Rio Rd. Weekend back-up, 4/14/18

6:40 pm -it is now showing 6 miles of back-up.

As of 6 pm, Martha Diehl reports: “As of this time NB traffic backed up to the long turnout past the Otter Cove gate.” I’ll bet you are glad to be going south, Martha.


As of 3:41 pm Saturday afternoon, traffic was backed all the way back to the little gas station at the Highlands, Fern Canyon.

Here is what it looked like further north. Photo by DJ Singh.


26 thoughts on “Rio Rd. Weekend back-up, 4/14/18

  1. Wait till the road opens to the south…completely flummoxed as to how to address this…

  2. Maybe word will get around about the miserable traffic & tourists will stop visiting. A couple more road projects and problem solved!

  3. I arrived at the back up at 2:15pm (trying to get north earlier than I normally would to hopefully avoid traffic) when it was backed up to the north end of Monastery Beach and it took me 30 minutes to get through Rio Road (after which, no traffic).

    Looking at Google Maps right now (5:45pm), it looks backed up to Malpaso Creek on the southern end of Carmel Highlands.

    When I went through, the lights were in their “new” configuration with the short left hand turn lane and the two Hwy 1 left turn lanes going at the same time then the two “straight on” lights coming on once the left turn lanes were empty.

    When I was waiting to come north, lots of traffic was still headed south, so I suspect it’ll be backed up for quite a while yet (and everything still looks clear/green on Google Maps once you’re through Rio Road).

  4. What I fail to comprehend is why the barricades were installed over a week ago, and I have not seen any work occurring since. I did see a “ troop” of management type” people early in the week, walking along the shoulder. Exactly how hard is it to comprehend that this so called plan is a failure?! What private contractor would set up a project, install barricades and then freaking walk away for weeks?? Zero accountability— just an oh well, it’s going to be hell all sunmer. Why should we accept this? Some of us work on weekends, and it’s difficult to anticipate travel time, especially since things flowed fairly well later in the week. Just “ not going to town” is not an option! I think the GDF’ing Barricades should be removed until they are actually going to do the work on a revised, night work, accelerated work schedule! Seriously, the people responsible for this tangled mess should be held accountable! Read: fired!! Replaced with intelligent, capable people vs uncaring morons.

  5. Looks like it’s *only* backed up to Monastery at 9:30pm (according to Google Maps)

  6. It finally looks clear – 9:45pm – it’s certainly a nice weekend so will attract extra folks to go to Big Sur, and it was busy down the coast, but not even “normal” summer weekend busy, yet alone holiday weekend busy.

    This is a total weekend mess.

  7. Visit Big Sur for the scenery. Stay for [in] the traffic jams.

    Post these photos on every #BigSur site there is.

  8. Not only is this an inconvenience for people but it did pose major obstacles for emergency response. Trying to get an ambulance through that back up to town is going to ridiculous. People do not have room to pull aside in most places to clear the lane. And with traffic coming the opposite direction around blind curves, it’s too much of a risk to drive in the southbound lane for much of the distance. I know some say to just get CalStar insurance but that’s not always going to work. You are not guaranteed that CalStar will be the air ambulance dispatched to your emergency. That’s if they can even land. Coming into summer means foggy days. That’s a no go for any air ambulance.

    I hope something is figured out. As it stands right now, I don’t see it getting better, only worse as summer creeps up.

  9. Lived in the Highlands 20 years ago and on Sunday late afternoons it was not uncommon for weekender traffic to be backed up to the Wildcat Creek bridge south of the Highlands Inn. This was before the additional northern lane was added at Carmel Valley Road. My recollection is that the debate about adding a second lane there was because of the habitat of an endangered species, a burrowing owl, but I checked the Pinecone archives and i don’t know they go back that far. Everybody [including me] griped about the traffic back then too. Have moved to Carmel Valley now and a whole new traffic jam going on here.

  10. I must have been the lucky one today, I had very little traffic from the south & I got to Rio Rd at 11:30 with no traffic, tho Pt. Lobos parking was maxed out on both sides of the road. All the traffic was headed south into Big Sur and it was a steady stream of it. I didn’t head south until 10:30 p.m.and didn’t hit anymore problems until going up Willow Creek when I came across a couple of drunks laying in the middle of the road! I had to stop my car, get out and tell them to get out of the road! Never a dull moment…just “dull” people!

  11. Throw in the opening of the Soberanes hiking trail which the local newspapers call “the favorite of 90% of peninsula residents” and now what do we have? Timing is everything. Surprised no one has been hurt with the Point Lobos overflow parking…tourists driving and parking on tired old Highway 1

  12. Maybe some places on this planet humans should have to prove commitment and intent to visit, maybe you should have to study and pass a test to receive a license to visit. Maybe many place on this planet should just be closed to humans.
    Earth is not ours to do what we want with, when mothers had enough she is going to turn the compost pile and grow some better humans.

  13. We’ll all be in the compost as she’s indiscriminate, last winter proved that.

  14. Kate, glad to hear that some work occurred during the week, I just said I hadn’t seen any. However, the traffic flow was much better all week, so it’s doubly disappointing to see an absence of concern on the part of “ the man” which would be readily apparent in the form of cops directing traffic!! The County should include traffic flow control as part of their budget! Thousands of people inconvenienced, life & safety issues abound, air quality fouled, because the solution isn’t a high enough priority? I heard that an enraged driver started driving on the wrong side of the road yesterday evening—- just the first of many, I fear. Time for a Revolution!!!! Demand Traffic Cops at Rio Rd and Highway 1 Fri-Sun!!!

  15. 3:30 pm today Sunday, heading to Big Sur from Monterey. CHP sitting solo, idle on Highway 1 at highway 68 @ Pebble beach. Sheriff cruiser at Carpenter, traffic stop. 2 Sheriff Cruisers north bound highway 1 at Monastery. Back-up was Rio to Tickle Pink Witnessed 2 separate road rage incidents along the way while passing by the madness heading north. Imagine the heat of the summer, Michael Douglas Falling down.

  16. On my way to town today around 5:30 I was waiting in line about 10 cars before Rio Rd. I witnessed a van come flying up, passing everyone almost hitting southbound traffic head on and serve into the shoulder on the west side, then proceeded to cut in front of everyone and the lead car waiting at the light. I caught up to the van just getting on the freeway and called CHP. We provided the vans license plate number out of Oregon, description of the van and driver and the direction of travel. The dispatcher called back and confirmed that they were heading into 68 and that they had issued a BOL. I hope they caught him and the guy got what he deserved by endangering everyone.

  17. saturday the 14th i left my home at the rocky creek bridge at 5:40 and arrived at the rio rd, intersection at 7:30! is the new norm for the next 4 months?

  18. 10 miles in 2 hours!? LA even at its worst is never that slow . . . What will things be like in June?

    Thankfully there was no backup this morning. Not sure why there’s a barricade at all south of Rio Rd as my understanding is that construction is occurring between Rio and CV rd. With the steady stream of northbound people slowly turning right from hwy 1 onto Rio I don’t see this improving unless there is 1) CHP directing traffic and 2) reconfiguring the traffic light to provide a lot more time for north and south traffic.

  19. How about having a Big Sur Bus Depot operating out of Ft Ord (parking) and keep all the tourists organized and safe (something it appears a lot of them need!)? Tour guides (locals) on the buses to answer all questions and tell yarns. Owned by the local businesses and residents. Keep the traffic DOWN whilst bringing in some revenue and jobs.

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