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CHARTEREDCLUBBING


NorCal club adopts and cleans stretch of US 101


By Richard Klain #22237


MAYBE THE “EMPTY NEST SYN- drome” explains why an otherwise sane person would adopt a two-mile stretch of highway that looked like the kids had just trashed it. And Maybe that’s why the NorCal Club decided to Adopt-A-Highway. Ed Perry, NorCal Club’s Historian,


had retired and had more time to travel the world, often by motorcycle. As he travelled around California, his home state, he started noticing the in- creasingly littered highways. To Ed, California was looking like many of the littered third world countries he had visited. Something had to be done, and Ed was starting to also notice the Adopt-A-Highway signs with an 800 number to call. He became determined to do something about it, even if he couldn’t convince others to help. Ed can be pretty persuasive, and the


San Francisco Bay Area NorCal club agreed to Adopt-A-Highway, as long as Ed handled the details. But, first a little history about this particular vol- untary way of performing community service. US 101, when it was established in


1926, was one of the original national routes, running through California, north-south, from the Oregon border down to San Diego on the Mexican border. Over time, 101 has been dis- sected in places, superseded by other highways, yet remains the longest highway of any kind in California. North-south will do that in a state that’s 770 miles long and 250 miles wide. The Adopt-a-Highway program,


also known as Sponsor-A-Highway, got its start in the 1980s in Texas. The


110 BMW OWNERS NEWS June 2016


program began in Cali- fornia in 1989. The differ- ence between the two names is that Adopt-A- Highway, now in 49 states, means that a spon- soring organization’s members volunteer to pick up trash along a highway. Sponsor-A- Highway means a spon- soring organization pays someone else to pick up the trash, but still gets their name on a sign. A year ago Ed got the


go-ahead to contact the California Department of Transportation (Cal- trans) to get the ball roll- ing. Each state and each bureaucracy has its own application process, which normally takes from one to three months to complete. At the end of the process, one of our club members, Ted Crum, who’s also our club’s Tour Captain, designed the graphics which had to meet speci- fications. Caltrans then gave us a blank white panel that was taken to a recommended sign maker who charged about $150 to make our sign. The completed panel was returned to Caltrans for installation on one of their Adopt-A-Highway signs. Then there’s the safety orientation train-


NorCal’s three Adopt-A-Highway Safety Officers in front of sign. Left to right: Fred Montaño, Ed Perry and Steve Kesinger. (Photo by Author)


ing for a minimum of two designated Safety Officers. We had three: Ed Perry, Steve


Kesinger and Fred Montaño, who attended a safety training class at a nearby Caltrans maintenance station. They were issued twelve sets of safety equipment (no charge), which included colorful safety vests (color coordinated with the sign), hard hats,


lifestyle


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