Gaviota Rest Stops Are Still Closed

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By an edhat reader

I submitted a request to Caltrans on March 3, 2022 asking why the Gaviota Highway 101 rest stops on both sides have still not been reopened. I received an email stating the rest stop would be open April 2022.

It is now almost Sept 2022 and the rest stops are still closed. Several times a week I drive by and there is no activity. The same backhoe has been parked there for years. I received a call from Caltrans, she was apologetic and said there is an issue with the toilets flushing and the engineer is looking into it. I asked if there is a finish date, there is none right now.

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a-1661969605 Aug 31, 2022 11:13 AM
Gaviota Rest Stops Are Still Closed

My cynical side notes that the absence of these rest stops which are the only public option in about 100 of miles, is a boon for the businesses in Buellton and Goleta etc. No local politician seems willing to put some heft behind getting them working probably because of the opposition of these consumer shops. The ones who are denied the respite they should provide are not local voters in general. In the decades that I have live in SB I remember these being closed more time than open.

benround Aug 31, 2022 11:31 AM
Gaviota Rest Stops Are Still Closed

I have lived in the area for over twenty years and I can count on 2 fingers the number of times that I have found these open - seems to be a low priority.

LCP112233 Aug 31, 2022 12:49 PM
Gaviota Rest Stops Are Still Closed

Been here 47 years and same, same. Not sure if it's true, but I heard they have had sewer issues over the years.

chico berkeley Aug 31, 2022 05:28 PM
Gaviota Rest Stops Are Still Closed

Too close to the beach for septic tanks.
Coastal Commission and all their rules about watersheds into the ocean. In this case Gaviota.
To be honest it is dangerous and way to small to actually be safe where it sits now.
If I had any pull on that I would put a new one a 1/4 mile back where there is a big flat spot.
Maybe the state doesn't care anymore.
Definitely has been a money boon for contractors.

bikerepair Aug 31, 2022 03:09 PM
Gaviota Rest Stops Are Still Closed

The next nearest rest stops, north of Paso Robles, have also been closed in both northbound and southbound. It seems like, if there are only two rest areas northbound and two rest areas southbound between San Jose and Los Angeles, maybe possibly you might want to have two of the four, or minimally one out of the four to remain open. And a northbound person who really needed a rest stop could use an offramp and double back to an open southbound rest stop, or a southbound person could double back to an open northbound one. But two have 2 out of 2 northbound AND 2 out of 2 southbound closed at the same time, and that same time lasts for YEARS, that's kind of lame. It also seems like "mobile restrooms" are a thing... perhaps CalTrans could bring in a semi trailer that's all restrooms and just park it next to the parked backhoe?

154DailyDriver Aug 31, 2022 05:56 PM
Gaviota Rest Stops Are Still Closed

I can not say for certain but I believe they may not have the water supply necessary to operate per CA requirements. They have remodeled them in recent years and closed them shortly after. Can't get to upset when a motorist pulls off the road and takes care of business.

Curmudgeon Aug 31, 2022 11:40 PM
Gaviota Rest Stops Are Still Closed

Many years ago (early 80s?) headlines were made when a pervert was arrested at the rest stop after being caught sitting in the muck with plastic sheeting over himself staring up at folks doing their business.
Wonder where he's plying his trade now?

Babycakes Sep 01, 2022 09:33 AM
Gaviota Rest Stops Are Still Closed

I believe you are referring to the incident on Aug. 4, 1987....Montaña de Oro State Park....a guy from Santa Barbara....details available online but too %&!*^ to post here....

Rinconer Sep 01, 2022 06:31 AM
Gaviota Rest Stops Are Still Closed

I have had a few conversations with Caltrans managers. Possibly the most shameless liars this side of Hollywood.

Coastal Rancher Sep 01, 2022 06:44 AM
Gaviota Rest Stops Are Still Closed

They just spent $6 million on this upgrade. They built a new septic system and installed more water tanks. They get their water from a spring above the Gaviota hot springs via State Parks. Not a reliable source and there are questions about whether it is a properly permitted water source. Caltrans knows this is a dangerous location and that the rest areas should be relocated to the off-ramps at Mariposa Reina, just east of the Gaviota Curve. They could utilize the desal water available there from the old Chevron facility. But it literally takes them 10-15 years to do anything.

Coastal Rancher Sep 01, 2022 06:48 AM
Gaviota Rest Stops Are Still Closed

See this newsletter for more on the rest area water issue.

GeneralTree Sep 01, 2022 07:25 PM
Gaviota Rest Stops Are Still Closed

MEBK Sure they do. Because you say something doesn't mean it is true.
Five I-5 rest areas to close in Snohomish and Whatcom counties over trash, vandalism
Smokey Point rest area on I-5 closed due to issues with homeless campers

El Barbareno Sep 01, 2022 07:56 AM
Gaviota Rest Stops Are Still Closed

In December, 1846, scouts for Lt. Col. John C. Fremont reported that the much awaited Gaviota Pass Rest Stops were closed. Fremont said "Screw it then, we're taking San Marcos Pass to Cold Spring Tavern and the Cielo Store."

washtosquash Sep 01, 2022 08:15 AM
Gaviota Rest Stops Are Still Closed

Quite locally there’s a single locked port-a-potty at East Beach. Probably easier to jump in the ocean than hike to a public restroom

m2457 Sep 01, 2022 09:23 AM
Gaviota Rest Stops Are Still Closed

@Rinconer and Benround - so true!! As a frequent driver in this area, I often stop at Albertson's in Buellton. Open most hours and free public bathrooms.

Stray Sep 01, 2022 10:52 AM
Gaviota Rest Stops Are Still Closed

@Curmedgeon....the pervert in the pit toilet that you're recalling was at the Montana de Oro State Park Campground in SLO.

Another curiosity...Why over 40 years of closures is it so hard to maintain the Gaviota Rest stop facilities and yet the Gaviota State Beach campground has running water and toilets? One is closer to the ocean than the other. Two different State administrators?

Curmudgeon Sep 01, 2022 03:01 PM
Gaviota Rest Stops Are Still Closed

Stray and BabyCakes - The incident I'm referring to was in addition to the Montana de Oro one. Definitely Gaviota rest stop - maybe the same guy.

liberty Sep 01, 2022 04:17 PM
Gaviota Rest Stops Are Still Closed

A rest stop is a small thing. But a rest stop that does not work for years, it is a sign of a failed government. CA leaders can't keep the rest stops nice. You can tell a lot about how well a states leaders and how it functions by its road qualities and rest stops. CA leaders are focusing on all of the wrong things. Just get the freeways built faster than 30 years of construction so we don't have to wait in traffic for hours, and fix the rest stops. They can start there.

a-1662074672 Sep 01, 2022 04:24 PM
Gaviota Rest Stops Are Still Closed

Clearly, you don't understand how freeways and traffic work. Expanding freeways only leads to more traffic.

sacjon Sep 01, 2022 04:45 PM
Gaviota Rest Stops Are Still Closed

4:24 - If adding lanes to freeways (ie, "expanding") "leads to more traffic," then how to you explain bottleneck traffic? When you have 2 lanes evolving into 3 lanes for example, where is there more traffic? I've never in my 40 years of daily freeway driving seen traffic get worse as the freeway widens, only when it narrows.

How does more driving area lead to more traffic than roads with less driving area?

liberty Sep 01, 2022 04:49 PM
Gaviota Rest Stops Are Still Closed

Referring to the fact that it takes the CA government 20+ years to complete simple freeway projects. Leaving us all to wait in traffic. Perhaps you don't understand how effective government should work.

Basicinfo805 Sep 01, 2022 05:46 PM
Gaviota Rest Stops Are Still Closed

I’d prefer to see it shut down rather than wasting countless taxpayer dollars over the decades. The state should sh-t or get off the pit on this one.

ParvoPup Sep 01, 2022 07:41 PM
Gaviota Rest Stops Are Still Closed

Oh good lord - this is so easy to solve. Heading northbound - swing into the 76 station at Winchester and go wee. Going southbound, stop at Buellton - plenty of fast food joints and gas stations right off the freeway and they all have potties.

Get a sudden hankering in between - then swing off at Nojoqui or Lompoc exits and pee behind your car.

If a surfer can pull off a full naked butt swap from street clothes into a wetsuit standing between two car doors 3 feet off the side of the road- surely, you can wee behind a bush if it comes to that.

Babycakes Sep 02, 2022 07:42 AM
Gaviota Rest Stops Are Still Closed

Yes, easy to do if you are not elderly, not in a wheelchair, or have any number of other conditions that just might prevent you from whuppin' it out or doing the #2 potty-squat or have to change your pad or this or that and so on etc. It's also "Murphy's Law" with kids that as soon as the last place "to go" ..... they all of a sudden, have to go. Again, not much trouble for a young-buck healthy surfer to go whenever and wherever...but to expect an 87-year old person with Parkinson's to you know what....not so easy my friend....not so easy at all.

Basicinfo805 Sep 01, 2022 09:21 PM
Gaviota Rest Stops Are Still Closed

Easy to solve? Yeah, but we’re not talking pissing here we’re talking our collective taxpayer dollars.

gizmo1 Sep 02, 2022 06:28 AM
Gaviota Rest Stops Are Still Closed

The guy that got caught in the out house in the mucky muck was a Caltrans top official and just forget the rest stop they can’t even fix the freeway

Lucky 777 Sep 02, 2022 06:42 AM
Gaviota Rest Stops Are Still Closed

Time to give up on them as rest stops and build a bridge for wildlife to safely cross the highway there.

Babycakes Sep 02, 2022 07:33 AM
Gaviota Rest Stops Are Still Closed

Animal "under" crossings have been quietly put in place in several places between Winchester Canyon and Buellton. They are not at all very obvious by design to prevent equestrians, surfers, hikers, nature lovers, etc. from using them as their own personal highways. Lessons learned from the crossing put in place in Colorado and Utah (there's a massive one crossing over I-80 JEO Salt Lake City) ...hunters used them to illegally "bag" game (cameras have since been installed).

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