Restore Highway One Cycling in Northern San Luis Obispo County
- California Department of Transportation, District 5
- United States of America
It has been nearly a year since we posted an online petition (URL : http://www.gopetition.com/petitions/restore-highway-one-cycling-in-northern-san-luis-obispo.html) and began to collect signatures to support our efforts in getting our highway department in California known as CalTrans to repair a very rough chip seal application on the Pacific Coast Highway (PCH, Hwy1) in Northern San Luis Obispo County. This note is sent to let you know that progress has been made and that CalTrans has improved the road surface recently by adding an additional layer of asphaltic emulsion topped by sand. While not as smooth as it was originally (pre-chip seal), the majority of local riders sense an appreciable reduction in road surface-induced vibration with the recent sand seal application.
Our club, the Cambria Slabtown Rollers, have re-initiated club rides up the road at least twice weekly. Additionally, the club will sponsor the 14th Annual Country Coast Classic Bike Ride next May 31 in conjunction with the Cambria Community Council to raise funds to support local youth programs. This event was cancelled for 2013 due to the rough road surface conditions. A significant number of you stated that you would not return to ride our iconic section of the PCH unless there was something done to improve the road surface. That has happened and we invite all of you to return to ride this great road once again.
This is great news for the local, national, and international cycling communities that know of this stretch of PCH and have either ridden or would like to ride this road in the future.
How were we able to influence the state bureaucracy to admit and then address the road surface? The following high level bullet points explain our success:
It was started with a highly motivated and committed local group of cyclists who were sophisticated, organized, and focused on getting the road fixed. Egos were checked at the door.
Early involvement of our San Luis Obispo County Supervisor (Bruce Gibson) who became our conduit to the San Luis Obispo Council of Governments (SLOCOG), a highly influential county-wide government body that twice issued statements in support of our efforts.
Attendance at meetings where the road issue was calmly, yet firmly, discussed by members of our group : SLOCOG, NCAC (North County Advisory Council), California Transportation Commission meetings.
Support of the San Luis Obispo Bicycle Coalition and Visit San Luis Obispo County tourism board.
Soft touch/back channel communications with officials at the California Transportation Commission, UC Davis Pavement Research Center, Caltrans District 5, and Senator Monning's and Representative Katcho’s offices.
Participation in collaboration with CalTrans and UC Davis PRC in the testing of various road surface treatments to select one appropriate for the PCH.
Engagement of a local, motivated professional with a lobbying background to help us avoid pitfalls in our execution.
Support of the local chamber of commerce.
Generation of sufficient funds to pay for professional help when needed provided both by individuals and the San Luis Obispo Bicycle Club.
Support of the local newspapers : The Cambrian and the San Luis Obispo Tribune
The final treatment was finished several weeks ago. Now is the time to return to the road and enjoy the unparalleled scenic vistas that this iconic road provides. Come on back!!
Keep the wheels down,
The Slabtown Rollers
Please visit our Facebook page for more updates:
Highway 1 in San Luis Obispo and Monterey Counties is renowned for its iconic stature as one of the most scenic highways in the United States with stellar views of the Pacific Ocean and Coastal Mountains and Terraces. Caltrans recent "chipseal" resurfacing has decimated a nearly 25 mile stretch of this road in Northern San Luis Obispo County making it dangerous for cyclists and uncomfortable for other means of transport.
Highway 1 is a heavily used cycling route with a substantial number of local riders using it on a daily basis. It also attracts significant numbers of cyclists from around the state and beyond who participate in organized tours and fundraising events such as:
- Best Buddies Challenge, for which Maria Shriver is the Chair Person;
- California Coast Classic - Arthritis Foundation
- National and local bicycle touring companies (for example Backroads, Central Coast Outdoors, Cycling Escapes, etc);
- The Amgen Tour of California (2006-2008);
- Wounded Warriors;
- Numerous fundraising rides supported by the San Luis Obispo Bicycle Club and Cambria riders.
Thus, in addition to concerns for safety, the potential economic impact of the current road condition on the local economy is likely to be significant.
CALTRANS has a wonderful opportunity to do the right thing. There are too many stakeholders and this problem is too big to just go away.
With an open and willing approach to addressing this problem, CALTRANS will garner significant public goodwill.
Monitor Progress on the Rollers' Facebook Page :