Opinion:  Tell the county about pumpkin patch traffic on Hwy 92 before Wednesday

Opinion

Posted by on Mon, August 21, 2006

As you are aware there are two business farms on Highway 92 across the road from each other, Lemos and Pastorinos,  that slow traffic to a crawl during the holidays.
 
While these businesses are a great deal of fun, the extent to which they negatively impact traffic is a looming safety issue.
 
Their permits are up for renewal this week and it seems fitting that you weigh in on your feelings about the traffic impact.  In a conversation with the project planner, Ms. Leung,  she was unaware that traffic was effected outside of the two weeks prior to Halloween.  As a result it appears that the staff recommendation for the permit calls for no changes in traffic control.
 
Nobody wants to curtail the two establishments in question but it is the important to examine alternatives so that these two businesses do not cause traffic delays.  That corrections should be made so that they do not reduce the normal flow into town delaying  both residents and clients of other coastside businesses.
 
Perhaps the solution is as simple as to have them hire security guards to keep pedestrians from crossing the road, and thereby keeping traffic flowing and reducing the risk of a pedestrian fatality.  A second idea is to direct autos leaving their establishments make only right turns  back onto Highway 92, thus reducing the danger of traffic crossing the road.
 
Whatever you feel, now is the time to act. If you send a letter by email to the Project Planner it will be put into the file and read into the record.  Better yet you can attend the meeting.  Below is the information on the planner and the meeting:
 
The File on Lemos is PLN2000-00711 and Pastorino is PLN2000-00730
 
Camille M. Leung
Planning and Building Division
455 County Center, Second Floor
Redwood City, CA  94063
(650) 363-1826
[email protected]
 
Meeting of San Mateo Planning Commission
Wednesday August 23, 2006
9:00AM
Board of Supervisor Chambers
400 County Center
Redwood City

Brian McNamara 


Brian, 

Thanks for posting this.  I encourage everyone who is affected by the traffic on Hwy 92 during the pumpkin season to get in touch with Camille on Tuesday.  This permit will not be renewed for quite a while.  This is your opportunity.

Offer solutions.  We have many creative folks here.  My suggestion is a little more specific than Brians: have uniformed police or sheriffs officers, paid for by the 2 establishments, control both pedestrian and auto traffic from 3 to 6 on weekdays and from 10 to 6 on weekends.

Kathryn

It seems many families go to both farms and park at one or the other and make the dash across the highway between the two. With that in mind, here’s my two cents…the idea for uniformed security or officers is a good one, in addition to having them out there, they could stop traffic and cross pedestrians at regular intervals, say every 15 mins., between the farms. I think that gates would be needed to keep pedestrians back from the roadside while waiting to cross. Gates that swing open across traffic could serve two functions. One, to keep pedetrians away from the moving traffic and then act as a barrier when crossing the highway keeping the pedestrians inside the gates.

As far as only allowing right turns, I think this could result in Lemo’s having far more parked cars than Pastorino’s since it seems many cars are coming from 280 rather than Hwy 1. I do agree though, that turning left onto the highway is a safety risk. I have no idea if any accidents have occured over the years because of these types of turns. I’m not sure if left turns can be limited legally. This may impede access to the Ox Mtn. landfill.

I will forward this post to the above mentioned email. Perhaps this year traffic can be somewhat managed for the Fall.

Suzy

Hello. 

My name is Pat Chimienti I live in HMB and with the traffic during the times mentioned above, both of which are in October. 

There are no controls between the pedestrian and vehicle traffic between the two farms on the highway.  Why not?  The farms do not hurt from the fact that ‘slowed’ traffic can and do become ‘customers’ especially with those drivers that no longer want to wait in line.  And I am sure the one farm does not mind the ‘flow over’ of customers from the other.  But what is bad is that tempers do rise,  mistakes made, and someone will get hurt.  I remember the year the elephants were at one of the farms and this cause congestion over and above the ‘usual’ times and length of duration.  The solution then was ‘ban future use of elephants’, which really did not help in the long run. 

Both farms should hire ‘rent a cops’ for traffic control.  Both farms should somehow accentuate a very visible cross walk for the customers to cross.  And as with road construction, the ‘cops’ can control the cars only letting customers cross when their numbers get greater than 25 persons.  This way the stops will be short and controlled. 

The cops can also allow the left hand turns into the farms by stopping the oncoming traffic.  Usually the person wanting to turn has to wait for a ‘good soul’ to let them. 

As for the cost of this, the farms should bear it solely.  The police should be able to hire and train enough employees to handle this task in enough time for to be ready for the periods in question.  There also should be one police/sheriff on hand to make sure the traffic controllers are taken seriously.

Actually this traffic has been a standing joke with us for many a year as we felt a toll booth should be erected and tolls collected from all the tourists. LOL..

Well that is my opinion only… Thanks for reading it. 

Pat Chimienti
205 Garcia Avenue
HMB CA 94019