Traffic Issues are back, 7/3/17

5 pm update – from a follower: “today was ugly, be aware and on the lookout, sobranes, garrapatta, rocky creek & bixby all way overcrowded and people parking in the highway”

Due, at least in part,  to an aggressive campaign by the Monterey Visitors and Convention Bureau, the traffic issues we have been without are back with a vengeance. And this is just since the trail opened to the public on Saturday. Imagine what is coming when Paul’s Slide opens this month.  Fire danger, anyone? What is the plan? Or *IS* there a plan?

At Point Lobos: 11:26 AM 1 [1] 20 VEHS PARKED ILLEGALLY

At Soberanes Point: 12:00 PM 1 [1] 3 VEHS PART 1125 [blocking roadway]

And at Hurricane Point and Bixby Bridge:
8:22 AM 3 [18] A27-022 22 1097 THE AREA [10-97 arrived at scene]

And a friend in town stated that at noon, there was an 8-mile backup of cars on Highway One.

And this was Garapatta yesterday. (Photo by Martha Diehl)




27 thoughts on “Traffic Issues are back, 7/3/17

  1. It seems the population there grows more unhappy with the number of tourists visiting. Maybe the residents there can gather enough sigs to enforce a limited number of tourists ‘allowed in’ during the busiest months?

  2. Thnx, as always! Is there a “basic kit” we could all keep in our cars/trucks? I know you’ve discussed a variety of “stuff”…but… Like …fire xtinguisher(type) Signs/Flyers…your “how-to Document a transgressor” …etc… If I weren’t so busy taking care of my mother I might be able to figure it all out by backtracking, but I just don’t have the energy &/or sense of calm focus I would normally have to do such a thing… Anyway…hope this makes sense…just got a call from mothers’ doc that she needs to go in for blood transfusion 😠 & realize ” normal ” plans are just not really what they used to be. Chow for now, h&b

    Sent from my iPhone


  3. Maybe it’s time to consider making HWY 1 a toll road thru big sur.

  4. Toll Road? This suggestion has been brought up again and again since the 70″s Answer always the same. Can’t be a toll road because it is a state highway . Free to all . What is needed are restrooms,garbage cans and pickup and greatly increased patrols by law enforcement. What would work is a gate at both ends where visitors are informed of the do’s and don’ts while visiting Big Sur and given a map to show them the location of facilities

  5. That was an idea Pete Wilson and Alan Cranston once had back in the early 80’s. It was fought vigorously by the residents.

  6. I’m not a resident, but an ovpccasional visitir. We have the same problems in our community in the mountains of S Calif. We’ve tried everything. This weekend the volunteers are just patrolling 24 hours a day: 2 fires, 2 vehicles over the side, and a head on TC. Right now there is a small fire working from a drone that hit a power line. The only thing that works is a regular patrol, but it stresses the fire department volunteers and the Fire Watch crew. It does give us the opportunity to catch problems early though, but you just have too many places and too many visitors. Human nature and percentages are against you, but residents who volunteer for fire watch do help.

  7. I gave you a little preview link from the Mud Creek Ariel forum from a MCH story.. …7/1.

  8. Thank you, Michael. Great idea, but unfortunately, especially down on the South Coast too much area to cover and not enough residents. We all do it when we are out and about, but not many of us are out after dark. Did get a report from one of our residents after a late night return from a town trip. He talked to 5 sets of illegal campers on Friday night.

  9. We went thru from the S side to Monterey. Caught the 11:20 MST bus to town. Fabulous. No issues. Friendly tourists and locals on the beautiful trail. Makes me think we need far more trails and buses. If a few more of us locals would ride the MST bus we could get a better schedule….which the tourists might like too.

  10. I feared this. For me the winter storms were the worst thing and the best thing that could happen to Big Sur. The inability of millions to trample is a welcome thought. I love the idea of being able to capture the quiet I recall from my long ago childhood, the quiet my parents, young in the 1930s, remembered. Hope these old bones can get me up that trail. 🙂 Although I live only forty minutes away, trips to Big Sur are infrequent and have been a looked-forward-to-treat all my life. (I learned to drive on that road. It was safe in the late 50s.) Also, there was no way any of us locals would think it was OK to park along the shoulder of the road. Or in the road! But we weren’t the entitled generation. My last trip, just before the fire was disturbing. Julia Pfeiffer Burns trails horribly degraded, cigarette smoke wafted thru the air. Not the pristine newness I remembered from our first walk there in the 1970s when it was new. One ranger collecting $$; tons of $$$ – no ranger protecting the land. I’m all for a toll road. . .

  11. In response to an earlier comment, some businesses in Big Sur are owned and run by individuals who were born or raised in Big Sur from a very young age, and are just as stressed by the overabundance of ignorant visitors as the Big Sur locals who make or made a living elsewhere. We all feel the chaos and the danger of very close hitting fires and slides. Even while livings have to be made and workers need jobs to put food on their tables, I’m pretty sure no one who remembers the earlier reality of Big Sur’s peacefulness enjoys this new and dangerous craziness. Historically Big Sur was a place to move to to get away from the world. Now the world is invading like trooping lines of slow-moving, busy and blissful ants. It’s very odd.

  12. I live on the south side of Pfeiffer Canyon Bridge. On Saturday a handful of County officials and business owners opened the bypass trail to the public. Last night while patrolling the ranch I found three people illegally camping on the property. They had a camp stove going but luckily no campfire. Over the weekend there were hundreds of people wondering all over the highway and some literally walking in the middle of the lane, as if the road is closed. I must have seen at least a dozen hikers with backpacks full of camping gear (sleeping bags, pads, tents, etc.).

    I want to take this opportunity to remind people that there are no legal campsites south of the bridge and all State Parks and trails are CLOSED. The only businesses that are open and serving the public are Nepenthe and the Deli/Taphouse area. Please be respectful and don’t trespass on private property, camp illegally, walk in highway, litter, etc. Please enjoy your time at these open areas and then have a safe trip home.

  13. It was a huge shock after four months of peace and quiet! Back to having to be a security guard along with all my other work duties.

  14. Social media seem to prompt worst-case scenarios in human behavior. The thing is to be sure to go anywhere not mentioned in social media. CalTrans and State Parks must develop coherent plan for crowd control, parking issues, coast transportation.

  15. Time is of the essence! Clearly we need to keep the Federal Gov’t out of Big Sur on the policy level, given the current administration’s stated policies against environmental protection ( oil rigs offshore, topic for another day!) Best link to historic issues re Highway 1 / visitor access/ government “protection ” I’ve come across ever, is provided by Sylvia Trotter Anderson in these comments.
    So many varied interests in play now, though Senator Cranston and Angel Adams speak eloquently in their comments about rampant tourism ( potentially) destroying Big Sur– and most importantly, an overriding theme of the need to protect the area.While allowing access and not destroying private property rights the major obstacles ( my interpretation, it’s a lot of material to read, but thoroughly compelling if you give a whit about Big Sur).
    I believe the only reasonable solution is garnering the suppport of our current Governor to ” make it happen!” :
    State of California; electronic toll road w resident fee exceptions; allows for gateway to Extreme Wildfire Area! to inform visitors ; bathrooms, huge fines and actual arrests a la illegal fireworks campaign.

  16. Yes, that May, 1980 BigSurGazette issue is monumentally historic.
    Thank you for the link, S.T.A.
    Must keep Federal Government from Big Sur land acquisition.
    Keep the control local, please.

    Whenever I saw Frank Trotter, he had a fresh load of firewood in the back of his orange pickup truck. Pat Chamberlain was driving a CHP car. Don McQueen was directing projects in his construction yard.
    I had no idea they were involved in the politics of saving Big Sur.
    Heroic efforts.

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