New crosswalk
Caltrans painted in a crosswalk at Highway 1 and Virginia Avenue in Moss Beach. The county now says Caltrans must apply for a Coastal Development Permit. Kyle Ludowitz / Review

When a crosswalk at Moss Beach appeared seemingly overnight in August, its narrow width, fat painted lines and lack of signs left some locals wondering if it was a hoax. But it was an official Caltrans crosswalk. 

Now the county says if Caltrans doesn’t apply for a Coastal Development Permit, it will issue a notice of noncompliance.  

Supervisor Don Horsley said he was shocked when Caltrans put the crosswalk in. He said he has been in contact with Caltrans to remedy the safety risk he believes it poses. 

“There’s no way we would’ve recommended putting in a crosswalk at that location without significant safety measures,” he said. 

Crosswalks, he explained, are a form of development that requires the agency to apply for a CDP. 

Once Caltrans applies for a CDP, Horsley said the county would hold Caltrans’ “feet to the fire to make sure (Caltrans) takes the crosswalk out ... or makes it so it’s safe.”  

Coastsider Christa Bigue, a county employee, sent a letter to Horsley after a close call in Moss Beach. She says she almost hit two pedestrians. 

In her letter, she describes how she and her two daughters were heading north from El Granada, driving about 45 mph one Saturday evening. A couple tried to cross the road, causing Bigue to slam on her brakes. She wrote that she was able to stop only feet from the walkers. Bigue, who declined to speak further about the subject, said in the email that she was shaking and her daughter was crying as a result of the incident. 

She isn’t the only person to express concerns about the location and signage. Other residents and Midcoast Community Council members raised these concerns when the crosswalk was installed months ago, arguing the

50 mph speed limit made it difficult for cars to stop in time. Some worried that pedestrians would feel a false sense of security crossing a busy highway as a result of the crosswalk. 

In September, Caltrans officials said they were conducting a routine safety review of the crosswalk. Horsley said Caltrans would probably receive another 30 days to submit its application before a violation notice was issued.

“We like to work with them and get compliance,” he said. “My guess is they will respond. ... Hopefully they will comply.”

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