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Destination Pacifica: Devil's Slide Coast Recreation Area

By Dan Underhill, Riptide Correspondent

Pacifica City Council member Mary Ann Nihart spoke at the Pacifica-Daly City Democrats breakfast meeting November 17 about collaboration among the U.S. National Park Service, California State Parks Service, San Mateo County Parks, The Coastal Conservancy, Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy, Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District, and the Peninsula Open Space Trust. This collaboration is to be called the Devil's Slide Coast Recreation Area, and I believe, as all of these organizations obviously believe, that this has the makings of a very popular tourist destination.

There has been a great deal of talk over the years about bringing some kind of industry into Pacifica. It has long been obvious to me that tourism is our best bet. We live in a truly gorgeous place. It is of serious geological interest, what with all the tectonic action that is visible on the surface from part of Highway 1 that will become a walking/biking path. We have many wild birds and animals that live here or pass through here on their migrations. We have history, and clean air, and the very famous Pacific Ocean. I encourage everyone to visit:

Devil's Slide Coast Recreation Area

Nihart also spoke of things the City of Pacifica is doing to make good use of the new Devil's Slide Coast Recreation Area. The one that stood out for me is the Devils Slide Ride, afree weekend shuttle. It is already funded with grant monies (if I had paid better attention, I could say from whom), and is scheduled to start when the tunnels open. Seattle, Washington has enjoyed great success with its free bus service throughout downtown. It has provided a real and lasting boost to Seattle's downtown economy.

For those who have expressed concerns about Pacifica's economic future, I would say that these are real hopeful signs and are in keeping with what our unique little venue has to offer. Thank you, Mary Ann.


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Yeah -- it's as if Caltrans hasn't heard of AB32, California's global warming law -- or of global warming at all.

Carl, Caltrans would have had a climate-changing bypass instead of a shoring-up of the impossible. The tunnels may be imperfect, but we continue to battle the bad ideas of Caltrans "visionaries" in the Highway 1 widening in Pacifica.

To be paved and hardscaped to the max. The old conundrum of destroying nature to supposedly expose people to it. All of this recreational mess on the soon-to-be-abandoned highway is entirely from people with urban mind-sets--in other words, people estranged from nature who are responsible (however well intended their mistakes might be) for the steady diminishment of the very coastal features the Coastal Act is supposed to protect--decline that is being implemented with the unnecessary expenditure of millions of dollars of our tax money and will cost dearly in new jobs and maintenance of facilities that are unneeded. Lost (and never part of the urban growth-nut calculation) is the best part of the vehicle commute between Pacifica and the midcoast, to be replaced by trips through cement cylinders.

The two tunnels plus hardscaped recreation plus loss of coastal exposure plus ongoing tax dollars going to personnel and maintenance of facilities that reduce coastal access to natural features are brought to us at a cost of more than ten times as much as the most expensive stabilization of the current highway would have cost. The public and remaining natural features of our degraded coastal environment are the losers.

Oh yeah, the ends of the paved "Boondoggle Trail" will be locked at night. Glory to the pave-it-and-paint-it-green environmentalists.

The shuttle will be operating in a couple of weeks (inaugural ride is Dec. 1 at 10:30 a.m.), but the route will be adjusted to include a stop at the north end of the Devil's Slide Coast once that is operational.

Funding for the free weekend shuttle is via a grant from the San Mateo County Transportation Authority (Measure A) and the City/County Association of Governments of San Mateo County (C/CAG).

A press release with further information (including a list of the shuttle stop locations) may be found in the Community News Wire sidebar at

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