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October 17, 2017



In addition to the poor pavement conditions there are several manholes that have sunken below grade so makes the roadway even more uneven. And they always seem to be in the exact same spot where it’s difficult to avoid.

El Camino was last paved 2002. Looking forward to brand new pavement in 2022. Given that Caltrans probably wants some concessions on widening El Camino and removing trees near Floribunda, wouldn’t be surprised if it gets pushed out further.

You Do It To Yourself

Good point. El Camino is so much better in San Mateo and Millbrae. When will CalTrans finally cut down those Eucalyptus trees that make El Camino so terrible in Burlingame?

J. Mir

This is purely cost/benefit. Caltrans knows Burlingamers will scream when they do anything on the road at all, regardless of whether trees are involved, it costs them more $ to get organized, get a plan, fight for the plan, re-organize the plan, fight some more, then a year or two later (maybe) something gets done. Other cities are less "caring", i guess that makes them easier to work with (?) All that caring and concern for the trees, but not much for the low-slung vehicles going bumpity-bump. I just had a wreck on ECR btw, right at Oak Grove, and it wasn't pretty. I don't know if repaving would have avoided that one but there is so much going on above ground near the traffic lights it does make it harder to notice lights turning...


To be clear not advocating for tree removal. Only pointing out that Caltrans appears to have leverage.

It’d be a good start if the utility owners of the manholes are compelled to raise their manholes to grade and make them more flush with pavement.

My wish is Caltrans to start planning on Resurfacing in 2022 because it takes years. Get the utilities - Water, sewer, cable to start planning to get in now to line up things for repaving. That pavement is bad now. In 2020? 2022?

Bruce Dickinson

Cal-Trans is a proponent of the Grand Boulevard Initiative and has wanted to widen El Camino Real and take down the Eucalyptus for this (and other purported 'safety') reasons. They are traffic engineers, so they only see "problems" as traffic engineering issues and do not care about the visual character and fabric of a community.

It doesn't strike Bruce Dickinson as surprising that the Burlingame part of El Camino Real is neglected relative to our much more "compliant" neighbors Millbrae and San Mateo.

The tree roots cause dips but as mentioned above the pavement is just as rough in the two inner lanes with the sinking manhole covers and pot-holes--something that my Ferraris and my aging spine are not exactly happy with!


At least it prevents speeding! If the road gets fixed people will start screaming about speeders.


Those trees are critical to PEDESTRIAN safety on ECR. If we lose the trees we will walk/bike at terrible risk.

Bruce Dickinson

Resident, no arguments here from Bruce Dickinson. If all you have is a hammer, then everything starts looking like a nail. CalTrans is only interested in vehicular traffic and flow and nothing else. All the common-sense factors that you, I or most Burlingame residents would consider to be relevant are not relevant in the eyes of CalTrans.

This is why it is so important to elect leaders that are champions of "localism" and your direct interests. Unfortunately in California too many decisions are forced down our throats by State and regional powers, thereby placing even more importance on electing local leadership to act as a check and balance mechanism.

You Do It To Yourself

All the above is an argument for Burlingame and not caltrans to pay for maintenance of ECR. Burlingame has special requirements invoking special costs. So pay it and stop complaining about how the state wastes money. It wastes money on your aesthetic preferences.

As for the trees adding to pedestrian safety, have you ever been a pedestrian on ECR in Burlingame? The sidewalks are bad. Very bad. Cracked. Broken. Occasionally little grade separation with the street. I had to stop running on ECR since I kept tripping and hurting myself.

Bruce Dickinson

Bruce Dickinson would be remiss if I didn't say that if you had to tally up the dollars, California benefits FAR FAR more from Burlingame than Burlingame benefits from California. With residential property value worth over 10 billion dollars, commercial property worth even more, hotels/lodging, high end high turnover retail, the location of several company HQs, and a world class hospital, the city of Burlingame with only 30,000 people economically punches far more above it's weight relative to 99% of the cities in California. To argue otherwise is to simply be dead wrong, in Bruce Dickinson's humble opinion.

Paying for a four lane stretch of road going 3 miles is something the powers at be in the State should be falling over themselves for, trees or no trees. Of course, the bag of hammers in this State don't realize that it's precisely the trees along El Camino Real, along with Tree City USA moniker that make this place a desirable place to live and work--which gives it a strong economy.

Going south on ECR, its a veritable poop-fest of strip mall mishmash architecture on this so-called "Grand Boulevard": San Mateo, Belmont, RWC, San Carlos. Only when you get Atherton/Menlo and Palo Alto does it resemble Burlingame...oh and guess what? Those are also areas that are more desirable live in that also economically punch above their weight.

Notice a pattern?

You Do It To Yourself

I do notice a pattern. Humans worldwide have the following belief about taxation: When the taxation is spent for my benefit, it's critical and not enough is spent while when it's for other people, it's graft, wasteful, and immoral.



I recently complained to the City of San Mateo if they had any clout with Caltrans to clean up the excessive garbage and litter along US 101 southbound between Poplar & Third Ave.
Also mentioned accident concerns as all those drains along the sound walls are plugged up with debris. Now just imagine someone driving too fast, losing control of their car when hitting large puddles along that section because Caltrans doesn't maintain our roads. We'll see how fast it gets taken care of!


The accidents you describe as possible happen all the time in the winter and Caltrans doesn't do a thing about it. They are immune to common sense or responsibility.


Caltrans wants it both ways. They worked with the County to upgrade all the signals along El Camino, add changeable message signs and other signage so they can direct traffic to El Camino if 101 or 280 get bad. That's why you see shiny new green 101 signs on El Camino plus a bunch of electronic signs.


So they now have the ability to actively detour traffic from the freeway to El Camino via Millbrae, Broadway and Peninsula. But they don't want to fix ECR and don't pay a dime to the additional upkeep of City streets. The worse El Camino gets, the worse streets like Balboa and California will get because that's where drivers will end up going. It's a quality of life spiral with no one seemingly looking out for Burlingame.


I agree. Spiral is the right word for it.

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