The infamous Devil’s Slide stretch of Highway 1 (SR-1) is currently slated to be closed permanently to cars and motorcycles in late 2012 when the Devil’s Slide Tunnel Project will be hopefully completed, offering a solution to this notoriously unstable and unsafe section of highway.
As the location of so many motorcycle and car injuries and fatalities, this stretch of Highway 1 on the beautiful California coast has developed a very bad reputation over the last decades as an accident location. And also, as a landslide-prone section of highway, Devil’s Slide is often closed whenever there is a storm, as sections of the highway give way and fall.
Highway 1 has also proven to be dangerous for many drivers and motorcycle riders since the highway is so narrow along the cliffs, with many blind corners. The drivers are drawn by the natural and dramatic beauty of the coastline. The riders are drawn by the challenging turns. Both drivers and riders have often found this stretch of road overly challenging and hazardous.
The coast between Pacifica and Montara is perhaps unsurpassed in scenic beauty and is surely a motorcyclist’s dream. But with the long history of closure due to rockslides and land slippage, and seemingly constant repairs, Devil’s Slide will finally be by-passed by two inland tunnels, providing a safe, dependable highway between Pacifica and Montara.
As an avid motorcyclist, and San Francisco Motorcycle Attorney, I will miss riding my own motorcycle along this scenic stretch of coast, but I recognize the dangers from rockslides, and also the dangers with typical traffic traveling along the cliffs with narrow roads and so many blind turns. While I don’t like riding my motorcycle in tunnels, I support the building of a safer road for all travelers, both local and touring, even though I will miss this fun and challenging piece of our California coast.
The perk to this project, which many bicyclists and pedestrians will enjoy, is that the bypassed section of Highway 1, together with 70 acres of State right of way, will be available for public access and recreational use following the planned tunnel opening in late 2012.
About the author: Claude Wyle is an aggressive advocate for San Francisco Bay Area motorcylists, bicyclists and pedestrians. Claude has decades of experience representing those harmed by the wrongful conduct of others, and, as a San Francisco motorcycle, bicycle and pedestrian accident attorney, has fought to protect the rights of those injured throughout his legal career. Claude is also an avid cyclist and motorcyclist himself and member of the Marin County Bicycle Coalition, San Francisco Bicycle Coalition and Silicon Valley Bicycle Coalition and is a sponsor of Safe Routes to School. This year, Claude is going to lecture to End Distracted Driving. Please follow this blog for more details on future events aimed at ending distracted driving in California and nationally.