Maintaining Our Infrastructure

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Another problem that Harvey often hears about when he's talking to Half Moon Bay residents has to do with our City's crumbling infrastructure.

Many of our bridges and trails are in need of repair. Some of our roads are still full of potholes. Our waterways are subject to flooding and erosion, since storm drainage pipes and channels are not maintained. Overgrown vegitation lines many of our major arteries.

These problems all seem to be getting less attention than they deserve, at the same time that the City is spending tens of millions of dollars on large construction projects. Our priorities seem to be out of balance.

Our sidewalks have dangerous cracks, even in our Downtown area. And this problem has been compounded by the City's about-face on bearing responsibility for public sidewalk maintenance and liability for injuries caused by sidewalks.

Many merchants are particularly upset with what they see as a lack of attention to the Downtown center, upon which their livlihood (and the City's viability as a major tourist destination) depend. They report that in addition to sidewalk problems, street trees are not well chosen or well located, benches for visitors to relax on are in short supply, and sidewalk cleaning doesn't often happen.

And these problems don't just harm our downtown businesspeople--they also hurt the entire community. Over half the City's annual revenue is currently derived from visitor-serving sources (sales tax and taxes on room occupancy). So if visitors don't find their surroundings to be well-maintained, easy to walk around, and attractive to look at, fewer of them are going to come to our community and support it with their tax dollars, not to mention the cash they spend with our local merchants.

Then there's the problem of scanty or missing signage directing Half Moon Bay visitors to the stores, restaurants, and inns in our Downtown center. Merchants add that the signs that exist are often small and hard for drivers to see.

Harvey listens to long-time Downtown merchant Sandra Murphy describe how she would like to see the Main Street area better maintained.

Many merchants say they have not gotten a fair shake from their representatives, and are increasingly concerned with vacant storefronts and unimproved lots.