Monday, March 11, 2013


    For those of you who riddle life's frustrations with the  old chestnut "WWJD-what would Jesus do?" or who seek a Taoist path of "going with the flow," my questions are out of your comfort zone.  
      But growing up on the south-side of Muncie Indiana taught a direct course of action gets results. My ire is simply one of a chorus who legitimately ask are there any thinking people who manage or supervise in CalTrans? (For readers outside California, CalTrans is the agency responsible for highway planning, construction and maintenance)
      Since last year a 25 mile stretch of iconic Highway 1 north of Cambria to the Monterey County line has been the object of puzzlement, frustration, controversy and anger. It's been the cause of broken bones and windshields. We can attest to the windshield issue. Bicyclists have been injured.
      Caltrans resurfaced the road and they blew it. Man, did they ever?!
      Apparently because it was cheaper, they used a larger than normal crushed rock in what they call a chip and seal repaving.  The San Luis Obispo Tribune reports the rock they used was twice the size of normal.  
       Twice the size?!  Hello CalTrans?  Anybody with a measurable brain wave in there? Did the Caltrans District 5 Director Tim Gubbins personally look at, approve or maybe even think about the implication of that?  Did anyone called a supervisor ever take their brain to work during the long repaving project?
       You probably know the Pacific Coast Highway is one of the most visited, scenic and bicycled roads in the world. Since the idiot job was first done, bicycle riders, clubs, organizations, federations and race planners have all tried to reason with Caltrans over how they have practically ruined a highway.  Caltrans, to whom we give hundreds of millions of tax dollars so they can maintain our highway has put on one of the best shuck and jive, obfuscate, divert attention bureaucratic bull shit Stepin Fetchit fests in history.  Sorry, I apologize to Stepin Fetchit (Lincoln Perry)  and his fans. Though controversial his laziest man in the world character made him a millionaire. Unlike Caltrans, Perry had talent. Caltrans is foot dragging because they are real fools.
       What are they doing about it?  Studies, they say they will do.  Analysis and comparisons, they say they will do.
      How about dragging your public dollar paid fannies out to the road where you can walk it, drive and bicycle it?  I suspect the rough ride might even jigger on a synapse or two in your apparently dimwitted and certainly intelligence starved cranial cavity, which I hesitate calling a brain, because so far there has been no evidence of such higher  function.  Other than to collect your salaries that we paid while you have tried to ruin a highway and evinced nothing but arrogance since, that is.
     Well, the battle is being stepped up.  A Chamber of Commerce, hotel and motel owners, travelers and visitors bureaus, antique car owners and their associations, even organizers of the public service Best Buddies bike ride are chiming in.  Business owners say they are in jeopardy of loosing seasonal income.
     County government representatives and state assembly men are getting involved.  As one county supervisor who has been on this for months told the Tribune, Caltrans response has been "frustrating?"  Frustrating?  How about like something from cold war era Russian government.
     So, back to riddling questions. How to get through to these dunderheads?  Reason seems to be a skill set they are not capable of.  Back on South Ebright Street, back in the cinder alley, we found that a few rounds of bare knuckle logic could work wonders as a motivational device and behavior modification.
      But, let me take a few deep breaths, look at the rolling green mountains and cobalt blue sky and trust that enough citizens, groups and local government officials can, figuratively, draw a little blood from Caltrans and get them to repair their mess.

    See you down the trail.


  1. Boy! Those Mellow pics were a needed counterbalance to that passionate diatribe. Yes, we certainly sensed and have experienced similar justified frustration. Ya can't fix stupid — but when a community gets riled up enough, public offices do tend to respond. Keep the heat on! :-)

    1. Yep-I was a little vexed, and no ya can fix stupid. I think enough people are cranked up now, something will happen. Now just to mellow....

  2. Nice to see you haven't gone completely California-fruits-and-nuts-mellow. Maybe a chorus or two of "Mellow Yellow" to go along with that wine would take your ire down a notch or two.

  3. My friend with his Z06 Corvette is going to livid. He and his wife would drive up to Cambria several times a summer, have an early dinner and head for Monterey at sunrise...he could give the Vette a work out on the famous Highway 1 twistys well before the motorhomes were on the road. The motorcycles must hate it!

  4. They get a lot more vibration fatigue now.