Letter to the Editor

Chip seal disaster

President, San Luis Obispo Bike ClubJanuary 18, 2013 

We like Caltrans. They do terrific work under difficult circumstances. But the chip seal on Highway 1 north of Cambria is a disaster.

The bumpy, rocky shoulders just don’t work for bicycling, and that is a problem for the whole Central Coast.

Bicycle touring generates hundreds of thousands of dollars for local businesses. What happens to our friends and neighbors when their income drops because of what Caltrans did?

One of the worst frustrations of this project is that it’s an “experiment,” Jim Shivers wrote in an email, “because the binding agents used in this type of work are an evolving technology, so we are short on written specifics for now.”

What’s that about? They didn’t even write specs for this project?

Caltrans claims it costs $8 million to pave over the chip seal. Why don’t they use a microsurface seal on top of the chip? They did that on Highway 1 near Kansas Avenue to cover up the old concrete section, and it’s doing great. They could do that for half the cost of repaving. How much do they spend cleaning up rockslides in Monterey County? Please, Caltrans, help your Central Coast neighbors and fix this problem.

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