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Letter to SMC Supervisors Concerning Connect The Coastside

To: San Mateo County Board of Supervisors
CC: SamTrans Board of Directors
BCC: San Mateo Coastside Leadership and Community Organizations, Other Affected Transit Stakeholders

It was first brought to my attention that an updated Connect the Coastside traffic plan “…will likely be approved by the Board of Supervisors in the spring…” in the December 29, 2021 edition of the Pacifica Tribune, a publication of the Coastside News Group, a local news organization that consistently demonstrates its commitment to connecting the coastside. The website link for the Connect the Coastside traffic plan is:


There are several inconsistencies in the Connect the Coastside comprehensive plan which should be addressed before final approval, including:

(1)   Page 26 (pdf) Approach – “The goals of the outreach efforts were to hear from as many different Coastside stakeholders as possible and to provide multiple ways to learn about and provide comments on the Plan.” Page 168 (pdf) Traffic Control Measures “Connect the Coastside recommends the Planning and Building Department engage partners, including the cities of Pacifica and Half Moon Bay, to develop a coordinated approach to traffic control for uses and events that generate large traffic volumes.”
I live in Pacifica, 4 blocks from the Pacifica Ocean on the east side of state route 1. The Dec 29th publication in our local paper is the first I am hearing about an updated Connect the Coastside plan. Additionally, there are no advisors listed in the plan from Pacifica City Staff, local Economic Development Committee, Pacifica Police or local Pacifica Community Resource organizations.

(2)   Page 11 (pdf) Background “The County does not intend to amend LCP Policy 1.23 and plans to continue limiting the maximum number of dwelling units to 40 units each calendar year.”
There is no account made of actual real growth on the coast:

Possible actions and changes before approval might include:

  1. Approach Pacifica stakeholders for feedback and comments. Include the hiking and biking routes from the north side of the planning area that connect the coastside from the Pedro Point Headlands to the newly named Aramai Point all the way to Mussel Rock in Daly City.
  2. Recommend that a San Mateo Coastside Transportation Demand Planning (TDM) project be created that includes the coastside from Pescadero to Pacifica and references the Connect the Coastsideplan as a subset of the overall Coastside TDM. This can be funded by the $1.7M annual allocation for TDM planning by the San Mateo County Transportation Authority (SMCTA). Competitive call for projects is anticipated Spring 2022, 30% percent grant funding is allocated for “Small and Coastal Jurisdictions” (page 32 (pdf) Draft ACR/PDF Plan.)
  3. SamTrans planners and project managers have done an excellent job through their recent Reimagine SamTrans initiative, planning efficient local public bus transportation to local schools and to local places on the coast for those who cannot drive. Despite SamTrans passion and commitment to our communities in need, due to severe lack of funding, connection for a rider to regional ‘rail’ corridors can be up to 25 miles and take 1-2 hours, leaving our most vulnerable ‘stranded’ on the coast.
    The SMC Board might take the action to support or better yet sponsor a request to the Metropolitan Transit Commission (MTC) to establish an OceanShore Corridor pilot when the MTC creates the task force to evaluate ‘Regional Bus Corridors’ for the 9 county Bay Area Transportation Region. This would add a single-ride bus  ‘regional’ corridor  a stones throw from existing local bus routes for truly connecting the coastside.
    • The MTC has established a working task force model for planning regional transit initiatives as demonstrated by unanimous approval by the Commissioners of  Blue Ribbon Recovery Task Force to move forward with a Regional ‘Fare Integration’ pilot project.
    • The MTC has established a relationship with Caltrans District 4 leadership, whose Director is a MTC Commissioner, participated on the Blue Ribbon Task force and has agreed to fully collaborate with future regional task force initiatives.

Thank You,

Rick Nahass

November 10, 2018 Bike, SamTrans, Carpooling

Bike and Pedestrian Planning

It would be great if we all could walk and bike the length of Pacifica without having to worry about dangerous automobile intersections and dodging Highway 1 traffic on/off ramps.

Pacifica has a $109K contract with Alta Consulting to develop the Bike/Pedestrian Master Plan for Pacifica. $28.5K of that budget is for “Public Outreach and Engagement.” Has anyone been contacted to get your input into the plan. If not contact Mike Perez 650 738-7381, PBR Director, to provide your input.

10/18/2018 – I showed up 10/10 around 5:30PM in Rockaway Beach to find a handful of Pacificans ALL of who were providing constructive feedback on ways to make our school children safe on their bikes and while walking to and from school. We brought up that on page 8, Task 6, of the  proposal (109K contract with Alta Consulting) it states: “Future projects (suggested routes to school maps, streetscape corridor plans, etc.)” and that if most citizens of Pacifica are passionate about safe routes to school, why is that not even being considered? They wrote that down.

10/10/2018 – From Connect with Pacifica Newsletter
Bicycle and Pedestrian Master Plan Outreach at Rockaway Beach Farmer’s Market – The Pacifica Public Works Department is updating the City’s Bicycle and Pedestrian Master Plan and would like to hear input from local residents. The project team will host an info booth at the Pacifica Farmer’s Market on Wednesday, November 14 from 2:30-6pm at Rockaway Beach. All residents are invited to share their thoughts on biking and walking in Pacifica, especially regarding safety, comfort, and access, while picking up fresh weekly produce at the market.

Half Moon Bay to BART  – SamTran 118

SamTrans proposed the following in February 2018 “Longer-term improvements, requiring significant resource investment, which will be further studied individually by SamTrans staff:

Expand Route 118 to new places such as Half Moon Bay and increase frequency. This route would offer a direct ride from points south of Pacifica to BART and increase the frequency of trips from Pacifica directly to BART. This service is envisioned to run on weekdays at 20 or 30-minute frequency in the peak commute periods and hourly in the midday periods.”

HOWEVER – Page 44 the SamTrans Business Plan states that the following is underway and partially funded: “Implement Coastside Study Long-term Recommendations” 

Having a more frequent limited stop bus route from Half Moon Bay – Pacifica to BART is a small beginning to creating a much needed transit corridor the length of Highway 1 along the coast. It could provide additional workforce by making it more convenient  for potential workers to get to our small coastside merchants, who often find it difficult to find workers, because they cannot afford the expense of moving closer to where they work. It could open up federal and state grant programs that fund housing projects for low income along ‘Transit Corridors.” It could help the environment by providing more work commuter options and take some cars off the road.

Carpool, Scoop Update

Received the following email describing the results of the May – August 2018  511.org Coastside carpool campaign.

“Beginning with our spring campaign, our outreach team was on the ground at the Pacifica and Half Moon Bay Farmer’s markets, as well as door to door to nearly 2,500 homes across Linda Mar and Vallemar distributing door hangers. We promoted the Scoop app for regular work commutes, as well as the Scoop to BART program which offers free BART parking to Scoop carpoolers heading to Colma and Daly City stations. Our takeaway was a mild interest in carpooling; those that were open to trying the app were not doing so as a solution to a perceived problem, but as a back-pocket alternative to their current transportation mode.

We also provided digital billboards live for 4 weeks on I-280 to target single-driver Pacifica residents. Anyone within a radius of Pacifica was then geo-targeted with a digital ad on their smart device, linking them to our website for more carpool information. 376 people clicked through the ads to our website. This self-selection showed more interest than our conversations on the ground in which our team was actively approaching people.

I can also help with some learnings my team discovered in our analysis of carpool incentive strategies.

We reviewed the San Mateo $2 per person, per trip Scoop incentive to understand its success in achieving behavior change, reducing single drivers on the road, and encouraging additional carpool trips.

The incentive had little success in attracting new users, and therefore generating more carpoolers in the region. The vast majority of incentive recipients were existing Scoop users already taking regular carpool trips; this user group increased their activity leading to the formation of more carpools. Unfortunately, when the incentive ended, the data showed a clear downtrend in carpool trips. In other words, this strategy does not give opportunity for organic behavior to grow and sustain over time, missing the goal of achieving behavior change.

Part of the traction of this incentive in San Mateo County was likely the existing carpooler base in the region. If Pacifica’s starting point is building such a base, it may be helpful to explore incentive structures that are user-focused, rather than trip-focused.

App incentives have been a cornerstone of the 511 Carpool Program for the past 3 years. We’ve observed carpool apps come and go in the marketplace, and evolve their business model from user acquisition to enterprise acquisition. In this course, we’ve learned that an effective incentive strategy isn’t necessarily a more money equals more carpooling equation. We are always learning about what gets people to use the app, stay on the app, and recommend the app.

Also, we recently launched our new website, and are now known as the Bay Area Carpool Program. For Share Your Ride Month, we’re offering a $20 Amazon gift card to anyone who takes five carpool app trips in the month of October. Learn more at carpool.511.org.