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Here’s why Shell Beach has those crazy road stripes (and it’s actually very practical)

Check out these crazy road stripes in Shell Beach

Shell Beach Road in Pismo Beach has some strange road striping along its largest stretch of road, prompting drivers to wonder what is going on?
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Shell Beach Road in Pismo Beach has some strange road striping along its largest stretch of road, prompting drivers to wonder what is going on?

Shell Beach is in the middle of a massive transformation right now, with a $13 million streetscape renovation project underway, but some people are questioning if some elements of that transformation are a little too ahead of the curve.

Namely, whatever is happening with the striping on Shell Beach Road.

Drivers in the area were surprised this week when the road suddenly began sporting stripes that are more wobbly than a 21-year-old walking home from the bar, turning the normally straight path through town into something more akin to a massive obstacle course.

“I thought it was pretty funny seeing the road like this in front of the (Shell Beach) Brew House,” Shell Beach resident Angel Russell joked to The Tribune on Thursday. “Cops are getting pretty crafty in catching drunk drivers.”

The large waves aren’t an elaborate scheme to catch inebriated drivers — it’s just a temporary phase during the streetscape construction.

“When construction starts next week it’ll make sense,” City Manager Jim Lewis told The Tribune on Thursday evening.

“We appreciate that it looks silly now,” he added with a laugh.

Public Works Director Ben Fine said the wild curves are temporary to help mark off parking areas for the public while roadwork on the tight street is ongoing.

Fine said that PG&E will be working on removing the overhead utilities from the road, which requires work along its freeway edge, while another contractor needs to install new water line on the business edge of the street.

“It’s a tight squeeze,” he said. “So we had two options: one would be to shift everything over and have it tight and have no parking along Shell Beach Road. Or we could get laughed at by the entire United States, or at least what feels like the entire Central Coast, and do the (waved lines).”

Fine said the strange lanes will make more sense once actual construction begins on Monday.

“People will look at it and go, ‘Ah!” he said.

But the practically of the striping hasn’t stopped the jokes from rolling in.

When asked, Fine said the funniest comment he heard was, “April Fools Day isn’t until next week.”

Humor aside, Fine said anyone with questions regarding the roadwork is encouraged to call the city or visit its website at http://www.pismobeach.org/622/Shell-Beach-Rd-Streetscape-Project.

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