Militant Manilans Safety-Signing 255 – January 13, 2012
MANILA – Frustrated by the slow pace of response from the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) to Manila residents’ concerns about issues of safety on State Route 255, community members will place their own signs at both entrances to Manila urging motorists to drive safely.
The signs will be installed Monday, Jan. 16, the observed day of Martin Luther King’s birthday. Community members and supporters will meet at the Manila Community Park to show their support for the highway safety effort and, in the spirit of the day, to assist with park clean-up and landscaping. This event will begin at 10 a.m.
State Route 255 divides Manila in half. The Pacific Ocean, the beach and dunes, community center, Manila Dunes Recreation Area, the Humboldt Coastal Nature Center and Family Resource Center lie west of the highway.
Half of Manila’s population, two churches, the Manila Park and access to Humboldt Bay lie to the east.
It is difficult to cross the highway safely because of the high rate of speed of oncoming vehicles and also because of the curves on 255 at the Dean Avenue/Pacific Boulevard and the Young Lane/north Peninsula Drive intersections.
Many accidents, especially, have occurred at the Dean Avenue/Pacific Boulevard intersection: there was a fatal accident at this intersection in 2011 and a non-fatal accident at the same intersection two weeks later. Coastal fog makes crossing the highway and entering from town roads especially hazardous.
Manila residents have expressed their safety concerns to representatives of Caltrans at least since the 1970s.