The Maps App Sent Me Over a Cliff

Dear Maps App, I trusted you. I trusted your soothing female voice. I trusted your visual representation of my location right there on my phone that tells me where I am and where I’m going and even where my car is parked. I believed you right up until you told me to drive over a cliff into the Pacific Ocean.

It happened this week when I asked my phone to direct me to my friend’s house in Moss Beach, a little coastal town near Half Moon Bay. She would say, “In one half mile turn left,” and it had been working well until she instructed me to turn left onto Ocean Blvd. When I turned in that direction, there was ocean but no boulevard. Ocean Boulevard had slid down the cliff. I’m not making this up. I have pictures. This is the road the map app directed me to drive onto.

Keeping up with the ocean’s voracious appetite for the California coast is not easy, I admit. Acres can disappear in an instant. Still, it seems like something that should be a high priority for the map app, erasing roads as they are devoured by the sea and removing them from the map. Oh, and not directing drivers to drive there.


Someone etched a house into a foundation where a house once sat, now hanging over the cliff.

Esplanade Beach–you know, the Pacifica spot where several buildings had to be torn down before falling over the cliff into the Pacific–is a dynamic stretch of coast we’ve been keeping an eye on. The latest development this winter was the ocean’s undermining and destruction of the relatively new public staircase and trail from the bluff far down to the beach. Neighbors told us the plan is to rebuild the stairs and trail exactly as they were. Good luck with that. Here’s what the trail looked like before and after the wipeout.


4 thoughts on “The Maps App Sent Me Over a Cliff

  1. Hi, Molly, I know this stretch of coast well. I do a beach survey from Princeton up to Montara once a month. In fact I was just walking along the beach beneath this road on Thursday morning and looking up at the new pieces of concrete about to break free. The erosion over the past winter has been impressive. Glad you didn’t launch your at over the cliff!

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s