Cal Trans & Graffiti

Friday, Suzana Cruz, Cal Trans PIO, sent me the following. I condensed it, slightly. She sent it in response to my blog post about the graffiti, which by the time they saw my post and went to  take care of it, Marcus already had. Cal Trans is concerned about us taking care of it ourselves, due to the traffic danger involved, so requests we notify them at the link below, or tell your local friendly Cal Trans worker, who can pass it on.

“We appreciate that locals take pride in their community as do all our crews that work there and our whole Caltrans family;  we love the area and do get very upset by the way it gets treated, but our Mtce. Dept. would  rather follow the existing protocol and have its employees do the job they are paid to do and take care of these issues.

We have an existing and efficient Customer (Mtce) Service Request CSR/MSR system in place, so when issues, such as this one take place, you and your followers have a way of reporting this kind of incident so we can properly track, record and handle it. This also deters folks from taking matters into their own hands when it comes to an issue that pertains to State property….The last thing we want is for someone, especially a member of the public, to get hurt.

Thanks for understanding, not taking it the wrong way, but rather safety-minded, and for helping me pass this link/info. (below) along and encouraging your followers to use it.”


33 thoughts on “Cal Trans & Graffiti

  1. Is there any way to send a message to Mr. “Below” such as, “We’ve got your number, dude. Stay away from Big Sur.” ?

  2. What was the main problem residents had resentment against it and what would incorporating do for the region? – Is it similar to what the Pebble Beach Community has now?

  3. Well, I am sure a few folks could enlighten me and not bother you with it. Save for another time..

  4. What Wally refers to is that we would lose much of our ability to have a say in what happens here and how it happens if it were to become a National Park. Where are the private property homes in Yosemite National Park, for example?

  5. I know my idea was poorly stamped & presented. I had a belief the areas that are not owned privately like some roads, & hwy 1 could have a special qualification like a scenic national byway/highway status; California Coastal National Monument & National Marine Sanctuaries are out to sea where most tourists and residents enjoy seeing its tranquality . By the way, no one loses any of its rights to have its own say on projects and issues that may be important to one lifestyle or etc.. Caltrans, CHP would reman as prime directors on road, driver, & criminal issues, but, in the near future maybe the “toll road” idea might finally be a solution to funding the never ending infrastructure issues that arise in this region. I mean state parks are already surrounding these areas as it is- the artery and veins of the transportation road grid in the region is what needs an infusion upgrade. But, the problem the area also needs is it needs to be preserved as well, yet, the tourist problem will never go away. I seem to be writing in circles with no solutions to improving one side or the other, sorry. Frustrating.

  6. The tagged rocks and trees are actually on private property. Time for residents to step up to protect and preserve Big Sur. When you now have five million people passing through every year with barely any law enforcement what else are we supposed to do. Sit around and watch? Taking care of my home is just in my nature! How is covering up graffiti on a guardrail in a pullout more dangerous that riding a bicycle on highway one?

  7. Excellent points, Marcus. I actually used the reporting link tonight for a photo off of instagram that a local found of Granite Creek Bridge. I reported it, where it was, and sent the photo. The graffiti is on the southern piling foundation. Will be interested in seeing when it is taken care of. Keep your eye on it, if you can, and we can start the clock at Monday 8 am, when they will supposedly get my report. 🤪

    Let’s see if I can post the photo in my comment…

  8. Thanks Kate. Yeah I’m just frustrated! I’ve been covering up graffiti along highway viewshed for years, some of which had been there for long periods of time and clearly visable to Cal Trans. Should we all stop picking up trash and toilet paper along the highway now because “someone might get hurt”?
    Give me a break!!!

  9. Thank you Marcus. I was going to say the same thing, maybe CalTrans would of covered up the guardrail graffiti (State Property), but not the tree or rock. Perhaps they can cut you a check for your T&M, as the way I see it you saved them Mucho Dinero! And lets not forget it was you and many a local that kept Hwy. 1 open last winter for both the locals and public between Pfeiffer Cyn. Bridge and Paul’s Slide because CalTrans couldn’t get here – Everyone. Thanks again, and keep up ~

  10. Also, Janet, and anyone else. I now have used the CT online reporting avenue for the graffiti at the base of the southern column of the Granite Canyon Bridge on Highway One as of 8 am this morning. Would someone who passes by there with some regularity let me know when (or if) it is addressed? I’d like to see how long it takes.

  11. I can say with certainty we would have covered up the rock and the tree if we we’re there covering up the guardrail. If anyone has any issues with state property that CT is in charge of in the Big Sur area and don’t feel like going through the website they can feel free to contact me at my office number (831) 667-2173. As for picking trash I would look into the Adopt A Highway program, which i can provide information for if anyone is interested. I think we’re all looking for the same outcome in this, we appreciate all the help we can get. Thank you all for everything you do to help keep this place beautiful!

    Heath Johnston

    Caltrans Big Sur Maintenance Supervisor

  12. Kate,
    Cal Trans was at Granite Creek Bridge when we passed going south, about 11:30 am today. They WERE accessing the bridge from the south side.
    I was dodging a bicycle, so didn’t hang around, nor did I know about the graffiti until I put 2 & 2 together having just read this item from you.

  13. One more comment I would like to make on this topic before I move on. CalTrans is such an asset to keeping the highway open, clean and safe for all of us. Their crews work so hard in probably one of most challenging areas in the world. I consider many of them my friends and a strong part of our community.
    I think where I felt frustrated is that Susana Cruz’s letter comes across like local residents shouldn’t get involved in keeping the scenic highway clean because it is a public safety issue. Meanwhile I just drove by Bixby Bridge with dozens of people walking across highway and on bridge, people parking and walking on blind turns at JP Burns and Soberanes. I passed roughly forty cars early Saturday morning illegally camping in pullouts along highway one. My point being that there are so many more important public safety concerns going on down here other than locals just wanting to be part of the solution and wanting to help. We are all on the same team.

  14. Andrew Scott: read the book “Where The Road Begins” by Peter Gray Scott. I saw it at Nepenthe a while back. Probably can find on Amazon. The book details why and how the residents fought National Park status.

    Heath: I discussed with the Caltrans District 5 Rep for Adopt A Highway in Big Sur and she told me Caltrans does not offer the program through Big Sur due to safety issues.

  15. Thanks for your suggession – I’m reading a few reviews on it.. On “The Coast Road” – the site I’m navigating- I see “Fire Monks” caught my eye too, well written review by you. I’m about a half hour drive from Tassajara Zen Center. Is CoastRoad you? Nevertheless, there is plenty of links I’ll investigate from this place that I’ll explore later. I hope they’re all still in working order and up to date. Thanks again.

  16. Andrew, I know the author of Fire Monks, and I have it and have read it, and it is excellent. Coast Road is Anneliese Agren, who moved to the South Coast about 3 years ago. She has lived in Pescadero, Pacifica, San Gregorio, etc.

  17. Anneliese Agren: I just spoke today with our Adopt A Highway liaison about sections possible for adoption, it does sound like there are ares we would be willing to let people adopt. We just won’t be able to install any signs on the highway notifying people who adopted which specific section. If you would like to give her a call her name is Keli Kolaczyk Phone number: (805)- 542-4755. I hope that helps.

  18. Hey now! I phoned her. Thank you Heath!

    What would be quicker for us:

    1. You and I look at mile marker stretches

    2. I ask the Big Sur community for suggestions on mile marker stretches?

    I think #1 is more efficient.

    Keli told me that we have to propose 2 mile segments and she will check to see if that segment is deemed safe for Adopt-A-Highway.

    South of JP Burns to Lime Creek is a stretch. MM 32-35, oops that’s 3 Miles.

    Pacific Valley to Gorda MM 14-10.

    Someone from up north weigh in. Or we take this over to email.

  19. P.S. Everyone please know that if we can obtain Adopt A Highway stretches, the adoptor will not receive recognition on the sign, as you see in other areas, because we cannot sign here.

  20. Andrew: I’ve neglected my site for several years. I’ll take it back up soon. Most links still work.

  21. I would be more than happy to go look at different sections with anyone, my number is already listed above in the thread or you can email me if you would like to set up a time to meet.

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