The Pine Avenue work has been discussed at P.G. traffic commission and city council meetings for more than five years.
But the four-way stop will be something that drivers will have to get used to.
“We are going to have to make sure that the public now knows there is a four-way stop at Congress,” Gho said.
Good luck with that. People don’t stop on Congress where stop signs have been for decades.
More tax dollars spent on stoplights to route the tourists and tourist industry workers. Where would we be without tourists?
Narrowing the sidewalks on Lighthouse or making Hawthorne one way to Pvt Bolio were all great ideas, but they are all pro-car and not an option.
On an average day 54,000 cars come around the Lighthouse curve passing Private Bolio Gate to the Presidio of Monterey. That is more vehicles than travel any given spot on Highway 1, Highway 101, Highway 68, or Highway 156 in Monterey County.
The first step has been adding adaptive traffic signals.
“What this system does is every two and a half minutes it makes decisions based on the traffic that is coming,” Renny said.
The signals also keep a history of traffic so the system can make predictive decisions. A portion of Lighthouse Avenue in Monterey already has the signals but by Summer 2019 the city plans to install the lights stretching from David Avenue and Lighthouse Avenue all the way to English Avenue and Del Monte Avenue.
The money for the project is coming from a grant, neighborhood improvement fund dollars and Measure X.
After two cars collide at 1:30 AM. Oh how could we have ever survived these past 100 years with uncontrolled intersections, mostly in the residential areas?
It’s because people that live here know the roads. Weekenders in STRs don’t.
“Never assume other drivers will give you the right of way,” the DMV contends. “Yield your right of way when it helps to prevent collisions.” Pacific Grove Police Cmdr. Rory Lakind agreed. “Everyone has to be cautious whenever they’re approaching an intersection,” he said.
When the tourists roll into town with their SUVs and rented Hyundais they are easy to spot on the roads and we can drive defensively. But these little yellow bug specks can jump out of nowhere.
There are several Sea Car options, depending on what you want to see and spend. The descriptions below are for a car loaded with a preset GPS route and that holds two people. A few larger cars are available, as are “Sea Car Scoot Trikes” ($30 per hour).
One hour tour ($60): Highlights include historical buildings around downtown Monterey, Fisherman’s Wharf, Cannery Row and Lovers Point.
Two hour tour ($110): This tour does all of the above, plus Pacific Grove’s downtown, and allows time for stops. Prefer to follow a guide? Sea Car offers guided two-hour tours ($130, reservations required), as well.
Three hour tour ($160): This is a good option if you know the area and just want to plug in your smartphone and listen to music while you cruise. (Note: No freeways allowed.)
Careful with that three hour tour ( a three hour tour…), if the weather gets rough you might be stranded in Sand City. Have plenty of coconuts and a professor along if you can.
Why not make all the tourists ride bikes. Put up a gate at the tunnel, resident cars only.
Construction on the Holman Highway Roundabout project is expected to begin in June. The project, up at the intersection of 17-Mile Drive and state Route 68, will likely push a lot more vehicle traffic onto Lighthouse Avenue, a Monterey artery that is already frequently clogged.
“Come 3 p.m., 3:30 p.m., it starts to back up, and from that point until about 7 p.m., it’s pretty slow here,” said Jason Costanza, who owns Monterey Seibuken Academy, on Lighthouse Avenue.
Monterey is hoping rather than getting frustrated with even more traffic this summer, people will take a new route to work.
“We want to get people to walk, and we want to get people to bike,” said Andrea Renny, with the city’s traffic and engineering department.
Monterey plans to make changes on Lighthouse Avenue both in the long term and the short term, and it could result in the artery becoming a one-way street.
The Lighthouse Destination Plan shows Lighthouse Avenue becoming a one way street heading toward downtown Monterey, and expanding Foam Street to three lanes heading one way toward Pacific Grove.
The avenue has grown more congested with a growing hospitality industry and with the closures of roads on the Presidio to the public following the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks.
Deal said in addition to making Lighthouse a one-way street other options are being explored. The city is talking about keeping the lane changes likely to happen this spring, with three lanes heading into downtown Monterey and one lane headed into Pacific Grove, and it is looking at making Hawthorn a one-way to give people another way to travel.
Common sense solutions go by the wayside as planners think up more ways to win the war on cars.
Are there improvements we can look forward too? Yes there are, but the stakeholders have to come together and agree what’s best for the community of Monterey in this mecca of tourism.
Planners with the City of Monterey have been working on this issue for over 10 years. 9-11 was the beginning of the mega traffic issues after access across the Presidio was cut off. That left Lighthouse Avenue and the Holman Highway as the only funnel points off the peninsula.
Progress is slow on the Lighthouse avenue corridor. Since 2010, planners have been presenting ideas in workshops to make Lighthouse Avenue one way and Foam Street one way in the opposite direction. Planners have also proposed more plans for mass transit, bicycles and pedestrians and down played vehicles.
Pine Cone reports it was a 55 year old woman driving.
Don Murphy said the tragic crash happened in front of his home. He didn’t hear the collision but said he saw the aftermath when he opened his door to determine why emergency lights were flashing outside.
“The victim, a woman, was lying motionless, face down, in the street,” he recounted. “The driver of the car — an SUV? — that hit her was quite upset while being interviewed by police.”