Letter: Consider the impact of a traffic light on the environment

Letter to the editor

Posted by
Sat, March 4, 2006

Ailanto properties (in an ad on page 11a of the February 22 issue Half Moon Bay Review) says, “40 homes can be built on Pacific Ridge without a traffic signal, saving us the cost of constructing this $1,000,000+ public works project”.

If that’s true, I would say do it, and donate the saved $1,000,000 to the proposed park purchase.

If 3,000 vehicles pass the traffic light in each direction every week day, that’s 1.4 million cars passing the light every year.  If only 15% stopped at the light for two minutes, that’s 432,000 minutes, or 300 lost days per year. Adding weekend/special event traffic would make this a 365 lost days or a full lost year. This would repeat itself every year.

That’s equivalent to having an idling vehicle running 24 hours a day, 365 days per year forever spewing out carbon monoxide and other pollutants. Doesn’t this defeat the purpose of our environmental efforts, such as Bike to Work Day?

In the past 10 years I have lived on Terrace there have not been any accidents at this intersection. This looks like a “massacre” of environmental common sense to me.

Jerry Steinberg, CE
Half Moon Bay


I too am a resident of Terrace Avenue. Last September on a weekday evening, I had an accident at the intersection of Terrace and Hwy. 1 while trying to turn south onto Hwy. 1. It wasn’t a major accident and no one was hurt but there was vehicular damage and three people (including a four year old boy) were greatly shaken up. It could have been far worse. Keeping in mind the upcoming widening of Hwy. 1 and the constant increase in the number of cars in and passing through HMB (with or without Pacific Ridge), I am in favor of a traffic signal. Engineers, who are qualified to do such work, will be assigned the task to provide the best possible traffic flow. I am tired of playing “chicken” trying to get out of my neighborhood. And ask yourselves my Terrace Avenue neighbors, how many near misses have you had – narrowly missing cars, bicyclists or pedestrians at that very busy intersection?

Rosemary Malvey
633 Terrace Ave.

My wife rear-ended a pickup truck at a Traffic light on Hwy 92 last week and was not hurt but “totaled” our mini van. She was not prepared for the sudden change in the traffic light.

It has been well documented by traffic engineers that this is a downside of intersection
traffic lights.
Reference: http://www.azdot.gov/Highways/traffic/Signal.asp#three
            http://www.wsdot.wa.gov/biz/trafficoperations/traffic/signals.htm


This would be the time to have the professional traffic engineering firm doing the EIR for this proposed traffic light and widening of the roadway to present other solutions so that we don’t end up with a traffic light at every subdivision intersection on Hwy 1.

HMB needs a comprehensive solution…not a piecemeal approach since
thousands of Coastsiders are involved …not just HMB residents living on streets
intersecting Highway 1.

Solutions that could be considered are:
1.  Constructing a middle dedicated turning lane
2.  Establishing a plan for right turns ONLY out of intersecting streets with turnarounds spaced frequently along Highway 1.
3. Frontage road parallel to Highway 1
There must be a “long range” solution that would be more environmentally helpful and safer for everyone.


Jerry Steinberg, CE
Half Moon Bay