“Mad As Hell And I’m Not Going To Take It Anymore”

The garbage dump used to be near the beach in the early 1970s. The passage of time has blurred the location but it was down a dusty road near the beach. And there stood a funky wood shack where a tall, skinny guy took money for dumping “stuff”. I recall there was a giant white golf ball that marked the spot.

You wouldn’t think going to the dump could be fun but this WAS fun. (Being a City girl, I’d never been to a dump before but the guy in the shack and the golf ball, well, together they were academy award winners).

Today–as we drivers all know only too well– because we see the garbage trucks everyday– they’re either in front or in back of us heading for a once unspoiled canyon off Hwy 92– that’s where the garbage is dumped today.


I was there once or twice–I didn’t want to come back– there were many screeching seagulls, and all that accompanies that– no trees, and it wasn’t memorable–except that I still wonder why anyone in a responsible position would sign a contract to make this remote location off a busy two- lane country road the dump for most or some of San Mateo County.

Maybe we should revisit that contract again.

Since 1970 the Coastside has grown and grown and grown. The dump is located off Hwy 92, a very busy road– and today the only road for hardworking Coastsiders to get to their jobs on the Peninsula. Oh, you could take Hwy 1 south and then go east to reach the Peninsula—but the roads going east are not much more than quaint wagon trails–I’m exaggerating but not by much. (Of course, the reason the roads south of Half Moon Bay are “crude” is because (1) not many people live there and (2) the roads going east take you to the wealthy suburb of Woodside and in this horsey town with no sidewalks, I would bet the residents don’t want to see Coastside commuters.)

I am absolutely not lobbying for more Coastside roads or for widening the existing roads, such as they are. We don’t want a dump near the beach, either. And, obviously we need garbage trucks–their drivers and workers are hardworking folks, too, I know.

But common sense tells me that until Devil’s Slide is reopened, the commuter is the victim and he/she should have the right-of-way on Hwy 92. Perhaps garbage trucks should– during this temporary emergency (meaning until the old Devil’s Slide roadway is reopened)– use Hwy 92 during off-commuter hours– even late in the evening.

Even before the Slide was closed, it was difficult for the garbage truck drivers to negotiate their way over Hwy 92–the trucks are big, sometimes stuff flies out of the truck bed–they really need the entire lane, commuters and drivers can’t pass them easily–and when the trucks get close to the official “dump” they clog up the road, hugging the shoulder but still significantly slowing down commuter traffic. At one point I even saw the Californa Highway Patrol directing traffic on the road outside the dump because of the extreme congestion–and that was about a mile from the town of Half Moon Bay.

Please email me, give me your ideas for alleviating traffic on Hwy 92 and I’ll post them. Thank you for the emails I’ve already received.

If you love the Coastside and you love nature, you’ll weep when you see this “before” image of Ox Mountain, today the garbage dump for most of the county. The use of Ox Mountain as a garbage dump has produced a scar that can be seen from miles around. We must ask again, why on earth would a responsible person make a deal for a garbage dump to be located on a two-lane country road?


P.S. We LOVE carpools and commend all those who organized and participate in the program.