circulation issues, like the one that Bill describes above, but it will help all coastsiders on a daily basis during the school year.

There are other possible partial solutions, all worth exploring; but we need to stop the fragmented approach and work together to realize the best of what we can do and be.

Thank you, Bill, for posting this. We all know how frustrating our circulation is and can be. It is a very good thing that Bill has provided us a forum for discussion on this serious matter.

1) Tunnel allows "drivers" who were afraid to drive Devil's Slide to drive Hwy 1.

2) The above "drivers" do not drive within 5mph of the speed limit, and slow/stop randomly as their interests dictate.

3) Failure/refusal of any coastside community to synchronize traffic signals such that getting a green light at any Hwy 1 intersection and then travelling within 5mph of the speed limit (might need to eliminate/educate above "drivers") means you get the subsequent traffic signals green.

You know... the way the Great Highway and Pine Street and Bush Street work in San Francisco. Drive close to the speed limit on any of those and you don't get a red signal at all... The priority for our signals is that the cross traffic must not have to wait at all... The only way to beat it is to drive 20mph above the speed limit. It works,and you'll see several folks doing it successfully at night (or early on Sunday) in Pacifica or on Hwy 1 between Moss Beach and HMB. TOTALLY RIDICULOUS!

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