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April 10, 2014

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People will be killed or maimed trying to cross the football field-wide roadway. Accidents will increase due to merging into and out of added lanes.

The views will be destroyed. Traffic will increase. Noise, dust, cars, and massive hard surfaces added to the otherwise scenic and peaceful coast will turn Pacifica into "Daly City by the Shore." The highway will actually look like the ugly, dangerous thing that it is.

I hope you're right, Bob, because I just don't trust Caltrans.

And I don't want my veterinarian and his staff to disappear (the only business along there I frequent, apart from Guerrero's, where I feel like I live sometimes!)

And I fear the construction backups, but I guess we'd all figure out how much earlier/later to leave to get through it.

Those are my biggest concerns, and I think they're perfectly valid. I'm sure most would agree with some of them no matter what side of the fence they are on. If it happens, it'll be messy.

I certainly agree it would be nice if emergency vehicles had a way through. I think the argument is being used as a bit of a Trojan horse, but that doesn't mean it's not a valid point -- it is.

I guess we all just have to let democracy play itself out. My home town of 400,000 (Christchurch, New Zealand) is rebuilding after being completely devastated by earthquakes. $40 billion in damage, up to 100 years to recover -- it's a bloody mess.

Seeing the democratic process play itself out there over and over and over again makes this seem insignificant in comparison, but I like that Pacificans know they have something special and worth arguing over.

This town is a gem.

I agree, Alan. I like the slow pace here, too. That's why I moved here 35 years ago. And five minutes shouldn't mean anything to anyone.

Unless, of course, you or your loved one is having a heart attack, or the house is on fire, God forbid. Then five minutes can be a lifetime.

The views will be retained. The speed limit will stay the same. Pacifica will not become Daly City. The highway will actually look pretty.

I was driving along there today. I usually do so at least twice a day, and really concentrated on the view and the houses and the businesses. And I always come back to the same thing -- that little stretch is lovely. And I can't see how anybody could think it's gotten markedly worse since I moved here (admittedly only 13 years ago). It's always been slow getting through there at rush hour, but I like life a bit slow. It's what people who move here say drew them in the first place. The views, the small-town vibe, the slow pace. Why do we need to save five minutes out of our lives? What's so important? Slow down and enjoy the view; it's wonderful. If your life is so hectic that you absolutely need those five minutes, you've got a problem that traffic easement will not fix.

Alan, no one has died to date in an ambulance accident on Highway 1, according to the county coordinator, who has been in her position for more than 30 years. It's really too sad that the pro-wideners continue to use EMTs as a wedge issue, because they aren't one. They may blame their imaginary nemesis for all of Pacifica's ills, but we saw last century where that led, and continue to see where that sort of finger-pointing ends up today. The recent unfortunate accident caused by an ambulance driving on the wrong side of the road up a hill is the responsibility of the EMT driver and no one else.

I have a question. If the construction goes ahead, and we spend two years with far, far worse traffic, if someone dies on the way to the hospital, will we be able to blame the pro-wideners?

Todd:

The 6:21 post by Big Banker was from today's Tribune.

The ambulance being forced to drive in the opposite direction is true.

Once more for the record:

"BTW, one call to the county emergency co-ordinator of ambulance service countywide will dispel Hutch's delusional, repetitive claims of ambulance drivers going the wrong way on Highway 1 between Fassler and Reina Del Mar. That call will also dispel his delusional claim that reaction times are not met by EMTs or engine companies because of traffic backups, because said EMTs and engine companies fill out logs that specify reaction times as per industry standard. Unfortunately, there is no industry standard for make-believe. Make-believe is just make-believe."

The public safety tragedy created by an ambulance driver going the wrong way between Crespi and Fassler, no matter what the reason, is only highlighted by the driver not using Roberts Road as an alternative instead.

I'm sure this isolated incident will be used to stop any further such flummery by the ambulance company, which is now liable for two vehicles and a botched hospital run. And if you don't know this little extra tidbit yet, the ambulance company sends out a bill to every single person it renders aid to and transports, even though we pay property taxes to provide those services.

Thank you, Bob.

Vehicle vs. ambulance collision on Highway 1.

An ambulance racing to the hospital with a patient aboard was forced to drive the wrong way on Highway 1 due to traffic congestion late last month. While traveling north in the southbound lane, it was hit head-on by a vehicle near the crest of the hill between Rockaway Beach Avenue and Crespi Drive.

There were no injuries, but a second ambulance had to come to take the patient to the hospital. Police said the driver was apparently taken by surprise when confronted by the wrong-way ambulance.

Alan, there's a lot of hype around. If you look at the maps on the DEIR, they show very accurately where the boundaries are.

And Chapter 1, page 19, shows all the right-of-way requirements:
http://www.dot.ca.gov/dist4/documents/route_1_calera_parkway/calerafeireavoli.pdf

I don't know. I read two letters from the veterinarian saying he employs 25 people and will be forced to close if he loses his tiny parking area. I spend a lot of money there. Unless he's been offered some sort of deal I didn't read about, Bob. I'm new to the nitty-gritty detail, so I'm not as up-to-date as you guys, but I haven't seen anything categorically detailing how far east this buildout would go. Can you point me to something?

Talk about using scare tactics. Only 2 businesses would be removed and helped to relocate. Lovey's and Boston Bill. And Boston Bill's isn't really an active business.

The Chamber of Commerce is supporting the widening because they know it will be better for Pacifica businesses when people are not stuck in a traffic jam.

And, Todd, I don't talk about your delusions here, so...

Alan said, "So, the owners of those homes and businesses have no idea how they'll be affected?" I would say that. Some do more than others, but even those who have a little information don't have enough to be clear about what's going to happen. And the information is not in the EIR.

"I would have thought the pro-business people advocating this would put the effort in to get the air cleared." I would have thought so, too.

"If I lived there, I'd be petrified about losing my home or even just my view over to the quarry hills. I presume Harvey Way would disappear -- and if there's a sound wall, how could we even access any of those businesses?" Harvey Way won't disappear, but it's not clear how close to the homes the super-wide highway will come to those homes. It's also not clear if there will be sound walls, and if so, where they would be.

"I feel like I need to look more deeply into this so I'm not quite as ignorant. Is there a link to the plan?" Here's one place to get the four parts of the Final EIR: http://www.dot.ca.gov/dist4/envdocs.htm#sanmateo.
The first volume describes the project, inadequately in my opinion, but it's the only description there is. Please take a close look at it and see if it answers your questions. If it doesn't, please speak up.

I found it. It's very long! Interesting reading so far though.

Thanks for your reply, Peter. So, the owners of those homes and businesses have no idea how they'll be affected? I would have thought the pro-business people advocating this would put the effort in to get the air cleared. If I lived there, I'd be petrified about losing my home or even just my view over to the quarry hills. I presume Harvey Way would disappear -- and if there's a sound wall, how could we even access any of those businesses? I feel like I need to look more deeply into this so I'm not quite as ignorant. Is there a link to the plan? Thank you.

BTW, one call to the county emergency co-ordinator of ambulance service countywide will dispel Hutch's delusional, repetitive claims of ambulance drivers going the wrong way on Highway 1 between Fassler and Reina Del Mar. That call will also dispel his delusional claim that reaction times are not met by EMTs or engine companies because of traffic backups, because said EMTs and engine companies fill out logs that specify reaction times as per industry standard. Unfortunately, there is no industry standard for make-believe. Make-believe is just make-believe.

Alan, you've put your finger right on one of the things that annoys me the most about the EIR. It's clear that the super-wide highway will have an impact on all the businesses on the east side of the highway, but the EIR has virtually no information about that. How close will it come to Pacifica Tire & Service, to the houses on that side, to the church, to the Pet Hospital, to Gorilla Barbecue, to the thrift store, to Vallemar Station? Nobody knows, especially those businesses. The Pet Hospital has a comment letter on the draft EIR saying that the super-wide highway will take most of their front parking lot, effectively killing their business. But there's no map in the EIR that makes that clear. And the businesses on Old County Road in Rockaway, like Grape In The Fog, have no idea what their frontage is going to look like and how high the retaining wall will be across the street from them. This information is either missing from the EIR or very difficult to find, and it's one of the many ways in which the EIR is extremely inadequate and badly done.

Just two weeks ago there was an accident involving an ambulance going the wrong way to avoid traffic. EMTs routinely have to travel the wrong way to avoid traffic. But hey, what's a few extra minutes in traffic when you're having a heart attack?

I'm a bit new to this issue, but in Caltrans' plan, does it specify which businesses and houses will be demolished to make way for this? Presumably at a minimum, building out to the west the stand of macrocarpa will be lost along with Lovey's and the Boston Bill building, and the beautiful garden and the sewage plant turnaround that everybody uses in the morning to get their kids to school; and the wine bar, UPS, et al., will be on the highway and/or behind a sound wall. What about all the eastside homes and businesses? Is there a graphic plan we can see?

Merging into and out of lanes is a safety factor, as well.

Actually, the "risk window" that Pete addresses is even less because the traffic buildup is always in only one direction. For example, a fire truck speeding north to south during the morning rush would have no problem.

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