BIG SUR (CBSLA) — The residents of Big Sur have weathered wildfires, torrential rain and mudslides in recent years, but overtourism? They’re not taking it anymore.
Many residents in and around Big Sur say have had it up to hear with the flood of tourists and the traffic they bring. The popularity of the HBO show “Big Little Lies,” which is set in nearby Monterey, is believed to have rekindled interest in the Central Coast’s most popular spots.
On the Fourth of July, traffic was backed up for miles leading up to the iconic Bixby Bridge, a popular spot for tourists to stop and take selfies. By some estimates, it took more than two hours to drive 25 miles from Carmel to Big Sur.
A few days later, a large banner was hung from the bridge that read: “Overtourism Is Killing Big Sur.” It was removed soon after.
Monterey County Supervisor Mary Adams says she’s not surprised that some felt the need to take things into their own hands.
“We’ve got to figure out a way that traffic doesn’t back up for hours on end,” she said.
Adams says patrols are being increased to keep traffic moving, and officials are considering eliminating the turnout at the bridge and installing “No Parking” signs.