Monster Chef: Take It with a Grain of Salt
Pacificans for a Scenic Coast (PSC) Gets Its Day in Court

PSC's Highway 1 Lawsuit vs. Caltrans: Background

PSC Uses CEQA to Challenge Caltrans Highway 1 Widening EIR
In August 2013, Pacificans for a Scenic Coast (PSC) filed suit against Caltrans under the California Environmental Quality Act. On August 22 and 29, Judge Marie Weiner heard that lawsuit in San Mateo County Superior Court. Judge Weiner now has up to 90 days to issue a ruling.
The lawsuit challenges the adequacy of the Environmental Impact Report (EIR) for the Highway 1 widening project. The suit contends that: the project was not adequately described at the time of the EIR, the project is out of scale with Pacifica’s scenic nature, the EIR contains contradictory information on impacts on threatened species, and the EIR does not adequately address adverse impacts of the project.
A PSC spokesman says, “Caltrans has approved a project that will more than double the width of the existing roadway, and encase the highway in 9- to 22-foot-high retaining walls. Pedestrians and bicyclists crossing from west to east or east to west would be challenged in crossing such a wide roadway, which as proposed is completely out of scale for a community the size of Pacifica. There were only two alternatives considered by Caltrans, big and bigger. Bigger was Caltrans’ preferred alternative.”



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About a generation ago, Rondal Partridge filmed a documentary "Pave It and Paint It Green" about the development pushed on Yosemite National Park by too many people. Sadly, many urban types, alienated as they are from nature, don't "get it" and look upon such landscape-wrecking development as a positive.

Caltrans' idea of "blend into the hillside," as Carl May pointed out, really doesn't cut the mustard. Aside from the bizarre aesthetics, I should remind Caltrans (and probably also PG&E or AT&T or whoever disguised that huge utility box on Crespi as "natural stone" or natural dog poop or whatever it is supposed to look like) that there are children out there who are trying to learn about the natural world. A young geology novice might well be seriously impaired by such asinine monstrosities as the fake and crude textured cement-work used for the cuts and portals for the tunnels, cuts for the widening of Highway 92 to four lanes on the hill west of Highway 35, and on other recent-era road cuts by Caltrans. You can make man-made things that look good enough and are clearly man-made. If you compete with nature, you will lose every time, and besides, our young scholars need to be given half a chance.

"Blend into the hillside" like the fake and crude textured cement-work used for the cuts and portals for the tunnels, cuts for the widening of Highway 92 to four lanes on the hill west of Highway 35, and on other recent-era road cuts by Caltrans? And they wonder why some of us use the term "cement-heads" to describe urban pavement lovers.

No one is even mentioning the huge energy and materials (especially pavement) costs to taxpayers and the environment (much of the latter off-site) involved in the unnecessary Calera Parkway expansion. Lessons not learned?

Why do PSC and PH1A have to spin the facts if they have right on their side?

"encase the highway in 9- to 22-foot-high retaining walls"

Really? Most of the retaining walls are below grade. Many of the retaining walls above grade blend into the hillside. The above description is typical of the alarmist exaggerations coming from these groups.

If the links work this time, here are renditions of the proposed highway modernization. Nothing looks that bad to me:

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