The city of Half Moon Bay on Tuesday afternoon issued an extraordinary release in the wake of a March 12 traffic nightmare caused by a power outage and poor planning. The city says, “It's clear that improved coordination and communication within and among Caltrans, the CHP and PG&E is needed to ensure this type of situation does not recur.”
The coast was locked in a traffic meltdown that night when power was cut to the tunnels. That power is necessary to run enormous fans that make the spans safe for travel, according to the state transportation agency. That problem lasted for hours and was exacerbated by Caltrans’ failure to stop routine tree-trimming work on Highway 92 that evening.
Commuters reported that a trip that usually took 30 minutes took more than three hours.
The release seems to blame Caltrans, the California Highway Patrol and PG&E for not communicating during the delay.
“We wanted to let our community know that the city of Half Moon Bay is working with those agencies to take the necessary steps to ensure an appropriate level of coordination and communication in the future related to issues involving Highways 1 and 92,” the release states. “We have been in touch with staff from each of the agencies to express our concerns.
“Caltrans has stated publicly that it intends to examine these circumstances, review its operational procedures, and determine how best to proceed in the future. The city fully supports and encourages Caltrans and the other agencies involved to do the same.
The city is working with the various agencies, along with San Mateo County, to determine how best to improve communications protocols to prevent unwarranted situations like this from happening again,” the release states.