CRASH COURSE… When it comes to transit, Squid’s preference is to remain sedentary and stay in the lair. If Squid must ooze out, riding the cruiser bike is an easy way to stretch the ol’ tentacles. Squid tried Monterey’s new bike lane on North Fremont Street to check out the newest route in town, which opened on Oct. 11. But Squid was puzzled by where Squid was supposed to go: From In-Shape to CVS and back? It seemed to Squid like a bike lane to nowhere.
Monterey Traffic Engineer Andrea Renny assures Squid’s colleague that someday, it will connect, and to just be patient. (One easy connection to somewhere would’ve been linking up the Rec Trail via Casa Verde, but lo and behold, the neighbors there didn’t want a painted stripe to impinge on their street parking.)
There’s a grant for that connectivity project – $3.9 million to be exact, that the city andTransportation Agency for Monterey County are now seeking in Prop. 68 funds. Sound expensive? Try the bike-lane-to-nowhere budget of $9.1 million. (That’s thanks mostly to a $6.5 million Caltrans grant, with help from the city and TAMC.)
There are no figures yet on how many cyclists are using the new lane, but about 30,000 drivers pass through the North Fremont corridor every day – and two of them have collided with the new median and its shiny new railings in the two weeks it’s been open for use. Whoopsies!
HOLE IN THE WALL… Squid has been oozing around Pacific Grove a lot lately, lounging on the beach at Lovers Point past peak tourist season and checking out downtown. Thankfully, Squid was not on Fountain Avenue on Sept. 10, when a piece of foam decorative trim from the top of the Holman Building fell and smashed onto the ground. (No one was injured.) Squid noted recently that the new trim piece and existing pieces are all fastened with extra bolts – problem solved. But that is not the only problem at the Holman Building.
Developer David Gash and his company Gold Coast Design, Inc., along with owners Monterey Capital PG Founders, LLC, were required to pay a $475,000 settlement with Monterey County for failing to properly test for and safely abate asbestos-containing materials, according to an announcement from the Monterey County District Attorney’s Office on Oct. 22.
The asbestos issue sprang from inspections by the Monterey Bay Air Resources District from 2015-2017, and their finding that contaminated materials were disposed of as regular construction waste, rather than hazardous waste.
Squid hopes that the building’s problems are a thing of the past, especially considering it’s set to become a temporary home to P.G.’s library while it’s under construction. Asbestos and libraries sound like a bad combination.