Letter to SMC Supervisors Concerning Connect The Coastside

To: San Mateo County Board of Supervisors
CC: SamTrans Board of Directors
BCC: San Mateo Coastside Leadership and Community Organizations, Other Affected Transit Stakeholders

It was first brought to my attention that an updated Connect the Coastside traffic plan “…will likely be approved by the Board of Supervisors in the spring…” in the December 29, 2021 edition of the Pacifica Tribune, a publication of the Coastside News Group, a local news organization that consistently demonstrates its commitment to connecting the coastside. The website link for the Connect the Coastside traffic plan is:

https://planning.smcgov.org/sites/planning.smcgov.org/files/Connect%20the%20Coastside%20Final%20Draft_Oct%202021.pdf

There are several inconsistencies in the Connect the Coastside comprehensive plan which should be addressed before final approval, including:

(1)   Page 26 (pdf) Approach – “The goals of the outreach efforts were to hear from as many different Coastside stakeholders as possible and to provide multiple ways to learn about and provide comments on the Plan.” Page 168 (pdf) Traffic Control Measures “Connect the Coastside recommends the Planning and Building Department engage partners, including the cities of Pacifica and Half Moon Bay, to develop a coordinated approach to traffic control for uses and events that generate large traffic volumes.”
I live in Pacifica, 4 blocks from the Pacifica Ocean on the east side of state route 1. The Dec 29th publication in our local paper is the first I am hearing about an updated Connect the Coastside plan. Additionally, there are no advisors listed in the plan from Pacifica City Staff, local Economic Development Committee, Pacifica Police or local Pacifica Community Resource organizations.

(2)   Page 11 (pdf) Background “The County does not intend to amend LCP Policy 1.23 and plans to continue limiting the maximum number of dwelling units to 40 units each calendar year.”
There is no account made of actual real growth on the coast:

Possible actions and changes before approval might include:

  1. Approach Pacifica stakeholders for feedback and comments. Include the hiking and biking routes from the north side of the planning area that connect the coastside from the Pedro Point Headlands to the newly named Aramai Point all the way to Mussel Rock in Daly City.
  2. Recommend that a San Mateo Coastside Transportation Demand Planning (TDM) project be created that includes the coastside from Pescadero to Pacifica and references the Connect the Coastsideplan as a subset of the overall Coastside TDM. This can be funded by the $1.7M annual allocation for TDM planning by the San Mateo County Transportation Authority (SMCTA). Competitive call for projects is anticipated Spring 2022, 30% percent grant funding is allocated for “Small and Coastal Jurisdictions” (page 32 (pdf) Draft ACR/PDF Plan.)
  3. SamTrans planners and project managers have done an excellent job through their recent Reimagine SamTrans initiative, planning efficient local public bus transportation to local schools and to local places on the coast for those who cannot drive. Despite SamTrans passion and commitment to our communities in need, due to severe lack of funding, connection for a rider to regional ‘rail’ corridors can be up to 25 miles and take 1-2 hours, leaving our most vulnerable ‘stranded’ on the coast.
    The SMC Board might take the action to support or better yet sponsor a request to the Metropolitan Transit Commission (MTC) to establish an OceanShore Corridor pilot when the MTC creates the task force to evaluate ‘Regional Bus Corridors’ for the 9 county Bay Area Transportation Region. This would add a single-ride bus  ‘regional’ corridor  a stones throw from existing local bus routes for truly connecting the coastside.
    • The MTC has established a working task force model for planning regional transit initiatives as demonstrated by unanimous approval by the Commissioners of  Blue Ribbon Recovery Task Force to move forward with a Regional ‘Fare Integration’ pilot project.
    • The MTC has established a relationship with Caltrans District 4 leadership, whose Director is a MTC Commissioner, participated on the Blue Ribbon Task force and has agreed to fully collaborate with future regional task force initiatives.

Thank You,

Rick Nahass

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