Mavericks Surf Ventures passes the buck…


Posted by on Sun, February 21, 2010

Mavericks Surf Ventures passes the buck to San Mateo County,
County Counsel Michael Murphy passes the buck to
Harbor District Manager Peter Grenell who passes the buck
to Vandenberg Air Force Base who promptly pass the buck
to Army Corps of Engineers and then
the buck circles back to Mavericks Surf Ventures.

An endless loop of passing the buck explains allot about the organizational structure of the Mavericks Surf Contest and the apparent disregard for public safety.

Will Supervisor Rich Gordon sort-this-out before he leaves office?

For details read Sorting out Mavericks accident: Responsibility unclear, By Katie Worth, San Francisco Examiner:

Does it really matter which entity is responsible for the land?  Why?  Just so there’s someone to blame?  Many people disregard signs and announcements anyway…So, what’s the point?  Unless people see a reason to “buy in” to a policy, then why should they?...So, what’s there to “buy in” to at Mavericks?: Personal Safety.  In my opinion, the responsibility was/is personal. 

I know people were hurt, and I am compassionate about their injuries.  Although the wave/surge was unlikely, it was certainly not improbable, as is the case anywhere along the coast.  We’re not all “Boy Scouts”, and neither am I, but visiting our coastline does come with risk, especially during nature’s predictable extremes.  “Be prepared.”

Comment 2
Mon, February 22, 2010 3:13pm
Barry Parr
All my comments

I’m a big believer in individual responsibility.

However, Mavericks clearly encouraged people to enter the danger zone and likely did so with the permission of the property owners.

They all came to see the big waves up close. B3e careful what you wish for.

The better question is, Why do we allow for such an utter and complete shut down of our highway infrastructure so that residents must prepare to not leave their homes unless they want to sit in 2 hour traffic to drive the 8 mile stretch from HMB to Montara?

Would Palo Alto put up with this for an Art Faire?
Would even the City of Santa Cruz tolerate such stoppage for its own surf contest?

No.  They would not, and, these towns would provide alternative traffic routes, when needed.  The midcoast allows for no other route than Highway 1.

Every year the public comment “planning” sessions for Maverick’s with county agencies is advertised the day-of the session.  When phoned after the planning session to find out “the plan,” MSV placates with soothing phrases of, “Traffic will be managed.  Shuttles will carry sightseers.  ATT Park will show the show on its big screen.”  Yet, every year, our coast is shut down by crowds larger than the waves they come to try to see.

I don’t see the benefit in allowing for this traffic mess.  7 miles of crawling automobiles, Exhaust Fumes, 2 hour drive time to cover the 7 miles, and no surfing action can be seen from the blufftop anyway.  Bah humbug.

Comment 5
Mon, February 22, 2010 6:11pm
Kevin Barron
All my comments

Eh, the traffic wasn’t that bad. It’s actually fun to observe all the hype and enjoyment of folks coming down to enjoy our area and our local businesses. Dream Machines is just as bad. 7 miles of crawling autos, fumes, 2 hour drive…etc… a few times a year, I can deal with it.

The person most responsible for what happened was Mother Nature. Go after her, and don’t ruin a great event with a litigious fest.

Comment 6
Mon, February 22, 2010 6:28pm
Barry Parr
All my comments

Traffic on Hwy 92 wasn’t too bad. Traffic on 1 on the Coastside was pretty brutal all afternoon:

(Source: Caltrans. Charts by LCP)

Excellent graphs, Barry! 

But guys, c’mon…the Maverick’s traffic is The Worst, without compare, not even Monday through Thursday evening commute traffic crawls like this!

Comment 8
Tue, February 23, 2010 11:40am
Kevin Barron
All my comments

Imagine the traffic if/when there’s a traffic light every 50 yards from Pescadero to Devil’s Slide, and a 15MPH speed limit that some propose and want for near-perfect safety. The 14 families traveling to/from a children’s book fair at El Granada Elementary would snarl traffic for hours, much less that ‘disasterous’ surfing cacauphony ;-)

It was heartwarming to go out on Valentine’s day and see the Oceano Hotel with occupants watching the sun go down on their balcony and a crowd at the Brewery. We haven’t seen that in a long time. It’s always a balance of needing tourism to support our local businesses and wanting the quiet we moved to the coast to enjoy. Everyone I encountered while crawling along was very polite and just moseyed along. I can deal with that.

Kevin:  That’s how it was in Laguna in the 70s and traffic moved reasonably along just fine.  Pedestrians safely crossed PCH and summertime So Cal traffic got from Point A to Point B in time to make dinner reservations.

ME Retreats, LLC: If you build it, they will come.

Annelise: Would that be Laguna Niguel, Laguna Beach, Laguana Canyon, Canyon Acres, El Niguel, or Niguel Woods. Or just plain Laguana. I know what you mean, but every time I’m down there, it’s another new community with a new twist/instance/permutation on the name. Still a great place, BTW.

Laguna Beach, “Laguna” and its Canyon, aka, “The Canyon.” 

All that other stuff was just being built in the 70s (Laguna Niguel, El Toro it used to be, now it’s “Laguna Woods”) and then 80s (all the other that you mention above).  Laguna Beach was established in 1860 with the Homestead Act and is the original, plain old “Laguna.”

PCH went from dirt road, no stop signs, to paved road with some stop signs, to some traffic lights and pedestrian button crossways, to now mostly traffic lights. 

That’s how it goes.  Maybe we don’t need traffic lights yet from Pacifica to Pescadero, but at least several should appear soon from Montara to HMB.  Let’s start first with a pedestrian crossing at Surfer’s Beach for our daily need and then try for a bypass street for Highway 1 overflow during Mavericks, or perhaps build a CA SR1 freeway as currently exists through Pacifica?

Sorry to change from the original post of people being affected by a tidal surge to discussion over traffic improvement needs, but those folks that got felled by water would have been felled by water had they gone out there without the contest present.  The better question is why would we allow this contest to return year-after-year without saner crowd and traffic control?