Widening Conundrum: Plus Ca Change, Plus C'est La Meme Chose
Highway 1 Bridge Detour; Tunnel Traffic Safety Hazards

Informal Poll: Linda Mar Against Highway Widening 4-1

By John Keener, Special to Riptide

There's a common misconception that the public is in favor of the Highway 1 widening plan between Rockaway and Vallemar put forward by Caltrans. 

Residents of Linda Mar bear the full effect of traffic on Highway 1 in the mornings and evenings, and would also bear the brunt of construction delays for years. My results from canvassing door-to-door refute the notion that Linda Mar residents favor widening Highway 1.

I knocked randomly on about 1,100 doors in Linda Mar in the order they were on the streets. At about half of the doors, someone answered. Of the folks I talked to, about 60 percent signed the petition to City Council asking it to hold hearings on alternatives to widening. This was about a 4-1 margin over those in favor of widening.

The most frequent reason they gave for signing the petition was the merge from three lanes down to two in each direction that would occur at either end of the widening project. Comments like "Are they (Caltrans) stupid?" were common.

Caltrans has run roughshod over residents in Linda Mar and other Pacifica neighborhoods in both the draft and final environmental impact reports on the widening, finding (without exception) that the suggestions and objections put forward by citizens were without merit. 

City Council has not listened to pleas for public hearings on alternatives, choosing to hide behind excuses that it would wait for lawsuits to be settled. Council should hire a traffic consultant to do the job that Caltrans did not do – exploring alternatives to widening that are less damaging to Pacifica.

When will Linda Mar and other Pacifica neighborhoods be heard?


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Thank you for the info, John.

Chris Porter: I was on vacation, so I didn't see your post until today.

I canvassed between about 4:30 and 7 p.m. in an effort to catch as many people as possible at home. I was out every day of the week, with some weekend afternoons thrown in.

Watch the video of the June 25, 2014 Community Forum on Highway 1 Alternatives here:

And what did Keener say exactly to people that they agreed with him? This is really meaningless.

Hey we have 171 members of our Pacificans For Highway One Modernization Facebook group.

PH1A has 141 on their Facebook which has been up 15 months longer than our group.

That is just as meaningless as John Keener's fake poll.

Did Mr. Keener ever disclose what day and what time of day he did his informal survey in Linda Mar? If I missed it, please post again or disclose info.

Actually, the entire City Council was for more taxes, including Mike O'Neill and Len Stone. So candidate Keener is accurate on that score.

Be careful, Bob. Mike O'Neill has some very good qualities, but too ringing an endorsement from you could ruin his chances forever.

Of course he is, Ian. That's why we're suddenly hearing from him. I looked on John Keener's Facebook page, where he repeatedly reprimands Mike O'Neill and Len Stone for voting for the sewer assessment, and other things. He fails to mention that even Sue Digre (friend of the enviros) voted for the sewer assessment.

Speaking of which, the last person we need on council right now is another enviro radical. We finally got rid of them after 20 years of "the environment is our economy." I think the people know that's why we're in our current financial mess, and I expect to see another landslide as we saw when Rich Campbell ran against Mike O'Neill.

Mike has turned out to be one of our hardest-working council people in a long time. He goes out of his way to hold public meetings around town explaining what is going on. More transparency is exactly what we need.

Last, I'd like to say YAY to City Council for declining the Peter Loeb & Hal Bohner appeal.

John Keener is running for City Council. Here is his facebook page:


John Keener is a much more respectful fellow than you suggest, Steve. I have to guess that you haven't had a conversation with the fellow. I also think your suggestion of going from house to house and speaking in slogans wouldn't get many signatures at all regardless of the cause. John's reasoned approach combined with the exceedingly reasonable request that our government simply be open enough to consider other options is quite a contrast to Caltrans' arrogant my-way-or-the-highway widening plan. We got lots of signatures because what we are asking for is only what we, the people, should have been delivered a long time ago.

Why is it the light at Reina Del Mar is a minute or more - no matter how much traffic is present, any time of day?

Informal poll? More likely something akin to a push poll.

I'd love to have heard John's speech as people opened their doors. Probably something along the lines of: "Do you want Caltrans to concrete the coast?"

What are they doing in Linda Mar now just south of Linda Mar Boulevard on Highway 1?

(Editor's Note: Jim Currie is one of the original supporters of Riptide when we launched in 2007. Welcome back, Jim. See my story on Riptide's main news page all about the Caltrans bridge and detour project.)

Caltrans determined way back in the 60s that it wanted to widen this section of SR1 but conceded there wasn't the political will to do so. There still isn't. The pretend need and political will for the widening proposal is being manufactured by our senior city staff, the senior staff member at the San Mateo County Transportation Authority (SMCTA), who lives up on Fassler), and the staff and managers at the Caltrans District 4 offices in Oakland.

After my dozens of FOIA requests for information over the past few years, I was offered a visit to view the historical record of this proposed project, and in response to a query from a Pacifican in 1967, Caltrans determined the only fix it would consider was adding lanes. The Calera Parkway Project is that ingrained in Caltrans mythology. And bear in mind that the SMCTA director who lives on Fassler once worked alongside Bijan Sartipi, current Caltrans District 4 director who in the 1990s was the project manager for the highway expansion.

This dumb-ass idea is nothing more than an ego project for Bijan, Joe, and Van. The funny thing is that when you do look at the decades of files covering this proposal, you realize that tens of millions of dollars have already been wasted on it in staff time, and paid consultants. I wish I were a prosecutor. This boondoggle is the ego baby of public servants who know how to spend money on job security, nothing more.

To Bob Hutchinson I would say that the petition was in no way misleading and that Highway 1 belongs to, and is used by, many people who are not Pacificans. There is no logical reason to tell non-Pacificans that they aren't entitled to an opinion about what gets done with THEIR highway.

To Rich Shafer I would say that many of the people in the slow traffic you describe are the people who signed Mr. Keener's petitions possibly because they don't believe (as I don't) that Caltrans' "solution" will fix the problem or possibly because they believe (as I do) that some combination of other changes will have fewer unintended, disastrous consequences. I think for most of us it is both.

Caltrans' proposed widening of Highway 1 is riddled with assumptions, estimates, and errors of omission and commission. Not surprising, since Caltrans certified its own project.

The biggest error is that Caltrans did not consider alternatives, singly or in combination.

I wonder what the results of the "poll" would be if conducted walking up the line of cars on a typical rush hour morning when schools are in session?

If the pollsters from Gallup Opinion Research come to a similar conclusion that Linda Mar is against Highway 1 widening, Pacifica palindrome lovers will urge Roper Opinion Research to emulate its competitor with this compound palindrome, or really two self-standing palindromes in sequence:

"Report it Roper -- Pull a 'Gallup'"!

You mean that petition with misleading wording? Signed by people all over the state? Many who signed twice? Many with identical handwriting? Followed up I'm sure statements of doom and gloom if this monstrous cement world ending freeway is built. That petition? Haha.

I remember when he came to our door and we signed the petition!

This widening will destroy our town -- and in particular, the Rockaway district is scheduled to be paved over. Paved over! Trees are to be chopped down. The photo provided by Caltrans does not match what is printed in its documents. The plan is to put massive cement throughout, destroying businesses and wetlands alike.

The City of Pacifica has never formally discussed this boondoggle of a project with the voters.

How is it that City Council plans on paving over Pacifica? Without even discussing it with the voters?

But how could that possibly be, when I saw a flyer that stated 99% of people were for the widening? Unless --

I've only talked to half a dozen folk about it, but they were all against it, and all were Pacificans, and drive it every day. And not one hobbit hole or headband between them.

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