The owners of Sam’s Chowder House are footing the bill to build a new Highway 1 turn lane that they believe will solve traffic hazards in front of the restaurant. Construction began in recent days with plans to finish in about four weeks.

The stretch of highway near the restaurant and Surfer’s Beach has long been a problem spot where motorists sometimes make up their own rules. On warm beach-friendly days, pedestrians can often been seen dashing to cross the road while cars slow traffic in both directions to make turns. The stop-and-go nature of the stretch sometimes results in fender-benders and other collisions.

Sam’s Chowder House owners say they have been working for months to address these hazards. Restaurant owner Paul Shenkman said Wednesday that plans for the turn lane were first submitted in November, but the project was delayed because of design changes requested by Caltrans.

The new turn lane is being paid entirely by the restaurant, he said, declining to give the exact cost.

“It was very, very expensive,” he said. “It was a longer process than we anticipated, and we’re happy to finally get it done.”

The restaurant is also working to expand the available parking for customers. Shenkman said he is negotiating to acquire new parking.

(5) comments


I am glad to see they are doing something - finally. The taxpayers have been subsidizing this business for years by providing parking on the streets and tolerating clogged traffic.

Dave Olson
Dave Olson

Heard last night at the MCC meeting that the county ordered work to stop until permits can be produced. The county doesn't find a record of issuing a CDP, and a CDP is almost certainly required.

Zack B

Is Lemos classified as a farm or an amusement park?

August East

Turning into a parking lot that has ample capacity to hold all the cars, right? [wink]


Perhaps Lemos can learn something from this. On the one hand, its nice to see families and their kids enjoying a day at the "farm." On the other hand its now a 12 month permanent traffic delay that impacts other businesses and the community in general. How about no left turns out of the farm. How about one lane in and a separate lane out, only westbound to alleviate delays? I think the Lemos would do themselves some good to take a more active approach is helping to resolve these traffic issues.

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