Saturday, May 23, 2015

Saturday scenes and scenery: Devils Slide tunnel and trail

Back in the days when Northern California had wet and wild winters, there was one constant. During some storm, part of Montara Mountain would come sliding down on to Route 1, the Coast Highway, cutting off the main way between Pacifica and the beach towns -- Montara, Moss Beach and Half Moon Bay. Caltrans, the agency in charge of such things for the state, had a solution: they would build a four lane road through the ranch lands behind the coast and escape the annual earth moving project. Coastal residents had a better idea: they said "Think Tunnel." And so began a prolonged tussle over planning of the sort the Bay Area is famous for.

For years my friend Clark Natwick, printer-of-choice to many Bay Area progressives, churned out these bummer stickers. (I notice that on this commemorative specimen, Caltrans has left off the union bug which Clark would certainly have affixed.) Citizens screamed and lobbied. They won the support of Congressman Tom Lantos -- at length they prevailed. The tunnels (parallel bores going opposite directions) were built and named for the Congressman, now deceased.

Once the new passage was opened, coastsiders got a bonus: a developed new path along the route of the old highway.

It's just as lovely as you might expect and fully accessible to walkers and bicycles.

It's easy to understand what Caltrans was up against.

The gentleman on the trail had set up a scope to scan the cliff for nesting shore birds.

In the spring, the wildflowers are hardy and prolific.

We do live in one of the most beautiful places in the world.


Hattie said...

Thanks for posting this.

janinsanfran said...

Hattie: I thought you'd like this one. :-)

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