Safety on Pacific Coast Highway was the central topic at the PCH Taskforce quarterly meeting on Wednesday, May 4. Law enforcement, city employees and representatives from Los Angeles, Santa Monica and Malibu were in attendance to discuss issues relating to PCH.
Malibu Mayor Laura Rosenthal confronted law enforcement officers about the lack of response when a traffic light at Chautauqua Boulevard and PCH went out, causing a two-and-a-half hour delay in traffic. Rosenthal demanded to know how a similar event in the future would be prevented.
“I want to hear people are going to work together, not it’s an isolated incident,” Rosenthal said.
Law enforcement explained that manpower, jurisdiction and traffic can be hinderances.
Updates on various projects underway on PCH were also a part of the discussion. Joseph Kibe from the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) said the department would be installing a speed feedback sign across from parking lot 3 near the Santa Monica Pier.
There are also plans to upgrade speed limit signs in the McClure Tunnel. A traffic signal will be erected in front of the Bel-Air Bay Club with the club footing most of the $300,000 bill.
The California Incline project is 90 percent complete and is still on track to be finished by July 2, according to Rick Valte from the City of Santa Monica.
The Potrero Canyon Park Stabilization Project has gained some traction after being in the works for over two decades. Rob Hancock from the Los Angeles Bureau of Engineering said plans for the project were nearly complete.
A review is pending with the California Coastal Commission, but the review is expected soon. Planners are considering a pedestrian bridge over PCH from the canyon to the beach, with a preliminary cost of $6 million.
Each law enforcement agency gave statistics for accidents over the last quarter. Los Angeles County Sheriffs called the number of accidents “on pace” with previous quarters, explaining there is a constant ebb and flow in the statistics.
California Highway Patrol’s Leland Tang demonstrated the modified CHP Statewide Integrated Traffic Records System (SWITRS). The system allows traffic records to be accessed from any CHP agency throughout the state and is available for public viewing at iswitrs.chp.ca.gov.
Malibu Mayor Pro Tem Lou La Monte urged the taskforce to work together, explaining Malibu city representatives are the only elected officials who attend the meetings and referred to the large piece of PCH they represent.
“We’re here, and we need your help.”
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