Big Sur Sustainable Destination Stewardship Plan Update And A Request for Input Dear Big Sur Community Members,
Many thanks to all the community members who participated in meeting with Costas Christ of Beyond Green Travel during his visit in August. CABS has now entered into a contract with Beyond Green Travel to move forward on a Destination Stewardship Plan for Big Sur. To learn more about this process, go to the “Initiatives” page on our website.
An important component of this work is collecting data on traffic. CABS is coordinating with traffic engineers, Cal Trans and TAMC to consolidate existing data sets and reports on traffic volume as a preliminary step to establish where we are going in terms of gathering data for overall vehicle impact on the Highway.
Residents from up and down the coast have expressed that capturing traffic counts in real time, 24-7, 365 days a year for multiple years is an important place to start. Three locations stand out as initial gathering locations: Mal Paso Creek Bridge, Nacimiento Rd and Highway 1 intersection and the southern county line.
We believe that the residents who travel the highway on a regular basis may have insights that could inform the scope of this study. You can help us with the following question. Aside from these 3 locations, above, where else along the Highway or side roads would data on traffic volume be of value?
Today, I am going to forego my planned post on the “Invisible Costs of Tourism” to talk about a very real cost that many of us have been warning about for some time — that is traffic jams at Bixby and the impact on emergency response times. These costs are not monetary, they are to life and limb. I admit, I am biased. I lost my leg in an auto accident, and nearly lost my life. I am VERY aware that in emergency responses, time is a critical factor.
Medical Emergency on Highway One hampered by tourist traffic jam and road construction at Bixby Bridge.
There was a head-on collision at Big Creek yesterday, with several people injured, one critically. The CHP dispatcher wrote this:
 A27-014 HEAVY TRAFF AT BIXBY / DOWN TO 1 LN / REQ 1141 BE ADVSD
Fortunately, Big Sur Fire is south of Bixby. Thankfully, Chief Matt Harris, and his supportive volunteer board is cross-training ALL volunteers not only for fire fighting, but for cliff-rescue as well as EMTs. They needed both for this incident, as is often the case. These are the men and women we count on, who are also there for our tourists. Please consider a donation to: http://Bigsurfire.org It is a completely voluntary organization dependent on donations and grants.
For the critical patient, our military neighbor, Fort Hunter Liggett, sent a medical helicopter. He was not able to land at Big Creek due to fog, so he landed at the Hermitage. Big Sur Fire, MCSO, AMR met him there and transferred the patient from the ambulance to the helicopter. Good job all, and I probably speak for the entire coast when I wish the patient a speedy and full recovery.
I would just like to note that all of these people involved are professionals, only one of which is not paid. Marcus Foster, and Big Sur Fire, I hold you in great regard. Thank you.
I should add, that in addition to the traffic problems at Bixby, there is currently road construction going on in the area which exacerbates the problem.
The part we might be most concerned with is this: “Also Monday, the board agreed to back a proposal from board chairman John Phillips to devote $1.4 million in transient occupancy tax revenue to the Monterey County Convention and Visitors Bureau. They also directed the organization to conduct a range of economic development initiatives, including a Big Sur tourism study and shuttle, and promotion of county destinations such as the Salinas Valley and River Road wine corridor, Lakes Nacimiento and San Antonio, the Pinnacles National Monument, and more.” From Monterey Herald http://www.montereyherald.com/supervisors-wrap-up-county-budget-hearings
In preparation for the 119th U.S. Open Championship, the United States Golf Association (USGA) and Pebble Beach company unveiled a comprehensive transportation plan to ensure the safe and efficient movement of traffic and pedestrians during the championship, scheduled for June 10-16.
More than 16,000 satellite parking spaces have been secured to help ensure that the anticipated 250,000 fans at the U.S. Open experience trouble-free travel to and from the Pebble Beach. Local traffic representatives from the California Highway Patrol, Monterey County Sheriff’s Office, and California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) have been involved in the 18-month-long planning process with the USGA and Pebble Beach Company.
All fans traveling by car during U.S. Open week should follow event trailblazing signage to California State University Monterey Bay (CSUMB) in Marina, CA, where complimentary parking and shuttle transportation will be provided to and from Pebble Beach. Shuttles will run continuously beginning at 5:30 a.m. PDT each day and continue for one hour following the conclusion of play. One-way shuttle times are expected to take approximately 30-35 minutes, depending upon traffic.
There is no general parking for fans with disabilities available in the immediate vicinity of Pebble Beach Golf Links. All other parking is by permit only. Parking restrictions surrounding the championship grounds and within the Del Monte Forest will be closely monitored and enforced. 17-Mile Drive will be closed to tourist traffic June 9 through June 16, 2019.
Handicapped-accessible parking spaces will be available at all championship parking areas for vehicles displaying appropriate HP/DP license plates or placards. Individuals requiring lift-equipped transportation are encouraged to contact the USGA Admissions Office at 800-698-0661 for more information.
The cities of Carmel, Monterey and Pacific Grove are offering express shuttle bus services to the U.S. Open for residents and community guests. For more information on fees, daily schedules, frequency, and locations of service, please visit the Carmel Chamber of Commerce (carmelchamber.org), Cannery Row Company (canneryrow.com) and Pacific Grove Chamber of Commerce (pacificgrove.com) websites.
Fans and local residents wishing to utilize ride-share options to be dropped off at the championship should utilize the designated Passenger Drop-Off area along Forest Lake Road, located near Gate 1 within the Del Monte Forest. There is no parking or staging for vehicles, so pickup times will need to be coordinated accordingly. Vehicles proceeding to the Passenger Drop-Off are instructed to enter the Del Monte Forest through the Pacific Grove Gate or Morse Gate located on CA-68. Please follow directional signs and attendants to the appropriate pickup and drop-off location. Due to traffic restrictions, access is limited to vehicles no larger than a 12-passenger van or limousine. Passenger Drop-Off vehicles are not permitted to pick-up or drop-off at any other location around the championship grounds.
For the week of Monday, June 10 through June 16, local residents and through traffic are encouraged to adjust travel around peak U.S. Open arrival and departure times (7-11 a.m. and 3:30-7:30 p.m.) if possible. The local residents and area commuters from Castroville Blvd. to eastbound Hwy. 156, there will be no left turn out of Castroville Blvd. onto eastbound Hwy. 156 from Wednesday, June 12 at 10 am through Monday, June 17 at 10 am. There will be a detour to turn right from Castroville Blvd. onto westbound Hwy. 156 traffic will exit at SR-183/Merritt Street then a left at Merritt Street and a left turn back onto eastbound Hwy 156.
Local residents and area commuters from the Salinas Valley are encouraged to follow alternate routing and trailblazing signage to General Jim Moore Boulevard, avoiding CSUMB and CA-1. Due to U.S. Open traffic, delays can be expected along the primary routes of CA-1 from Exit 399A (Pebble Beach) to Exit 414 (Nashua/Molera Road). Monterey and Pacific Grove commuters should avoid the use of Exit 399A and CA-68 during peak times.
The Monterey District of California State Parks will hold a public meeting on June 6, 2019 to present its’ plan for initial public tours of the Point Sur Naval Facility located within Point Sur State Historic Park.
The purpose of the meeting is to disseminate information and gather public input prior to offering the initial public tours of the facility. The meeting will be held at 10 a.m. at the Big Sur Station, Multi-Agency Facility, 47555 Highway 1, Big Sur.
Questions, inquiries and comments (for those unable to attend) may be directed to State Parks’ Supervising Ranger D.L. Kraft at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Mary Trotter sent me this. It was supposed to be noticed in several local media, but she was unable to locate it, so be sure to share this far and wide. Post to FB, twitter, and/or instagram so we can get the word out.
June 6th at 10 am at the MAF Facility (Big Sur Station next to Cal Trans yard.)
“This will be your chance to ask questions and make comments about viewshed issues. Eleven point 4 million dollars of the Prop 72 money went to preserve the viewshed surrounding this facility. It is therefore important that everything be done to prevent the eye being drawn to the blot in the landscape through parking lots, reflections off of cars, crowds of people milling around, additional signs and night lighting. Self directed tours are being planned, and they speak of a visitor center. Is this what Big Sur needs now in this period of over-crowding, over-use. New easements and new roads are planned – once again in the viewshed. No water is available. Will the new ADA bathroom also be in the viewshed? Please come and get your questions answered.” Mary Trotter