HMB sign proposal
State transportation officials say the LED signs they envision for Highway 1 will only be lit for specific incidents. Illustration courtesy Caltrans

Caltrans is hosting a virtual meeting from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. on April 8 to discuss plans to install five variable message signs on wooden poles across the Coastside. The signs would display information during emergencies such as power shutoffs, wildfires, traffic accidents and road closures.

The 5-by-12-foot signs are set for northbound intersections in Half Moon Bay, El Granada and Pacifica and on the southbound side in El Granada and Daly City. One sign will be located south of the intersection with Highway 92 to reroute northbound travelers if necessary. According to a press release, Caltrans considered but decided against reducing the size of the signs.

Also under consideration as part of this project are six wireless detection systems, guardrails to protect the equipment and maintenance vehicle pullouts along Highway 1. The project would also update the software running the changeable message sign above the Devil’s Slide tunnels.

The most significant change to the project since initial public comment last fall is how the signs will be used. Caltrans originally planned to display traffic information such as wait times. Many Midcoast residents objected to signs being on by default, and wanted them to be used only when needed. The locations of three signs were also moved in response to public comments about their visual impacts.

Project documents are available at, under the San Mateo heading.

Residents can attend the April 8 meeting or submit comments to by April 20.

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