Most of scenic Highway 1 is but a two lane meandering road that hugs the California coastline. Portions are routinely closed because of landslides. And now, massive slides have closed the road from the south and caused the removal of a bridge from the north. Several small communities between those damaged portions are finding it difficult to maintain supplies.
For a majority of Californians, this highway provides no personal or commercial function except for an occasional trip. The highway does draw large tourist traffic wanting to see the Pacific Ocean as they drive north or south while avoiding the inland Highway 101.
Facing large repair bills for replacing the bridge and clearing the slide, it is time to ask: “Should Highway 1 be made a toll road?” Certainly the local businesses and residents could be given permits for free travel, but for the average California resident and the many tourists who take a one-way drive from San Simeon to Monterey (or reverse), a charge of $20 per vehicle would be reasonable and go a long way in the rebuilding and maintenance of this highway.
Gary Corsiglia, San Luis Obispo
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