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Shame on Caltrans: Highway 1 Still Dirty & Dangerous

Danger Lurks @ Gray Whale Cove Pedestrian Crossing

News Story

Beachgoers crossing Highway 1 between Gray Whale Cove and the parking lot east of the highway face extreme danger every day as speeding vehicles, heavy traffic, fog, and blind curves add up to a disaster waiting to happen. San Mateo County is dragging its feet on a solution: crosswalk, flashing lights, overpass. Why does it take government so long to fix an obvious major safety hazard?


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"Government" doesn't intend to fix the traffic and safety problems at Gray Whale Cove. The need for a safe crossing there has been discussed for several decades through a bunch of local committees and traffic studies.

At present on busy weekends, southbound cars trying to turn left across northbound traffic and into the parking lot and cars leaving the lot making left turns across traffic to head southbound back traffic up almost as far as Linda Mar. During the same busy periods, people crossing to get to and from the beach at the same location also stop traffic. Too many people, too many cars for the situation.

Any at-grade crossing with devices that further slow or stop traffic will only make the situation worse. That, of course, will feed the usual idiotic push for more lanes and lights south of the tunnel in the Green Valley/Gray Whale Cove area, providing even worse backups. And so on. The unprotected median area approved by the county for the road crossing at grade will make the crossing more dangerous than at present because pedestrians would have farther to go (picture families loaded with beach gear and little kids by the hand).

People don't like tough but obvious solutions. The only future foot crossing here that would not make traffic and safety worse is a pedestrian overcrossing. Cars should be allowed to enter and exit the Gray Whale Cove parking lot only in the northbound direction. No left turns that do not back up traffic are possible here. (This is similar to the parking-lot mess and light for the asphalt strip park at the south portals for the tunnels. Entrance and exit to the lot there should have been allowed only in the southbound direction, eliminating the need for the light.)

Palindrome-loving pedestrians agree that danger lurks for them at Gray Whale Cove: "Gray Whale peril: I repel a hwy. Arg!"

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