Trying out new ways to document safety issues on streets

One recent Saturday I took a casual ride via the Skyline route from SF to San Mateo. This is a route I often take during non-shelter-in-place times to make the "long commute" from Sausalito to Mountain View with SF2G. I used the opportunity to photo document some bicycle safety issues on the route (mostly debris and overgrown vegetation into the shoulder). I used rough guide: cataloging issues where more than 1/2 the shoulder is unavailable for some reason.

Yikes! Overgrown vegetation + glass + high speed traffic

Caltrans has jurisdiction for the roads where I was cataloging issues. I know that they have an online submission form, but I have come across a few issues with this approach:
  1. You have input a specific geolocation for each issues, and I had over 20 issues to report
  2. There is no embedded way to add photos
  3. I have historically not had much success having issues resolved through this tool. It sometimes feels like a black hole
So this time around I used Google's "custom map" feature to develop a map with photos of the issues. I first tried tweeting the map to Caltrans District 4 (which covers the San Francisco Bay Area), but that got nowhere. Maybe because they don't monitor their Twitter account much, or maybe because I have zero clout on Twitter (follow me!).

After a couple days I decided to call Caltrans, fully expecting that it would be a quagmire. But after about 3 transfers and  voicemails I was in touch with someone at the maintenance facility for SF & San Mateo Counties. They provided an email address to send the map and supposedly they've got the work in their queue. Hopefully I'll have some results to report!


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