Tonight: Public workshop on Caltrans' Hwy. 84 pilot spraying program

State agency will spray herbicides on only one side of highway

Caltrans has scheduled a public workshop tonight (Nov. 5) about a pilot program to cut back on herbicide spraying along Highway 84.

The workshop will be held from 7 to 9 p.m. at La Honda Elementary School, 450 Sears Ranch Road in La Honda. Officials will be there to answer questions and the public will be invited to make written comments.

Caltrans offered to stage a pilot in response to requests from a wide array of local groups, farmers and ranchers, and public officials who have asked Caltrans to stop broadcast spraying herbicides along San Mateo County highways. The pilot program will be on Highway 84 between Skyline Boulevard and the coast.

"We are working to partner with the community and we are aware of the community's environmental concerns," the Caltrans flier about the public workshop says.

According to a community notice about the pilot program, Caltrans will continue broadcast spraying herbicides on the westbound side of Hwy. 84 while using mechanical mowing and other manual weed control, including mulching, on the eastbound side.

While the map shows herbicide spraying for a little less than 14 miles from Portola Road in Woodside to El Corte Madera Road past La Honda, Caltrans spokeswoman Gidget Navarro said Caltrans will not spray within the town limits of Woodside nor at the intersection of Highway 35 and Highway 84.

The flier also shows two stretches of the road, near the community of La Honda and near the water reservoir at the intersection of Skyline Boulevard and Hwy. 84, as "no spray" zones.

Ms. Navarro said Caltrans will also continue to honor residents' "No Spray" signs. She said Caltrans will not spray with 25 feet of driveways in areas where complaints have been received, or within 25 feet of groups of mailboxes or of creeks and waterways.

The flier says the pilot program was developed working with the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (Cal Fire). "Caltrans must maintain fire breaks. Overgrown vegetation, combustible vegetation, and lack of fire breaks can contribute to increased fire danger," the flier says.

Earlier story: More groups ask Caltrans to stop spraying herbicides in San Mateo County.

What is democracy worth to you?
Support local journalism.


Like this comment
Posted by Pam
a resident of Woodside: Skywood/Skylonda
on Nov 5, 2015 at 1:27 pm

If Cal Trans really wants to help prevent fire, manual removal of combustible vegetation will provide fire breaks, not broadcast spraying, which leaves dead and dying plants on the ground as fodder for fires.

Like this comment
Posted by Amy
a resident of Woodside: Skywood/Skylonda
on Nov 5, 2015 at 4:06 pm

I'm very pleased that they are reducing their spraying by 50%, but would really like to see 100%. My concern is that these herbicides are non-toxic until there are grave consequences then suddenly they are toxic; and by that time we're bathed in them. How Roundup went from being low toxicity and almost completely biodegradable to a carcinogen implicated in birth defects, endocrine disruption, lymphoma, altered gut biome, low sperm count, etc. is stark and recent example of this.

Who knows what ills the other herbicides are causing. Of course the manufacturers' studies will show nothing bad...

Let's use methods that we KNOW are not toxic. Mowing, mulching and native planting.

Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

Stay informed

Get daily headlines sent straight to your inbox.

After experiencing harassment, owner of Zareen's restaurants speaks out about Islamophobia, racism
By Elena Kadvany | 28 comments | 7,900 views

Good News: The New Menlo Park Rail Subcommittee Hits A Home Run
By Dana Hendrickson | 12 comments | 1,687 views

Premarital and Couples: Tips for Hearing (Listening) and Being Known
By Chandrama Anderson | 0 comments | 1,263 views

Two degrees can do all that?
By Sherry Listgarten | 2 comments | 771 views

Tame, Maim and Claim the Wild Sea Vegetable
By Laura Stec | 0 comments | 264 views


Register today!

On Friday, October 11, join us at the Palo Alto Baylands for a 5K walk, 5K run, 10K run or half marathon! All proceeds benefit local nonprofits serving children and families.

Learn More