Editor's note: An earlier version of this story, incorrectly stated that the grant application noted in the story originated with the Midcoast Community Council. The MCC does not seek grants on its own; it is an advisory board reporting to the Board of Supervisors.
With accidents racking up at dawn and twilight along Highway 1, members of the Moss Beach community have been pushing for greater safety measures.
At the public’s behest, San Mateo County Supervisor Don Horsley composed a draft of a letter addressed to Caltrans, requesting that a street lamp be installed in Moss Beach at the Highway 1 and Virginia Avenue intersection. The intersection has been deemed as a dangerous area for pedestrian crossing, according to a study conducted by the Midcoast Community Council.
To cite a few cases, a vehicle struck and severely injured a 12-year-old boy on a bicycle in 2009. A passing vehicle killed a pedestrian in December 2011. A January accident involved a motorcyclist and a pedestrian. The most recent incident sent a high school student to the hospital, suffering from multiple fractures.
In a project to improve pedestrian visibility initiated in 2011, Caltrans installed and improved signs and a flashing beacon in the area.
But, according to the department of transportation’s traffic manual, a street lamp is not warranted at the intersection at this time. Caltrans’ response to Horsley consequently stated that it would not be able to install a streetlight.
Instead, Caltrans contacted San Mateo County’s Department of Public Works to investigate possible actions, which could include something as simple as replacing existing lights.
“People need to realize that if something is burnt out, it’s up to the public to report it,” MCC secretary Lisa Ketcham said.
Not everyone is on board, however. Some residents wish to preserve the rural character of the community and don’t want the light pollution, Ketcham said.
“They want their nights dark, so there’s a trade-off.” Ketcham said.
On Tuesday, the county applied for a $5 million grant that would help cover the cost of adding left-turn lanes, medians and safe crossings, as identified in the Highway 1 Safety and Mobility Study.