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Saturday, November 5, 2011

A Dangerous Walk on the Beach

Does this look dangerous to you? It did to me.

I saw this damaged staircase while in Pescadero with my foodie friend Carl for our August food tour.

We had stopped for just a few minutes at Pescadero State Beach to catch an ocean view.

While the water looked gorgeous and the scent of the salt air on the breeze was more wonderful than I can describe, the stairs leading down to the beach were, well. . .

The top of the stairs before

Treacherous! Something had happened. I'm not sure what but somehow all of the soil along one side of the stairway had washed away from the top to the bottom. Even worse than leaving dangerous holes someone could trip into, the exposed rebar at the top meant that if someone did fall into the hole they could also be impaled.

The base of the stairs before

I felt I had no choice but to report this unsafe condition. To me, that's just being a good citizen doing my civic duty.

Some sleuthing on Google led me to www.parks.ca.gov. I called and spoke to a supervisor describing the condition of the stairway. He was immediately concerned. When I told him I'd taken photos he asked me to email them to him while we were on the phone. When he received them he was shocked that nobody else had made a report that the stairs were in such a degraded condition. He assured me they would send a crew right out to fix the holes.

After. So much better! 

So, two and a half months later I happened to be out near Pescadero, passing through on my way to Half Moon Bay. I asked hubby to make a quick stop because I wanted to see if the stairs had been fixed.

I'm happy to report they were. A lot of stones were now filling those dangerous gaps. I was glad to see that my report had been taken seriously!

The base of the stairs after being repaired

When you see something wrong please take the time to get involved! Make a call, send an email or somehow let someone know when you see an unsafe condition where people or animals could be seriously injured.

I'm sure eventually the Parks Department would have discovered the problem but perhaps not before someone was hurt or worse. It took me less than five minutes to make the phone call and the result is now everyone can visit Pescadero State Beach without the fear of being impaled after falling into a hole.

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