PCH Taskforce Meeting At City Hall November 14

November 14, 2023 ·

MALIBU—The City will host a Special Public Meeting of the PCH Taskforce on Tuesday, November 14, at 10 a.m. at Malibu City Hall (located at 23825 Stuart Ranch Road) with City, County and State elected officials and Caltrans to discuss ways to address dangerous conditions on Pacific Coast Highway in the region.

State Assemblymember Jacqui Irwin, 42nd District, will chair the meeting, and will be joined by State Senator Ben Allen, 24th District, Malibu Mayor Steve Uhring, LA County Supervisor, 3rd District, Lindsey Horvath, Malibu City Manager Steve McClary, Malibu-Lost Hills Sheriff’s Station Commanding Officer Captain Jennifer Seetoo, Rafael Molina, Deputy District Director, Division of Traffic Operations, Caltrans District 7 and Lee Haber, Chief Safety Officer, Division of Traffic Operations, Caltrans District 7.

Members of the public can attend, watch, and give public comment in person at Malibu City Hall or via the Zoom meeting. Join the Zoom meeting.

The meeting agenda is available online.

The fact sheet on the City of Malibu’s efforts to improve safety on PCH is available to review online.

The City of Malibu reported on its website that the PCH Taskforce is a coalition of law enforcement, traffic engineers, Caltrans, and local and state elected officials working for solutions to make PCH safer for all users, from the McClure Tunnel in Santa Monica to the Ventura County line. The taskforce serves to update residents on ongoing projects related to the highway. It is chaired by Assemblymember Irwin and Senator Allen.

On October 19, the city noted on its website they are working to improve the safety on PCH after 4 students at Pepperdine University were killed after a crash. There are 21 miles of PCH in Malibu.

“The City was shocked and saddened by the loss of the four Pepperdine University students on October 17. Our hearts are with all of those who have been impacted by this tragedy. While the City does not control PCH, since its incorporation, Malibu has worked closely with Caltrans, the LA County Sheriff’s Department and our other partner agencies to find ways to make PCH safer for residents, motorists, pedestrians and cyclists. We will continue to push for resources to achieve a higher level of safety for our community,” said the City of Malibu in a statement.

The city is focused on enhancing safety on PCH, and will continue to do so with the following projects and programs:

CITY-FUNDED TRAFFIC SAFETY IMPROVEMENTS ON PCH

To date, Malibu has allocated and spent approximately $39 million dollars on traffic safety improvement projects on PCH, including:

-PCH Bike Route along Zuma Beach

-PCH and Kanan Dume Arrestor Bed – The project was built to stop runaway vehicles from crashing into PCH

-La Costa pedestrian crosswalk signal

-PCH and Big Rock traffic signal improvements

-PCH traffic signal synchronization project

-PCH median improvements project

-PCH Las Flores and Rambla Pacifico intersection improvements

-PCH and Trancas Canyon Road intersection improvements

The City currently has $8 million dollars of funds obligated towards future PCH safety improvement projects, including:

-PCH median improvements near Paradise Cove and Zuma Beach

-Traffic safety improvements at PCH and Big Rock Drive

-Pedestrian undercrossing at Corral Canyon Beach (by Malibu Seafood)

PCH TRAFFIC SIGNAL SYNCHRONIZATION PROJECT

-Work started in summer 2023 on the City’s most significant measure to date to improve traffic safety and mobility on PCH. Completion expected in 2025.

-Communications lines will be installed between traffic signals on PCH from Topanga Canyon Blvd to John Tyler Drive to synchronize them to existing traffic conditions, and they will be controlled by the Caltrans Traffic Management Center.

-According to CalTrans, during the past 10 years, there have been more than 4,000 collisions on PCH in Malibu. Speeding and improper turns are the most common contributing factors to collisions, both of which will be directly addressed by the Signal Synchronization Project. The system can also be used to help emergency evacuations move quickly and safely. The $34.6 million project is fully funded through County Measure R transportation funds.

PUBLIC SAFETY FUNDING, COLLABORATION WITH PARTNER AGENCIES AND LEGISLATION

PCH is a state highway under the jurisdiction of Caltrans, so Malibu has very limited ability to make changes to PCH. The city does as much as possible to improve safety on PCH within its ability.

-The City dedicates 28.2% of the General Fund, $16.4 million, toward public safety, of which $15 million goes toward our contract with the LA County Sheriff’s Department. The City puts additional funds every year for the Sheriff’s Department to do saturation patrols every weekend.

-Sheriff’s Volunteers on Patrol Program. The City funds the program, including their patrol vehicles – they patrol and report incidents to the Sheriff’s Dept, direct traffic after collisions, offer aid to motorists who have been in collisions and more.

-Sheriff’s Summer Beach Team. The city also funds the Beach Team every summer, which patrols Malibu’s beaches, focusing largely on alcohol consumption on the beach, which is illegal. Their work helps prevent drunk driving on PCH, and last summer they issued more than 1,000 alcohol citations.

-Automated License Plate Readers. The city started installing these tools in 2023 to offer an additional enforcement tool for Sheriff’s Department to address theft, property crimes, and other public safety and crime issues in Malibu by helping to identify suspects in fleeing vehicles, stolen vehicles, suspects with outstanding warrants, etc. The cameras are solar-powered and have backup batteries, can operate day or night, and during a variety of weather conditions.

-PCH Taskforce. For nearly two decades, the City has participated in this active coalition of community representatives, pedestrian and bicycle advocates, law enforcement, city and traffic engineers, Caltrans, and local and state elected officials. Includes cities of Santa Monica, Los Angeles, Malibu and unincorporated Los Angeles County. Collaborating and advocating for traffic safety funding, studies, etc.

-The PCH Taskforce Safety Corridor grant. The grant was awarded to the City on behalf of the PCH Taskforce, funded the purchase changeable message signs for posting traffic safety and emergency messages, three pedestrian and bicycle safety assessments and training events, and educational outreach aimed at all users of the highway, including the PCH Safety Video PSA.

-PCH Safety Study (2015). The study, in collaboration with SCAG, examined road conditions, accident patterns, and proposes strategies to improve safety on PCH in Malibu. The study recommended safety improvements for motorists, cyclists, transit riders and pedestrians. It was funded by a Caltrans Partnership Planning Grant, with a contribution from the City.

-Overnight parking restrictions of RVs and oversized vehicles. The City restricted overnight parking of oversized vehicles on multiple sections of PCH. RVs and oversized vehicles jut out into lanes, reducing visibility, forcing traffic over into the middle of the road, making it hazardous for motorists, cyclists and pedestrians.

By Trevor

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