Highway One in Big Sur reaches gridlock

I received a number of traffic reports from readers for Sunday, July 3. It was beyond a nightmare. Suzy Cowan Tennyson reported it took her 58 minutes to travel (between 4 and 4:58) what is usually 30 mins from River Inn to Rio RD. She counted the vehicles. 1736, South Bound only! She said at River Inn all day it was almost gridlock with all the cars headed southbound.

John Galt, on the same day, took this photo. It took him two hours to reach Rocky Point from Rio Road, usually a 15 min drive. (He took this photo at 5:11) Cars were lined up from Bixby Bridge all the way back to Rocky Point. It took him another hour to travel from Rocky Point to River Inn.


So, if one was traveling north on Sunday, it took twice as long as usual to reach Rio RD. But if one was traveling south on Highway One, it took TEN TIMES normal driving times to reach Big Sur Valley.

Here  is one from Amy Hall taken Saturday night:


We have studied this before, made predictions and recommendations, but have accomplished nothing. We have to change direction.


I’ve been going through this document (thanks for sending it Laurie and Tim Green), but it is tedious and will take some time. I will add photos of various pages of interest to the Overuse Page, as I go. I also have made a FOIA request to Cal Trans for any other traffic monitoring reports made from 1979 to the present. Will see what they say. Also, I will be requesting statistics from the State Park on visitor levels.

We are way beyond capacity on Highway One, the back country, and the entire length of Big Sur. It is a problem which is not going away and which must be faced and addressed. For my part, I just bought 5 Marathon C0200003 counters from Amazon, the only ones which are 5 digit instead of the usual 4 for only $7.95 each. I hope to pass out a few (I’ll leave one with Suzy or Rick at the River Inn) and use a few at strategic places right on the highway for an hour, or so. Any of you who decide to do the same thing, send the info to me at kwnovoa@mac.com. Make sure to include the date, day of the week, and time with your stats.