The latest draft of Connect the Coastside was released this week, outlining the county’s latest vision for the future of transportation on the Midcoast.

The new document, coming in at 195 pages, features a few key changes from the last draft: Roundabouts are no longer on the table along Highway 92, a pedestrian overpass is proposed for Moss Beach, and so is establishing a recreational shuttle from the Peninsula to the Coastside. Also explored more thoroughly in this draft are vegetation management to improve emergency evacuations, a traffic mitigation fee on new development and a promise to compile status reports on the progress of transportation infrastructure every five years.

The new cost estimate for all 32 proposed pieces of the plan totals out to $77 million, down from the $100 million estimate in the last draft.

San Mateo County Planning Services Manager Joe LaClair said this new document offers a more comprehensive view of how each piece of the puzzle could fit alongside current local policies, projects already underway, and environmental conditions.

“We really tried to set the plan more in the context of the Midcoast,” LaClair said.

The plan, developed in response to a 2011 Local Coastal Program amendment requiring the creation of a transportation management plan for the region, gives a laundry list of potential improvements, their estimated costs and how quickly they might be implemented. From a proposed parallel trail for biking and walking along Highway 1 to increased bus service and improved parking lots, the plan addresses many types of mobility.

LaClair was clear, however, that the plan offers a high-level vision based on community input and traffic analysis such that each idea, if pursued, will have to undergo its own approval and permitting process.

“Each of these projects will require subsequent community engagement and planning,” LaClair said. “We’re not trying to presuppose any outcomes but trying to identify the improvements needed and lay a broad framework that positions the county to compete for funding in developing these projects.”

Equity was also considered in the new draft. LaClair said the county’s outreach to Spanish-speaking residents, particularly youth, revealed that creating alternatives to driving is critical.

“From that, we learned that because car ownership is expensive, many people rely on transit, walking and biking to get around,” LaClair said. “For that reason, we believe our projects in the Connect the Coastside program are really responsive to that need.”

LaClair will be presenting the plan to the Midcoast Community Council at its 7 p.m. meeting tonight as part of the next step in the process, to gather more community feedback on the changes to the plan. Future presentations and opportunities for community input include the county’s Planning Commission meeting on Feb. 10, and another MCC meeting on Feb. 24.

The MCC will then submit its formal comments on the plan before it is revised again and then brought to the county planning commission, the Half Moon Bay City Council and the county Board of Supervisors for adoption, targeted for summer 2021.

LaClair said the best ways to submit feedback on the plan are via email to Project Planner Katie Faulkner at kfaulkner@smcgov.org, via phone or email to the county Planning Department, or by attending any community meeting.

“The main thing is that we really want people to be aware, to take a look, and to share their thoughts,” LaClair said. r

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