Pullouts the new trend in road design

Pullouts installed on Kings Mountain Road

Look for more pullouts on narrow California roads in the years ahead. Is it a good idea? We’ll see.

I rode up Kings Mountain Road just to inspect the pullouts. In all my years riding here I never had a problem with cars.

That was then. Today there’s a lot more traffic, especially on weekends, and especially since Covid19 rearranged our lives and sent us into the hills and wide open spaces to escape ourselves.

Several pullouts were installed on Mount Diablo, South Gate Road, but correct me if I’m wrong as to exact location. Local government agencies will celebrate the pullouts on Monday, August 23.

Mount Diablo needs them more, mostly because enormous tour buses drive up and down the mountain. Personally, I think it’s a bad idea to allow those buses on the mountain.

I rode up on a Monday, so there’s no comparison to a weekend.

The danger of crossing the yellow line in a car only becomes apparent when descending on a bike. You experience the many blind curves firsthand.

Most motorists would never attempt passing at the blind spots, but it does happen.

Even though cars aren’t supposed to cross the yellow line, it happened to me today and it’s not unusual.

However, I didn’t take offense because they passed on straight sections where visibility is good. I don’t expect motorists to follow the letter of the law.

I counted seven or eight pullouts from Tripp Road to the Huddart Park entrance. The last pullout isn’t official, but it’s plenty wide, unpaved, before the final straightaway to the park entrance. Not sure why that wasn’t paved or designated.

After Huddart Park there are none, but the entire road was striped in recent months with the double-yellow line.

While we’re on the road, I leave you with one piece of old-timer’s lore. About a mile up from Huddart Park there’s a wide section of road, which has parking spots.

You may wonder, why so wide? Back in the 1950s or early 1960s (some old-timer can fill us in) a bridge at this location washed out or needed replacing. There’s still a gully.

San Mateo County repaved the road and widened it. This was at a time when Hwy 84 was going to be a freeway to the Pacific Coast, along with Highway 92.

Cantankerous old-timers will tell you the county made it wide in anticipation of widening the entire road. But that’s just heresay.

NOTE: Portola Road “Cutoff,” which links Sand Hill Road to Hwy 84, is closed to replace an old bridge. No bikes during the day. They told me it’s open after 4 p.m.

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