Traffic, Road Safety & Accessibility Concerns

"Something has to to be done. I feel trapped in my own home. It's beginning to become a quality of life issue. A trip to the local grocery store is a nightmare..."

  - Coastside resident posting on Next Door

The San Mateo County Midcoast is unique in that there is only one road in, through, and out. There are no alternate routes - residents and visitors are served exclusively by HWY 1, a small two-lane highway. On the other side of the hill, there are highways with multiple lanes, expressways, and surface streets that connect communities, as well as services such as hospitals interspersed throughout the peninsula.


Any serious accident or emergency situation on HWY 1 closes the highway, leaving Midcoast residents and visitors stranded. This raises serious safety concerns. How does one get to the hospital in an emergency if the only highway we rely on is congested? What happens in the event of a natural disaster? There are no clear plans to address these issues.

Increasing density of the Midcoast compounds these problems. Our fixed infrastructure doesn't support increased development. 


Commute times and travel times for visitors are increasing.


Connect the Coastside is a project to develop a Comprehensive Transportation Management Plan (CTMP) to address cumulative traffic impacts of Midcoast development on Highway 1 & 92. The Connect the Coastside study fails to model a complex Coastside traffic system and looks only at point problems / solutions.

DKS is the contractor and has completed several workshops. Workshop #4 was conducted in April 2016 to share their proposal with the community which includes 5 traffic lights between Montara and HMB and 14 pedestrian crossings (at street level - not over or underpasses) between the tunnel and HMB. Attendees were surprised to see that they had ignored prior community input. The proposal showed 2 traffic lights in Moss Beach at the intersection of Highway 1 and Cypress Ave and California Ave.

Links for further information:

1. Midcoast Community Council

2. Connect the Coastside

Road Safety:

Road safety is a key concern as our semi-rural communities feature roads that are narrow and lack sidewalks. As more traffic is pushed and/or rerouted to side streets through apps like Waze, this raises safety concerns for pedestrians and children walking and biking to school.  


Traffic will increase on 2nd Street, 3rd Street, Sunshine Valley Road and Etheldore Streets to bypass the Montara / Moss Beach gridlock on Highway 1 that will be created by more development and traffic lights.

Neighbors started sharing their concerns regarding parallel roads on the coastside Nextdoor website:

- "We live on 3rd and Farallone. We can always tell when traffic is backed up late afternoons on weekends for traffic going North. Without fail, a stream of cars fly down Farallone to 2nd Street to avoid the backup on Higway One."

- "I've also seen cars going 50+ MPH on Carlos St. in Moss Beach during busy weekends. That's a very narrow road and super dangerous if going fast. I've had cars whiz by while I'm biking there with my kids".

Other communities are seeing the effects of these apps:

Increased traffic on narrow, quiet side streets will destroy the semi-rural, coastal character of these communities.

Moss Beach

Current traffic problems (before Big Wave or MidPen developments in Moss Beach)

AM commute on Northbound HWY 1 in Pacifica

Saturday Afternoon in Montara