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Thursday, September 16, 2010

Upper Great Highway Closed - No Reason Why from City Officials

UPDATE: SF Appeal reports it was pranksters who shut-down southbound Upper Great Highway. Thanks Eve! Hopefully, the city will confiscate the cones so nobody can pull this stunt again.

(Original posting)

If you commute on Upper Great Highway, you know the road can be closed for issues such as sand on the road due to high winds or a bad rainstorm flooding the intersections. More often, southbound between Lincoln and Sloat gets frequently shut-down because they are next to the beach, while northbound is closed less frequently because of the protection of the beach plants that keeps the sand off the roads.

The general rules the city follows during a closure in either direction is to lock the metal barricades that prevents vehicles from entering the road, and switch the signals at either Sloat (northbound) or Lincoln (southbound) to 4-way stop so drivers can turn away from the closure safely and use Lower Great Highway.

This morning, southbound Upper Great Highway was closed at Lincoln, but it's a little bit odd. The metal barricades was in the open position, and there was only a bunch of traffic cones blocking the entrance to the stretch. Also, the signal was still running on red-yellow-green cycle when it was supposed to be operating in 4-way stop. The signal problem alone forced four lanes of traffic to turn left into two lanes and raises the risk of a collision.

I called 311 this morning to find out information, and the lady on the phone could not find any information about why the road was shut-down. I soon after called the Taraval SFPD station to find out if they knew anything, and they are usually told by the city if that stretch of road is ever closed. The nice sergeant informed me an officer is going to take a look into what's going on.

After this little fiasco, there is only two reasons why this road closure happened with all the oddities:
  1. A prankster thought it was funny to shut down a major road.
  2. Incompetent city officials failing to lock the metal barriers, switch the signals to 4-way stop, and failure to inform the police.
Thanks for making me arrive late to my destination. Grumble...

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