Letter: PCH safety dilemma


This past Thursday evening, I attended the Pacific Coast Highway Safety Study meeting at the city offices. The Draft Alternative Analysis Report on the PCH Safety Study prepared by LSA Associates, Inc. was linked in the email invitation at malibucity.org/ DocumentCenter/View/4922. 

After reading the report, it became obvious that this is another attempt to slow everyone down so that the bicyclists can get a bike lane accommodated along the coast, from Oregon to the Mexican border.

I, too, want to see a bike lane to make it safer for bicyclists and for vehicles. The bike lane should reside on the side of PCH through the western part of Malibu, from the county line to the Ralphs shopping center, but not from Web Way to Topanga, and not beside PCH at Zuma beach, where parking and pedestrian activity is far too intense. This east end situation won’t change for a very long time. 

Yet, the years of attention and money given to this effort has outweighed all other concerns, and thus we have a dysfunctional effort to make PCH safe. We all know bicyclists cause problems on PCH and we all want them off the highway, especially the east end. 

Typical of where this study is coming from is indicated on page 8 under “Driver Behavior.” The second sentence reads: “A driver’s failure to properly yield ROW to bicycles and pedestrians increases the conflict…” Where is the logic in this when addressing speed in excess of 45 MPH? Now we residents know that pedestrians yield to vehicles on PCH but bicyclists don’t. When one thinks of comparable speeds, don’t cars entering onto a freeway have to yield to oncoming freeway traffic? 

Confounded and perplexed, I decided to attend the meeting. The first question I asked was: “Why is passing lane abuse, which is the most important reason that everyone knows causes weaving and traffic congestion, not addressed in the study?” The answer: “Didn’t know it was a problem.” 

Bob Purvey