STATE PARKS RESPONSE TO APRIL 19, 2021 LETTER

State of California • Natural Resources Agency Gavin Newsom, Governor

DEPARTMENT OF PARKS AND RECREATION Diablo Range District 15751 Tesla Road Livermore, CA 94550
June 16, 2020

Armando Quintero, Director

Your letter dated April 19, 2021, to Director Quintero has been referred to me for response. We understand the concerns regarding improving access, increasing safety, as well as working towards a long-term Road Maintenance Plan for Mt. Diablo Scenic Boulevard. As you know, State Parks has been involved in the Mt. Diablo Scenic Blvd Community Group to discuss and address these concerns. Unfortunately, the Mt Diablo Scenic Blvd Community group was put on pause during COVID-19 over this past year.

As you recall, the group included a representative of the Athenian School, Diablo Ranch Estates, Diablo Community Services District, a long-term resident representative and yourself. The group was selected based on their knowledge of community history, significant land ownership interest, and past participation on road maintenance discussions. The purpose of the first meetings was to set expectations, define goals, and provide recommendations for the Road Maintenance Plan. State Parks has an easement over the shared private road. We do recognize our shared responsibility with other adjacent landowners to provide road maintenance. The end goal of our last meetings was to produce a framework document to present to a larger audience to facilitate future public meetings. The Community Group seemed to understand this effort would be a process, and work towards a path forward in good faith.
The Department conducted a yearlong study of vehicular traffic utilizing the private road rather than relying on anecdotes or personal observations to generate yearly attendance figures. The report is currently in the final stages of completion, but preliminary vehicular traffic entering the South Gate Entrance through Mt Diablo Scenic Blvd was determined to be about 45% of the total vehicular traffic on the roadway. The purpose of the study was to help determine respective financial responsibility of the roadway, as park visitors aren't the only user of the road, to help equitable financial responsibility of road maintenance. Once these numbers are confirmed, State Parks is willing to move forward with a plan that would require State Parks to contribute 45% of road maintenance expenses. However, State Parks has no authority to obtain building permits and initiate construction along the private road on its own.
Unfortunately, COVID-19 dramatically impacted our progress. Two points brought up from our last meeting involved Safety and short-term/long-term road maintenance. Since then, some safety actions have already been put in place. Nine new signs have been installed on Mt Diablo Scenic Blvd. Please see attachments, including sign location and sign type.

 

Response by Eddie Guaracha, Superintendent Diablo Range District. (Red highlight added to emphasize his focus on "Road Maintenance" NOT Safety (send on June 29, 2021). Read the April 19, 2021 Letter to Understand how he Totally ignored our request: "implement a safety plan to protect all park visitors traveling through the Mt. Diablo Scenic Blvd Danger Zone."