Europe closes roads to motorcyclists, America goes one step further

In Europe, roads are closed to motorcyclists, and in California they go one step further. There, all areas are closed to all traffic. Just imagine: California has about 5,500 km of coastline. Six kilometers of that entire Pacific coast have come under intense surveillance. Oceano Dunes State Vehicular Recreation Area (SVRA) in San Luis Obispo County is the only driving and camping beach in all of California. Dirt bikes, ATVs and dune buggies are allowed to ride on the dune campus in a designated area. The dunes and beach are visited by two million people annually and generate about $243 million in revenue.

Historic photos show that Pismo Beach and Oceano Hills have long been popular. As early as 1905, motorists drove the cottage Mudje on the beach. The beach and dunes are so unique that the Visit California Board of Tourism has featured them prominently in recent advertising to attract even more visitors to the state.

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But this long tradition may officially come to an end, as the California Coastal Commission (CCC) has voted unanimously to ban all road operations along the coast starting in 2024. The only thing standing in the way of this permanent ban is a series of lawsuits by the nonprofit Friends of Oceano Dunes, an organization dedicated to protecting off-road recreation in the area.

Pismo Beach is marked with a red marker.
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