New Community Group Opposes Widening Highway 1

Members of 'Pacificans for Highway 1 Alternatives' say the project would take too long and is too costly. The group is calling officials to seek out other less expensive and faster solutions.

While some local residents and officials are excited about the prospect to wide Highway 1 and thereby, hopefully, relieve traffic and congestion, a new group of Pacificans are rising up and protesting the idea.

The group is calling itself "Pacificans for Highway 1 Alternatives," or "PH1A."

Representatives from the group, who sent out a press release earlier this week, say they believe widening the highway is not the answer to ongoing problems, and is not an efficient use of taxpayer money.

 “PH1A wants alternatives implemented that can help relieve traffic congestion sooner than the widening project, at less cost, and with far less impacts to neighborhoods, businesses, and the environment,” said Pete Shoemaker, chairman of the new group.

Among the potential alternatives PH1A members are suggesting are re-timing and coordinating the Vallemar and Fassler traffic lights, modifications to the Reina Del Mar Avenue intersection, a flex lane with moveable cones, increased public transportation, increased school bus service, car and van pools, and changes to school schedules.

“In public meetings and in the 212 written comments submitted to Caltrans concerning its Draft Environmental Impact Report, two-thirds of all comments were critical of the widening project, which wouldn't offer traffic relief until years from now,” said Nick Leone, a member of PH1A.

PH1A supports the approach recommended by the California Coastal Commission staff, members of which said the EIR “should fully evaluate a range of alternatives that could meet the purpose and need of the project, including alternatives that would reduce traffic congestion, but would not result in significant adverse impacts on coastal resources.”

PH1A members say California State Assemblyman Jerry Hill has also called for studying the alternatives to identify the most cost-effective solutions.

“The highway widening proposal is the most costly project, it is years away from being implemented, there isn’t sufficient funding for it, and if it is ever built it will create terrible traffic delays during two-plus years of construction,” said Hal Bohner, another PH1A member.

“We want alternatives to the widening that can be implemented sooner to reduce traffic congestion, that will not create major traffic delays during construction, that will be far less costly, and will have far fewer impacts on our environment and our economy,” said Cynthia Kaufman, a PH1A member.

For more information on Pacificans for Highway 1 Alternatives, contact the group at PHwy1A@gmail.com or visit their Facebook page.


PATCH WANTS TO KNOW - Do you support the widening of Highway 1? Or do you think this group is right, and it's too lengthy and expensive of a solution? Tell us in the comments below.


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hutch September 07, 2012 at 11:20 PM
Funny, this group of people are many of the same people who opposed the Quarry Project because of traffic at Vallemar.
goodwolves September 07, 2012 at 11:24 PM
Right Phil ; time to think beyond the box.
Ben Thare September 07, 2012 at 11:27 PM
@Todd I'm just curious, so please answer this hypothetical since I understand by your own admission that you live near the Highway in question. If, God forbid, you had a heart attack or some other life-threatening emergency during the rush hour window which required 911 dispatch and immediate medical response to your home, would you prefer the current Highway 1 implementation window-dressed with PH1A idea(s) and predicated on potentially hundreds of Pacifica motorists maneuvering their vehicles out of the responder's way or would you prefer a widened Highway 1 with a true emergency shoulder (at a minimum)? I'm asking you to imagine yourself in this precarious position, desperately awaiting the arrival of the responder as you feel your life slipping away from you. Thanks in advance for answering the question and keeping the snark level at a minimum.
goodwolves September 07, 2012 at 11:42 PM
This is getting so ridiculous. i live right up the street from the Police Station on Hy 1. Please understand "hutch" this will never be TRULY fixed. If you do not want to look at reality then take a look at the S.F Airport. They spent YEARS & LOTS of taxpayer monies making it bigger and it is STILL not BIG enough. Or you can look at the hell Santa Rosa has been dealing with for YEARS widening the freeway up there; and IT IS STILL NOT BIG ENOUGH. The problem is these "projects" take a LONG time to complete and by time they are ; guess what, the population GROWS. Kids get out of high school and get MORE cars creating MORE traffic! Or the coast becomes even MORE developed causing more of everything i.e traffic, crime, etc..!!!! This is exactly why the only REAL LONG TERM SOLUTIONS are ones like what Phil Crawford suggested or other viable ones AT LEAST BEFORE WE spend WAY TOO MONEY ON SOMETHING THAT WILL PROBABLY MAKE THINGS WORSE Also (duh) i am SURE that someone is going to immensely profit from this and i am positive it WILL NOT BE THE PEOPLE THAT LIVE NEAR IT. eileen carey
goodwolves September 08, 2012 at 12:12 AM
Thank you Todd & Chester for using common sense. Like i said before ; BY LAW YOU ARE REQUIRED TO PULL OVER FOR EMERGENCY VEHICLES AND I HAVE NEVER SEEN ANY BLOCKAGE EVER!!! And LOL if they are SO concerned why did they build the Police Station on a one way side of the Highway with no pedestrian access. Like i said too ; it is a 45 mil per hour ZONE too.. If everyone would obey that law and LISTEN for sirens and pull over to the right (there is plenty of room when you do that ) Emergency Vehicles have NO problem.. LOL ..and "hutch" ; i guess hippie means HEALTHY, INTELLIGENT, PEACEFUL, PRESENTABLE, INDIVIDUALS ,EXQUISITE, SUSTAINABILITY.....BOOYAH :))
goodwolves September 08, 2012 at 12:13 AM
Todd Bray September 08, 2012 at 01:39 AM
There is a Project Development Team (PDT) for this widening thing. It consists of staffers from CalTrans, the San Mateo County Transportation Authority (SMCTA) and the City of Pacifica. They have had 26 meeting to date starting in 2007. I requested the minutes of those meetings and read through them absorbing the enormous amount of effort the PDT took in exaggerating the traffic problem that was identified by three CalTrans staffers as merely a signaling issue. The DEIR itself proclaims the project is not growth inducing yet on several occasions in 2007 and 2008 the PDT discussed added capacity to accomodate a future quarry project and providing highway access to a 40 plus acre parcel next to the Lutheran Church because, "The property owner wants to develop the site." So far these staffers have been working in a bubble. There has been virtually no public over sight and even less oversight by the SMCTA Board of Directors or our City Council. I'd love for AOL/PATCH to post the entire set of minutes to all 26 PDT meetings. The average document is 3.5 pages long.
hutch September 08, 2012 at 02:58 AM
Hey, I was a hippie in the day. But I grew up. I'm all for kumbaya, peace, love and rock n roll. But bottom line is If all the hippie woman and men got their hair cut we would have no budget crisis. :)) Booya!
hutch September 08, 2012 at 03:06 AM
I love this! LMAO
hutch September 08, 2012 at 03:07 AM
Ben Thare September 08, 2012 at 03:23 AM
"If everyone would obey that law and LISTEN for sirens and pull over to the right (there is plenty of room when you do that ) Emergency Vehicles have NO problem.." LOLOLOL!!!! Goodwolves sounds like a Miss America pageant contestant. Oh, you forgot world peace. If everyone obeyed the law there would also be world peace. LOL!!!
hutch September 08, 2012 at 04:54 AM
You really love acronyms don't you Todd.
Lionel Emde September 08, 2012 at 06:35 PM
Ann, You probably already know that your idea would be a reformation of the whole town. The thing that killed Pacifica was the freeway built in the 60's through Manor and Sharp Park. The town was split asunder and became a passthrough, rather than a destination. Caltrans is not to be trusted in any way, they are a very secretive public agency that demonstrates how out-of-control many public agencies have become as they have grown bigger and bigger.
Lionel Emde September 08, 2012 at 06:39 PM
Fix the school kids being taken to school in a single vehicle practice, and you largely fix the problem. There is no backup during the summer and holidays. It's a manufactured problem that Caltrans is using as an excuse to build a segment of a freeway.
Lionel Emde September 08, 2012 at 06:42 PM
I've read many of these same docs that Todd is talking about. The public's opinion doesn't matter to these folks, except in how to get around it and get it built. Totally unaccountable to the public. That's the way that sheeples are treated by these public agencies.
Steve Sinai September 08, 2012 at 11:24 PM
Goodwolves/Eileen, several years ago didn't you propose that Pacifica generate revenues using speed traps in lieu of development?
goodwolves September 09, 2012 at 04:05 AM
Dear Ben Thare, When my Mother became severely ill ; we had to call EMT's almost every other week,. They NEVER had a problem getting here fast EVER. And also there are quite a few Elderly Folks that live here in Valemar (including my Father 88 years here) and i can bet you there has never been a problem getting any kind of Emergency vehicles up in this Valley... Be well.
goodwolves September 09, 2012 at 04:12 AM
It seems as if no one is understanding that you BY LAW HAVE TO PULL OVER TO THE RIGHT when you hear sirens. In ALL almost 48 years my Parents lived here in Valemar there have never been a time when the emergency vehicles could not get through when people adhere to that law. It just seems so silly to even debate this really. Why would anyone want to spend a ludicrous amount of money and a WHOLE LOT OF TIME & HASSLE to put something in (a 6 lane & 2 frontage roads = 8 LANE FREEWAY) that will NOT solve the problem just move it down the road. When we have NOT tried ANY other ideas first.
goodwolves September 09, 2012 at 04:14 AM
Thank you Todd & Lionel. Appreciate the good sense.
goodwolves September 09, 2012 at 04:19 AM
Steve, "speed traps"..... i have never "proposed" such a thing. ... However, i have suggested the use of common sense and courtesy to others opinions.
hutch September 09, 2012 at 05:34 AM
Sure people are supposed to move over. But guess what? They don't always do it. In the mean time people are dying and houses are burning. This progect has been talked about, studied, debated and fought for 20 years. The time for debate is long past and it finally looks like this will happen. But come on, the real reason some of you are against this is you're afraid it will lead to more development.
hutch September 09, 2012 at 05:49 AM
The main problem how I understand it is emergency services reaching areas south of Vallemar and the returning north on Hwy 1. This is not just an issue in the morning, but also during afternoon traffic.
hutch September 09, 2012 at 09:03 PM
We could also put a toll booth at Rockaway. Hey why not close hwy 1 all together?
Frank Parks September 09, 2012 at 09:14 PM
Hutch, I've come to the conclusion that you don't really care about Pacifica and seem to be only interested in bringing discourse to any post you get involved with so why don't you just move and leave us the hell alone? Freak!
hutch September 09, 2012 at 09:44 PM
What's the matter Frank,having a rough day? I thought we already established the hippies are the freaks? Amazing how some people can't stand diverging opinions. Sorry Frankie, here's a news flash. People have different oppinions than you and they have just as much right to express them. But if you every want to try and tell me that in person I'm all ears.
Ben Thare September 09, 2012 at 10:45 PM
Frank Parks spewed: "Hutch, I've come to the conclusion that you don't really care about Pacifica and seem to be only interested in bringing discourse to any post you get involved with so why don't you just move and leave us the hell alone? Freak!" Congratulations, Hutch! You have made the official enemy's list of PH1A (aka: Friends of Pacifica, Pacificans for Sustainable Development, and several other short lived groups that survived only long enough to kill the targeted project, e.g., Fish and Bowl, Barry Swenson's old sewer plant project). Don't know who Frank Parks is but you can bet Goodwolves and/or PH1A Pres. Shoemaker do. BTW, these are the same people who have filed malicious lawsuits in order to intimidate/harass supporters of projects and City Council candidates that they oppose. In fact, they even stooped to calling ex Quarry developer and Pres. Obama short-lister Don Peebles a racist, i.e., until they discovered he was black. Then they used every other pejorative under the sun. They represent the absolute worst of what we know to be "Pacifica".
Frank Parks September 09, 2012 at 11:01 PM
Ben - you are so wrong! I don't know "goodwolves", nor "Shoemaker". I am just someone that loves living in Pacifica, loves the small town feel of it, and does not want to see it destroyed! If that makes me the worst of what you know to be Pacifica, then perhaps you should move along with Hutch - perhaps the two of you could live together! Sticks and stones.. If I am a "NIMBY" than so be it - I will gladly embrace the term. I have seen what happens to places when development is put first, and once they are destroyed (although at the time it is always characterized as "improved"), they NEVER ever return to the way they were. Pacifica will NEVER be able to have several sustainable business models along the highway. We will always be a town that people drive through (for the most part). The only thing that I see that would change this would be if both sides of the highway were completely developed, and a normal 3 or 4 lane each way freeway were installed. Then we could have Targets, and Walmarts, and Mall's and look like every other place. The ideas that are floated in the name of improvement are such B.S.! We don't NEED another "hotel" at the treatment plant, we don't need an improved Palmetto "mainstreet". What a crock! Have you looked at the proposed plans for these ideas? They show people walking down the street, sitting at tables, and at the new boutique hotel, sitting outside eating! Get a grip, we don't have the weather for this! It's too damn cold, this ain't LA !
Frank Parks September 09, 2012 at 11:02 PM
nor Florida, nor somewhere else where there is beachfront development with the weather to support it! This is a small, coastal, FOGGY town that I love!
hutch September 09, 2012 at 11:45 PM
Why do you hate Pacifica so Frank? In looking at all your past comments it seems they are all very negative. It's a nice day, go enjoy the sun. Yes SUN!
Frank Parks September 09, 2012 at 11:53 PM
Oh please "Hutch", my point ( as any reasonable person would realize ) is that we don't have enough sun year round. I will no longer respond to your nonsense! You and Ben have moved to Oklahoma as far as I'm concerned .


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