Dharma Cloud Foundation
PO Box 1066
 Mendocino, CA  95460


December 6, 2000

Sara Wan, Chair
California Coastal Commission

45 Fremont Avenue, Suite 2000

San Francisco, CA 94105-2219

Dear Sara:

In a letter to you dated October 6, 2000, the Director of Caltrans, Jeff Morales, stated, “Caltrans is committed to exploring all viable options to satisfy the Coastal Commis­sion’s need for a ‘see-through barrier rail’ for use on designated scenic routes.” (Emphasis added.)

To date, Caltrans has refused to provide the Commission with what is by far the best scenic rail – the Wyoming Rail. 

The supposed “Wyoming Rail” that Caltrans is constructing for the Commission to see has been so radically modified from the original Wyoming Rail that it bears no relation to it.  To apply the label of “Wyoming Rail” to this “Caltrans Modified Railing” is serious mislabeling. The Caltrans Modified Rail has never been crash tested and has no designated federal safety level. On Caltrans own criteria, it is not a viable option for California.

Caltrans’s stated reason for refusing to offer the Commission an unmodified Wyoming Rail is that “the Wyoming Rail does not meet AASHTO LFRD standards.”  This false assertion has been authoritatively refuted by the Director of the Wyoming Highway Department (see attached letter). The Commission should now demand that Caltrans offer the Commission an unmodified Wyoming Rail as one of its choices. 

I’ve enclosed a simple illustrated exposition that shows how the unmodified Wyoming Rail can provide the basis for safe, aesthetic, visually transparent rails on all bridges.  The exposition also provides a visual comparison of true Wyoming Rail and other alternatives.

I urge the Commission at its December meeting to set in motion the steps needed to adopt the Wyoming Rail. A year has passed since the Caltrans bridge workshop for the Commission. No further delays are warranted. The Commission does not need to have Caltrans build an example of the Wyoming Rail to determine that it is the best railing.

Conclusion: The Commission should move quickly to have the Wyoming Rail adopted as the primary scenic railing in California. 



Vince Taylor

Attachments: 1) Letter from Sleeter Dover; 2) “The Best Scenic Railing”
CC:  (via e-mail) Steve Scholl, Chris Desser, Shirley Detloff; (via mail) Peter Douglas