I have a question for all coastside residents, city council members, county officials and visitors to the area: What is up with all the trash that people are throwing out their windows on Highway 1, or leaving on the sides of the road and our beaches?
I drove from Moss Beach to Colma BART this morning, and Highway 1 was lined with ugly garbage along the entire route. This is the worst I have seen this problem in years. Is it time for a community or public education campaign on litter? Should we teach our young people better values at the school by having them pick up garbage one or more days a year? Do we need public signage that asks people to do better - "keep the coastside beautiful", and America for that matter. Should we have public fines for littering?
I was embarrassed as well, when I got on BART this morning and a couple from a European country who were visiting asked me why people throw down their trash when they live in such a beautiful place - was this a cultural thing in this area? They were astonished at how much garbage was on the side of the roads. I also am astonished. What do others on the coastside think and how do we motivate our city and county representatives to help us do something to improve this situation?
And, as a side point, widening Hwy 1 at Pacifica can only make this problem worse, as it will encourage people to treat the area as another piece of the freeway. This isn't the way to cultivate small town values and community, nor a healthier, cleaner place to live.
Honestly, how do we fix the ugly trash dumping problem? I picked up two grocery-size bags of garbage - water bottles, clothing, fastfood packaging, plastic bags, etc. two weeks ago in Montara. This isn't just a tourist problem, there are locals who drop trash as well and don't bother to pick it up, including plastic dog poop bags. Do we want people to come here and think they can trash the place with nothing said or done? This is our home and we should have more respect and treat it with care, and insist on respect for the place from visitors.