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The Widening: Numbers Don't Lie

By Chris Fogel, Special to Riptide

Note: Unless otherwise noted, all references are to the Caltrans Final Environmental Impact Report (FEIR):

Caltrans FEIR
Current width of Highway 1 at midpoint between Fassler and Reina Del Mar: 64’ (Figure 1.5)

Width of proposed center median only at same point: 40’ (Figure 1.6)

Width of entire proposed roadway at same point: 144’ (Figure 1.5)

Average width of 8-lane interstate highway, including all shoulders and medians: 132’


Change in width, in multiple, from current to proposed: +2.25

Width of proposed roadway at intersections of Fassler or Reina Del Mar: not provided

Number of retaining walls described in project: 8 (page 13)

Total linear feet of retaining walls: 3,090 (page 13)

Minimum height of retaining walls, in feet: 3 (page 14)

Maximum height, in feet: 22 (page 14)

Number of soundwalls described in project: 2 (Figure 2.4; page 164)

Minimum height of soundwalls, in feet: 12 (page 165)

Maximum height of soundwalls: not stated

Date of final decision on incorporating soundwalls into project: not stated

Number of cantilevered bridges to be constructed: 1 (page 172)

Total number of parcels requiring full or partial land acquisition: 27 (page 26)

Number of privately owned parcels requiring full or partial acquisition: 17 (page 19)

Number of single-family homes that will require full or partial acquisition: 4 (page 19)

Number of single-family homes to be demolished: 1 (page 19)

Number of business locations requiring full or partial acquisition: 5 (page 19)

Number of business locations to be demolished: 2 (page 19)

Amount of pollutants to be created by construction: not stated

Future daily reduction levels of pollution and length of time required to offset that created by construction: not stated

Effects of construction pollution upon goals of City of Pacifica Climate Action Plan: not stated

Estimated length of project construction time: “more than two years” (page 205)

Estimated daily length of traffic delays caused by project construction during this time: not stated

Future travel reduction times and number of vehicle trips needed to make up for construction traffic delays: not stated

Current levels of service (LOS) at Reina Del Mar, a.m./p.m.: E/F (page 87)

Levels of service at Reina Del Mar 20 years after project completion: E/D (page 87)

Current levels of service at Fassler, a.m./p.m.: F/F (page 87)

Levels of service at Fassler 20 years after project completion: F/E (page 87)


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Thanks to Chris for posting this. The long list of facts certainly demonstrates how unappealing the project is. But there are a few facts that stand out as really awful. After enduring "more than two years" of construction with massive traffic delay, what would Pacificans get? Answer: only slightly improved traffic flow followed by a return to the same traffic delay we have right now only a few years later.

Let me emphasize -- Level of service (LOS) F is really bad -- and LOS E is bad but somewhat less bad. Right now at the Fassler and Reina del Mar intersections during rush hour, we experience LOS E and F. Right after it is completed, Caltrans' massive project would improve traffic only slightly (still LOS E and F), and soon thereafter traffic would degrade to its present condition. I cannot understand how our City Council can possibly believe this would be good for Pacifica.

The problem with Caltrans is that it did not study the alternatives -- thoroughly at all, or in combinations.

There are several combinations that might work, but one is what is now a standard high-tech traffic data system in combination with staggered school times.

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