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August 05, 2015


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Thanks for posting the county alert info; I forgot to include that originally.

The alert you mentioned was about the accident. There was no notice about the planned work Monday or the subsequent backup. There was an alert Monday afternoon about planned work on Tuesday, which ended up being cancelled.

As for what happened, according to http://sanfrancisco.cbslocal.com/2015/08/04/caltrans-apologizes-for-pacifica-road-work-that-caused-traffic-meltdown/ the accident caused a delay in the planned work and then Caltrans ran out of asphalt.

I find it interesting that the Pacifica Police Department is stating that Highway 1 is not its jurisdiction. I guess next time it sets up an area to give tickets on Highway 1 that I do not need to stop unless it is the California Highway Patrol.

The Pacifica Police Department is completely useless and will hide behind any excuse it can.

Thanks, Big Banker, for an explanation on why Pacifica Police do not direct traffic to prevent these horrific traffic problems. But Highway 1 is PPD's venue for issuing traffic tickets and for DUI checkpoints. Perhaps the Spanner protocol will be eliminated by the new PPD chief or by the city manager for the benefit of Pacifica taxpayers.

A backup beyond stupid and unnecessary, for the umpteenth time, if you have lived on the coast for very long. I suppose recent newcomers always will have to learn the Caltrans lesson for themselves: This agency is not to be trusted with the public's time or pocketbook.

Are widening supporters paying attention? Probably not. One would think the San Pedro Creek bridge traffic screwup over the past year would give the Chamber of Commerce types and ignorant politicians a clue.

On top of waiting the three hours to get home last night, did anyone else notice the Caltrans workers heckling the irate commuters as they drove by? I'm sure it was a favor returned, but nonetheless you would have thought it was Caltrans stuck in a vehicle for a three-hour unexpected delay, instead of most of them standing around staring at pavement. And by the way, exactly WHAT kind of roadwork was this for? What was the reason? Pipe replacement? Pot holes (not that I noticed any on that route)? Job security? Unacceptable.

It is certainly appropriate to get angry with Caltrans about this, but folks should also contact our city officials. Caltrans obviously does not care about Pacifica, and our complaints will fall on its deaf ears. But our City Council members should be listening to us, and they could have prevented the fiasco if they had been paying attention. The city manager has rolled out her “community conversation” to promote Caltrans’ plan to widen Highway 1, which would take more than two years and probably be a repeat of yesterday’s mess for most of that time. Three City Council members apparently support the Caltrans plan, and Van Ocampo, the city’s director of public works, has been meeting regularly with Caltrans officials to plan the project. They need to hear from us about what we think of what happened yesterday and why we don’t want more of the same for at least two years.

I have heard that Pacifica Police don't direct traffic, because it's not their jurisdiction. Then why do we see them writing tickets or holding DUI checkpoints there? I guess it depends on the situation? But most likely lack of training, Day 1 of officer training "traffic control 101" PPD skipped this class!
I would expect nothing less from a police department that is self-serving! What I mean by that is:
1. Have you ever seen a patrol car head south on Highway 1 and make a right toward the sewage treatment plant? This is to avoid the left-turn lane onto Reina Del Mar, which subsequently trips the signal to stop traffic in both directions! This starts the jam-up, especially during the school year. Just wait until there are two new lanes added to this section of highway and the timing is altered on the signal for people to cross this monster intersection.

2. Officers at the top of Sharp Park Road with radar at 6 a.m.? How many Pacifica residents have an address on Sharp Park Road: four? How many residents jog or walk on this road? Hell, there is not a single sidewalk there.
Why not catch speeders on Manor, Palmetto, Fassler, Crespi, and Linda Mar, where hundreds of people actually live, jog, walk on these streets?

I called 911 and told the dispatcher that the emergency vehicles cannot get through and for CHP or Pacifica PD to direct traffic, and she said, "Well, this isn't a 911 call."

I said, "Really? An ambulance and emergency vehicles stuck in traffic?"

I guess this is what happens when you try to sue Caltrans!

Heads should roll! Communications by City of Pacifica, Caltrans, Pacifica Police Department, and tax-paying residents didn't exist today when Caltrans shut down one lane of Highway 1 southbound around noon. Traffic became a two-hour nightmare by 12:30 p.m., and residents, along with our sought-after tourists, driving south on Highway 1 were stopped in their cars for hours -- backed up as far north as Highway 35 (Skyline). Communication and public service -- forget about it! Hopefully, the Pacifica Police or San Mateo County Sheriff can begin directing traffic for this town in the future -- this backup lasted 10 hours. Back East, a mayor would lose his/her job over a traffic event like this -- for example, a snow storm and roads not plowed, creating a traffic backup. Our city must assimilate. Talk to mayors of Florida Keys cities who deal with Highway 1 on the East Coast; about handling school traffic, residential rush hours, and tourists along the two-lane coast highway. They do it well. As for Caltrans?

This has to do with the Caltrans management's scheduling, not the workers choosing their own hours, which they don't get to do!

They should do this work at night. The work commute actually starts at about 5 a.m., so all work needs to be completed and picked up by 4:30 a.m. at the latest, which means work should start by 9 p.m., not midnight.

Tomorrow's start time at 9:30 a.m. means they will be putting cones out at about 9 a.m. So, Mike, you might want to get your butt on the road earlier, maybe skip your Jazzercize video!

On the plus side, there were only two attendees at the Planning Commission meeting.

Apparently, Grocery Outlet officially filed its permit application(s) for the Pedro Point Fresh & Easy location today.

Here's an educated guess as to what the signage will look like:

If you drove through this area at 8:00 tonight you'd have seen that the lane was still coned off and the equipment was out on the road, but the Caltrans Boys were out sitting on their thumbs, not doing a lick of work. Just sitting there staring at the endless procession of cars, backed up for miles, slowly squeezing past. It...it was a thing of beauty and brought a tear to my eye. Oh Caltrans, how the student has surpassed the master!

I found the page where we can supposedly complain to Caltrans. If we bury them in email, maybe somebody will listen? It took my wife three hours to get home tonight.


Just heard from Larry that 45 minutes ago he left Oceana Market and has made it as far as Oceana NEAR Clarendon. YIKES!

I agree with Tom. Tomorrow might be a good day to work from home.

Mike, I respectfully disagree with you regarding working during the night, particularly for the possible widening project. Why should the residents of Rockaway, Vallemar, and the condos on Roberts Road have to deal with impossible traffic AND the inability to sleep because of construction noise? There is a better way as has been mentioned many times but ignored by Caltrans.

And when I came through at 7:30 p.m., there were still workers out there on the part between Vallemar and Rockaway.

I'm on the county alert list, too, and I have seen nothing warning us about today's construction. Someone at Caltrans owes Pacifica an explanation and apology. I won't hold my breath, though.

Hey, wait until the highway widening!


I was just told someone drove across the new pavement Caltrans was putting down. So Caltrans had to pave that spot over.

Only in Pacifica!

Just a benchmark: My wife's vanpool took 2 hr 45 min from the Manor exit to Linda Mar ParkNRide.

Unreal. I flew back from the East Coast late this afternoon and found myself in the worst traffic I have ever experienced since moving to the Bay Area in 2008. It took me an hour to drive down Sharp Park Road to Highway 1 at 6:30 p.m. Pacifica police officers were directing traffic at Reina del Mar at 7:30 p.m., but the highway was still a parking lot. How can we lodge a complaint with Caltrans over this horrific traffic jam?

8 p.m. and Highway 1 is still backed up past Manor. Good luck out there.

Any mention on Fix Pacifica? At all?


Because when Saunders was our police chief, he refused to send officers to direct traffic on Highway 1. He said it was the CHP's job.

I also wonder why our Pacifica Police officers are not directing traffic to allow traffic to flow through the traffic lights during peak or problematic traffic hours.

If anyone has this county email list that Larry was talking about, can you please post it. Or have John post it.

I am sure if there is a county email list, the city did in fact know about it.

Dear Caltrans: According to the Pacifica Police Department at 3:20 p.m. today, you gave no notice of this PLANNED Highway 1 lane closure. You also did not give notice to coast drivers. You chose to schedule the work on a weekday when commuters use Highway 1. According to your late notice of the work continuing tomorrow, it is supposed to end at 3:30 p.m. No doubt it was supposed to end at 3:30 p.m. today (Monday), but traffic is still a mess. Thanks for your complete disregard for people on the coast. The people of Pacifica made it clear in the November 2014 election that we do not want your ineffective plan to widen Highway 1, which would result in years of traffic tie-ups. We want alternatives that will actually improve traffic congestion. The state's assessment of Caltrans in 2014 found Caltrans out of touch with today's communities. You think? Thanks but no thanks.

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