Better Signs Hope To Help Big Sur's Bathroom Problem

Aug 21, 2018

Big Sur has a messy problem of people going to the bathroom along Highway 1. Now there’s progress toward one solution. 

There are 17 public bathrooms along scenic Highway 1 through Big Sur. But signs telling people where those bathrooms are can be hard to see, or even non-existent.

State Assemblywoman Anna Caballero says this is one reason why people end up using the side of the road to relieve themselves. Caballero created the Big Sur Bathroom Taskforce to solve the problem.

“You have people that have never been to the Big Sur region. It's iconic, it's beautiful, but it's easy to miss the signs,” Caballero said.

Those signs are going to be harder to miss. California State Parks is adding or upgrading six highway signs for its public restrooms at Andrew Molera, Pfeiffer Big Sur and Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Parks.

Monterey District Superintendent Brent Marshall says the signs will be six inches taller.

“It's amazing how when you're cruising along a busy and windy highway how much difference that made,” Marshall said.

Joel DePola lives and works in Big Sur. He says he sees human waste along the highway every day and cleans it up. He’s already seen some of the new signs and he’s optimistic they will help.

“It’s just about informing people about the existing bathroom facilities and yes you’re allowed to use them and please don't leave toilet paper and human feces on the side of the road,” said DePola.

Assemblywoman Cabellero says the other reason why people are relieving themselves along Highway 1 is a lack of public bathrooms. So two new restrooms will also be built at Garrapata State Park to address the problem.  Those are expected to open in about two years.