The Cambrian

Caltrans hopes to give cyclists a smoother ride near Cambria

In response to protests by bicycle enthusiasts, Caltrans will “test roll” a 1,000-foot section of Highway 1 north of Cambria in an attempt to “find an effective and affordable way to make cycling a smoother experience,” the agency said in a statement Monday.

A 20-mile long chip seal project along Highway 1 from Cambria to the Monterey County line in the fall resulted in a rougher-than-usual ride for bicyclists.

A piece of equipment similar to a steamroller will “roll the shoulder and smooth it out,” said Colin Jones of Caltrans. Chip seal surfaces tend to smooth out over time, he said, and “weight will accelerate (the smoothing).”

The shoulder surface will be measured before and after the test rolling to determine its effectiveness.

Motorists will encounter one-way reversing traffic control during daytime hours starting March 18 and continuing for four to five weeks, as work is done on both sides of the highway under the supervision of the Caltrans Division of Research and Innovation and the UC Davis Pavement Research Center.

Tourist-serving business owners say the bumpy road surface would have a significant effect on the summer tourist season, which includes many group and individual bicycle rides along the designated All-American Highway.

“I am pleased this research effort is taking place on location so that we can find some short and long-term solutions which will benefit motorists and the cycling community,” said Caltrans District 5 Director Tim Gubbins in a statement.

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