Pacificans advocating alternatives to widening Highway 1 have formed a new organization—Pacificans for Highway 1 Alternatives (PH1A). “PH1A wants alternatives implemented that can help relieve traffic congestion sooner than the widening project, at less cost, and with far less impact to neighborhoods, businesses, and the environment,” says Pete Shoemaker, chair of the new group.
Among potential alternatives are retiming and coordinating Vallemar and Fassler traffic lights, modifications to the Reina Del Mar Avenue intersection, a flex lane with moveable cones, increased public transportation, increased school bus service, car- and van-pooling, and changes to school schedules.
“In public meetings and in the 212 written comments submitted to Caltrans concerning its Draft Environmental Impact Report, two-thirds of all comments were critical of the widening project, which wouldn't offer traffic relief until years from now,” says Nick Leone, a member of PH1A.
PH1A supports the approach recommended by California Coastal Commission staff, which says the EIR “should fully evaluate a range of alternatives that could meet the purpose and need of the project, including alternatives that would reduce traffic congestion, but would not result in significant adverse impacts on coastal resources.”
Assemblyman Jerry Hill also has called for studying alternatives to identify the most cost-effective solutions.“The highway-widening proposal is the most costly project; it is years away from being implemented; there isn’t sufficient funding for it; and if it is ever built, it will create terrible traffic delays during two-plus years of construction,” says Hal Bohner, another PH1A member.
“We want alternatives to the widening that can be implemented sooner; that will reduce traffic congestion; that will not create major traffic delays during construction; that will be far less costly; and that will have far fewer impacts on our environment and our economy,” says Cynthia Kaufman, a PH1A member.
Contact PH1A at PHwy1A@gmail.com and Pacificans for Highway 1 Alternatives on Facebook.