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City Seeks Input on PCH Safety Study Through Interactive Website

The Pacific Coast Highway (PCH) Safety Study will examine current road conditions and determine accident patterns based on roadway geometry, adjacent land-uses and other factors in Malibu.

Malibu residents are being asked to give input on a new website aimed to gather feedback on a study of a 21-mile stretch of Pacific Coast Highway in Malibu.

The website, malibu.metroquest.com, was created out of a partnership between the City of Malibu and the Southern California Association of Governments, according to Kyle Santiago of Arellano Associates, which was hired by the city to gather resident input.

The study will consider all modes of travel, including pedestrians, bicycles and cars, and will include recommendations for improvements along three areas:

  • Study Area 1: Topanga Canyon Road to Cross Creek Road
  • Study Area 2: Cross Creek Road to Busch Drive
  • Study Area 3: Busch Drive to Western City Limits

The meetings are set for 6 to 8 p.m. Sept. 13,  Sept. 20, Sept. 27, Oct. 4 at .

The first three meetings will focus on one specific study area. The fourth meeting will review material presented at the first three meetings.

Residents can provide feedback online at malibu.metroquest.com through Oct. 12.

hellwood September 07, 2012 at 01:54 AM
why is there a picture of bicycle riders when the bike / car ratio is laughable, and the majority of fatalities on PCH are motorists, not bicycle riders? making the highway safer for motorists should be the priority, even if it means making it more dangerous for bicycles in order to do so. any "improvements" for bicycles will just encourage more riders to come to malibu and more will die on the highway as a result. cars and bicycles will never mix on PCH. if you bikers want better odds of not getting splattered on PCH in the future, come to the city council meetings and help us stop all the new development here which will create even more traffic hazards.
Hans Laetz September 07, 2012 at 03:38 AM
False dichotomy. The road can be made safer for cars and bikes. Cars and bikes are handled safely on major roads al over California, and state law specifically requires Malibu to accommodate bicycle. The days of "Malibu doesn't do bikes" are long over. The question is: will Malibu accept its responsibility to provide safe bike and walking places along the coast FOR ITS OWN RESIDENTS as well as guests. Or, will State Parks, the MRCA or some other agency come in, point to civic inaction and comments like the above, and do it for us. If the city accommodates bikes and walkers, it will be able to preserve residential parking. If joe Edmiston does it, there will be red stripes for residential parking from Topanga to Civic Center
Dee Rivellino September 07, 2012 at 02:53 PM
Where do I start?????thank God this critical issue of PCH Is being addressed AGAIN. I'm always optimistic that maybe something drastic will be done finally !!!! I've lived on PCH for 44 years .. I've seen it all. Start with the Uturns made by Valet Parking every Sat & Sun for Moonshadows .. The bikers whose disregard for the motorist is apparent , the excessive speed posted through very busy business areas such as Pacific Greens.... The lack of law enforcement ... Empty patrol cars don't cut it !!!!
Carla September 07, 2012 at 03:43 PM
I tried to send this on the City of Malibu site, but it doesn't seem to be functioning so posting here to at least raise awareness. Three improvements just for Guernsey--a dangerous intersection that has already had fatalities and many accidents. BTW if we really cared about making PCH less dangerous we would at the very least not allow land side parking. So many dangerous issues from this alone including people running across the highway and no shoulder access is insane. (continued)
Carla September 07, 2012 at 03:44 PM
Now just a few things about Guernsey. 1. Going west on PCH past Morningview the sign that says Guernsey Ave is far from where the actual turn is. I know one accident that has already occurred here and the car was totaled. The driver, especially if he is unfamiliar with the road and it is night, sees the Guernsey sign and there is a flat dirt area after the sign that looks like it could be a road. The driver turns there and has an accident. The sign must be closer to the actual turn on Guernsey to prevent more accidents. 2. Going east on PCH after Trancas when you are in the left hand turn lane to turn left onto Guernsey it is extremely difficult to see west bound cars as the yellow paddles block the view of the cars during the day. It is better at night as you can see the headlights. Many cars use this turn to take children to school during the day and it is impossible to see these oncoming cars due to the high paddles. Another accident waiting to happen. 3. When you turn right onto PCH from Guersey, the land side parking makes it very dangerous to get onto PCH especially on crowded beach days. It is impossible to ride a bike there as the cars take up the complete shoulder and then add people opening their car doors right into oncoming traffic. There should be at least no land side parking from Guernsey to the bridge going west on PCH.
hellwood September 07, 2012 at 06:31 PM
yes, it is possible, but at what expense? no more emergency lane? spend hundreds of millions in construction and lawsuits widening the PCH and encroaching onto private property via eminent domain? downsizing all the lanes? ...or telling residents they can no longer park in front of their residences in malibu? ...something will have to give, so who suffers and ultimately pays the price? for all practical purposes, the law needs to be revised regarding bicycles in lanes on PCH. We need to protect the majority of citizens on PCH with our limited funds. Bicycles add an exponential expense to an unattainable fantasy of a goal
Hans Laetz September 07, 2012 at 11:04 PM
No one is talking about a major widening project. In most of Malibu, a bike lane can be installed simply by narrowing the lane width slightly: from 14 feet to 12 feet, just like has been done on numerous streets in LA. The long straight-away sections of PCH can maintain 100 percent of onstreet parking, plus 5 lanes of traffic, if lanes are narrowed slightly. This is called a road diet. It will have the added benefit of reducing traffic speeds from freeway levels down towards the posted speed limit. Narrower lanes on straightaways will DRASTCIALLY increase safety for motorists AND bicyclists. In the few curving sections, particularly between Las Flores and the eastern city limit, lane widths cannot be narrowed without creating unsafe driving conditions. In a very few, very limited sections of PCH, parking may have to be restricted, The benefits of getting bicycles out of vehicle traffic lanes -- the benefits to motorists and bikers alike -- are proven and obvious.
Hans Laetz September 07, 2012 at 11:08 PM
And by the way, PCH has a 100-foot right of way in most of Malibu. The road can be widened, in the few places where it will be necessary, entirely on state property. And if anyone thinks the STATE of California, which owns the road, will let Malibu residents hog it in any way, they have a sorry lesson coming, I'll say this again: either Malibu can accommodate safe bike and pedestrian use of PCH, or the MRCA-State Parks-Coastal Conservancy people will do it for us. The choice is ours. The lagoon is the abject lesson. Wouldn't it have been better if Malibu had been in charge, or at least at the table?
PCH Commuter September 07, 2012 at 11:18 PM
No matter what is done in the attempt to make traffic on PCH safer, PCH will only be safer when people (drivers, motorcyclists, bicyclists, skateboarders, pedestrians)who utilize PCH don't make mistakes. All the improvements being discussed might make driving on PCH less frustrating, but it they won’t lower the amount of accidents. It's Murphy’s Law, "Anything that can go wrong, will go wrong". During my 36-years of commuting on PCH I’ve never seen an accident happen because of PCH. Last summer, I saw a Ford GT spin out as the driver accelerated while changing lanes to avoid getting stuck behind a slow moving catering truck. He couldn’t control his powerful sportscar. Several years ago I witnessed a tow truck spin out in the rain, driving downhill east bound, at Latigo Canyon. The tow truck driver was driving at the speed limit, but too fast for the conditions. Both were cases of driver error and not the road’s fault. Based on the amount of speeding and tailgating, the number of illegal left hand turns, stupid maneuvers and all around bad driving I’ve seen on PCH that haven’t resulted in accidents, the highway is actually very safe. The way to make the highway safer is through driver education, but that will never happen, it's too sensible.
PCH Commuter September 07, 2012 at 11:18 PM
As far as enforcement, I’ve seen many people get pulled over while driving at what appears to be safe speeds, although probably higher than the posted speed limit. 55mph is perfectly safe, and the speed at which the traffic flows, along Las Tunas Beach on weekday mornings when no cars are parked on the shoulder, a very productive spot for the Sheriff Motorcycle Patrolmen. That being said, 55mph is too fast once you are in the residential area between Las Tunas Beach and Topanga Beach. The odd thing is that over the years I’ve never seen a driver pulled over for tailgating or for driving too slowly in the #1 lane, causing tailgating, or a number of other infractions that go unenforced. The way to make PCH safer is by educating drivers.
Hans Laetz September 08, 2012 at 12:00 AM
Actually, the county sheriff's report says Las Tunas Beach is one of the most-crash-ridden sections of PCH. There is heavy turn movement to the public beaches. The road is uneven and undulates, It curves at either end of a brief straightaway. No shoulder westbound. I believe there was a fatality there this year. There is no place in east of the pier and west of Topanga where 55 is safe.
PCH Commuter September 08, 2012 at 03:43 AM
I would like to point out that there are times when higher speeds are safe, and possibly safer and more efficient than the current posted speed limits. The fact is, the flow along Las Tunas Beach during the AM rush hour is either 0mph or 55mph and I have never seen a accident on that stretch of road. As a test, you should drive on the that stretch of road on a weekday morning at around 8:30, and if the traffic is not stop and go, drive a steady 45mph. You will be followed by a que of cars tailgating each other as you hold up traffic. Tailgating is not good behavior, it's just what will happen, although I have never witnessed an accident caused by tailgating (unless rear ending a stationary car is considered tailgating). Recently, drunk driver crashed into a patrol car late at night and a driver crossed the center two-way left turn lane, just east of Las Tunas Beach. Neither accident was caused by driving a speed in excess of the posted speed limit but less than 55mph or the engineering of PCH. Both accidents were caused by drivers making tragic and avoidable mistakes. In my opinion, there are place on Kanan Road where the posted 55mph speed limit is too fast. Is the Sheriff's report available online?
Hans Laetz September 08, 2012 at 04:09 AM
You have never seen an accident at La Tuna, so they must not occur? I guess that fatality, then, did not occur. Therefore, 55 mph is perfectly safe there, because you have never seen a crash there. I've seen two crashes at La Tuna. One fatal. At La Tuna. Therefore, La Tuna is the most-dangerous place in the world? Also not true. You have never seen a tailgater cause a crash. I guess the back pain that my lovely wife still has 5 years after a tailgater rear-ended her car at Latigo Beach must be fictional. Is Latigo Beach another place where 55 mph is safe, in your opinion? See, that's the danger here. Perception bias. We Malibu residents see crashes on the only road in town, PCH. We see speeding on PCH. We see tailgating on PCH. Therefore, PCH must be worse than any other road in the state. The sheriff's traffic report is not on the web. They buried it. It has important points in it: -- PCH has much more traffic enforcement than the average California road. -- PCH has a lower accident and fatality rate than would be expected for s similar road in Cal. -- There are numerous traffic safety improvements that can eliminate needless tragedy on Malibu's main street. I drive PCH at 8:30 a.m,. at 48 mph at that beach all the time. Yes, tailgaters swerve around me. Screw em. They are not going to make me drive faster.
R Y A N September 08, 2012 at 05:18 AM
Crash-ridden? Maybe. But divide the number of crashes by the number of car trips to determine the "accident" rate. The more traffic, the less Caltrans considers the "accidents" because the "rate" nears a norm. I prefer a PIN MAP. When there's no more room to put more pins in the same area on the map, something has to be done . . .
Jessica E. Davis September 08, 2012 at 08:01 AM
Thank you for mentioning the empty patrol cars. I've been curious about those for months. Maybe I should do a story.
PCH Commuter September 08, 2012 at 03:14 PM
As an example of bad driving behavior on PCH, last night on my drive home 20-25 cars were cued up tailgating each other behind 2 vehicles driving side-by-side at 45mph in the 50mph zone from John Tyler Drive to Corral Canyon Road. I safely followed the pack of cars by about 300 feet at 45mph, with no cars behind me. In my opinion, all of the cars in the pack were driving unsafely at 45mph in a 50mph zone. I'm not sure, but I think the only vehicle that was not in violation of a law was a camper at the front of the pack in the #2, furthest right-hand, lane driving 45mph in a 50mph zone. The car directly next to it was driving 5mph below the speed limit in the #1 lane, holding up 20-25 drivers that appeared to want to drive at least the rate of the posted speed limit.
PCH Commuter September 08, 2012 at 03:24 PM
I am very sorry to hear about your wife’s accident and injury. I did write that tailgating is bad behavior. It’s one of the actions other drivers do around me that really bothers me, and it’s a violation of the law that I have never seen enforced. When I have been referring to Las Tunas Beach I have meant the straight stretch of PCH adjacent to the public beach. The most recent fatal accident occurred about 250 yards east of the east end of the public beach, where 55mph is not an appropriate speed. That accident involved a vehicle crossing the center two-way left turn lane, a tragic error made by the driver who, as I recall, fell asleep at the wheel. How will any improvements to PCH prevent someone from falling asleep at the wheel.
PCH Commuter September 08, 2012 at 03:24 PM
55mph is a safe speed between Latigo Canyon and Corral Canyon most of the time, and is most likely a lower speed than the majority of cars travel on that stretch of road based on my many years of observation. However, the one accident I witnessed there happen in the rain when the posted 50mph limit was too high a speed. The tow truck driver made the mistake of driving faster than conditions allowed. How do you prevent a driver from driving too fast in the rain, a time of less enforcement and more accidents, based on my observations? Why do you choose 48mph as the speed you drive? Is 48mph the fastest rate of speed that is safe, you won’t get ticketed, the most fuel efficient, the average flow during your commute, etc.? This is actually a serious question and I am interested because, based on my observations, most drivers don’t adhere to the posted limit and I would like to know why? And, I don't think 48mph in a 45mph zone is unsafe at all times or a violation of California's basic speed law. On most mornings, no matter how fast or slow you drive on eastbound PCH within Malibu’s City limits you will not get past Topanga Canyon any sooner because of the backup, whether you drive 40, 45, 48, 50, 55, etc. The important thing to do is drive at a speed that is safe under the conditions. It might be safer at times to drive a little faster, in which case tailgaters might not cue up behind you.
Zuma Skipper September 08, 2012 at 03:30 PM
The empty patrol cars are Sheriff's decoy cars. They are meant to be a speed abatement tool so that if you see them at a distance you will slow down. Most law enforcement departments use them. In fact I got fooled by a cardboard cutout one in Laughlin, NV from a distance. Malabuites know these cars all too well but I suspect the real deterrence is for the visitors who thinks PCH is a racetrack and can go 65 mph down the road.
Hans Laetz September 08, 2012 at 03:34 PM
There is no place in Malibu "next to a public beach" where 55 mph is safe, You cannot raise any speed limit anywhere in Malibu. That is dead, a nonstarter. My wife was injured when a "pack" of 50 mph drivers at Latigo Canyon slowed so one motorist could make a right turn. An inattentive tailgater hit my wife as she braked moderately. Making that a 55 mph road would have multiplied the injuries signigficantly. Sincere thanks for the sympathy, tho.
Hans Laetz September 08, 2012 at 03:51 PM
I drive 48 in the 45 zone (and 53 in the 50 zone) because I do not want to create a roadblock and cause unsafe lane changes and "zip arounds" by all the hotshots behind me. I usually drive in the right lane but find that does nothing to prevent the amount of tailgating and swerving. I never drive in the right lane if its garbage day. Most importantly, I drive the speed limit plus 3 because several Malibu / Lost Hills traffic cops have told me that is the safest speed on a long stretch of roadway like PCH. Any faster will be an automatic violation of the California Basic Speed Law. Any slower will create a hazardous situation with all the "Runnin To Bunnins" and Malibu crossovers on my ass. Thanks for mentioning the inevitable stackup delays ahead of the pack. Since everyone has to wait anyway, why on earth speed, other than to shove ahead of the queue? What does it gain you? Five car lengths? Congratulations.
Elena Corral September 08, 2012 at 05:19 PM
PCH Commuter...you make way too much sense and you're correct when you say it's not the road that's unsafe...it's the drivers. I can't tell you how many times a car has nearly run into us because the driver was...wait for it...TEXTING.
Jackie Robbins September 08, 2012 at 06:24 PM
We have a terrible problem at the bottom of Corral Canyon, at and around the entrance to Solstice Park. The park provides about 1/10 of the parking it actually needs for visitors on any given weekend...people park every which way from PCH up about 1/4 mile into the canyon. People are walking on a two lane roadway with no sidewalks, lots of blind curves in the road, and aren't even aware of the residents sometimes "barreling" up and down the canyon...I am sadly awaiting the day when someone will be hit, injured or even killed...I've been personally told by parking cops that they can't do anything about it, and that it is up to the city or even state parks to do something. Please let's address these problems for the safe future of our community. Thanks
TOPTOBU September 08, 2012 at 06:37 PM
We need to lower the speed limit on pch and stop the sale of beer and wine a circle k!
PCH Commuter September 08, 2012 at 06:55 PM
The root of the traffic and parking problems in Malibu is that Malibu has been grown beyond its capacity. The National Park Service and the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy knew that the planned parking at Solstice Canyon Park and Escondido Canyon Park was not adequate and went ahead and opened the trails to the public, at the detriment to the surrounding community. The City of Malibu fosters development in an amount greater than what is allowed by the City of Malibu’s General Plan and the City of Malibu allows businesses to operate at capacities that are in excess of the permitted capacities, most likely in an effort to generate more revenue for the City. Malibu’s leadership seems to want Malibu to become an overcrowded urban center, rather than maintain its relaxed rural character. I can’t figure out why anyone who has chosen to live in Malibu would want to change the area’s character as much as the City of Malibu has allowed Malibu to change. Malibu would be much nicer if the current leaders would move to coastal cities such as Manhattan Beach, Newport Beach, etc., where their desire to urbanize will be welcomed, rather than continue to allow developers to do whatever they want at the expense of the Malibu’s residents.
PCH Commuter September 08, 2012 at 07:07 PM
TOPTOBU, I hope your reason to not allow Circle K to sell alcohol is because it is a chain store that will take business away from Malibu County Liquor, a local establishment.
PCH Commuter September 08, 2012 at 07:25 PM
Elena, Thank you, my sensibility is a curse.
R Y A N September 08, 2012 at 07:50 PM
Your comment can be taken that there shall be no detrimient to mororist safety when considering any safety improvements, such as for bicycle facilities. That directive will preserve existing vehicle travel lane widths from further substandardization efforts of the bicycle lobby. Recreational bicycle riding by parades of club riders, and endurance training rides on PCH, subject both the bicycle riders and motorists to elevated risk. Pack riding of bicyclists should be addressed, with possible regulation to discourage the public safety risks it creates.
TOPTOBU September 08, 2012 at 11:14 PM
PCH Commuter.....that is one of the reasons...there are many other substantial reasons set forth in the Denial of the Appeal approved by the City Attorney...you should read it. You should be aware that the President of the Malibu Chamber of Commerce who represents the Circle K asked members of the Chamber to support the application without disclosing that it is one of his personal clients!
M Stanley September 08, 2012 at 11:44 PM
Jessica, any idea of how much the city is paying for the study and how much they will spend to hold the meetings?

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