I am writing to each of you after reading the letter by Lisa Garrett each of you published in your Aug. 10 “Letters to the Editors.” Garrett’s letter had to do with a recent traffic delay she experienced on PCH. She wrote about how when she got caught at a signal breakdown at Sunset Boulevard and PCH (Gladstones) and called “every government agency” she could think of, what she was met with was “ennui and residence, the standard reply being that it (the traffic problem) was not within their jurisdiction.”
What Ms. Garrett’s letter pointed out was not new. As all of us in Malibu who commute have experienced and well know, jurisdiction over PCH between Malibu and the McClure Tunnel in Santa Monica is so fragmented that it takes action from several agencies to deal with traffic problems, with the result that action is either slow in coming or doesn’t come at all. Add into this the problems posed to Malibu residents during times of emergency because of the multiplicity of jurisdictions along PCH (and lack of communication between them) and we have a situation crying out for remedy. I believe there is a remedy and that it is time for Malibu to pursue it.
I believe that with a concerted effort on the part of the City of Malibu, our city could prevail upon all city, county and state agencies having jurisdiction over PCH between Malibu and McClure Tunnel to create one single entity devoted to the overseeing of this section of PCH. This entity (sort of a PCH “ombudsman”) could be empowered to immediately respond to such things as signal outages and the dispatching of traffic control. It could be responsible for monitoring the scheduling of Caltrans work, lane closures (and filming) and seeing that such activities are kept to off-hours. It could be responsible for providing a one-call commuter “hot-line,” for bringing accurate and timely information to L.A. radio traffic reports, and most of all for keeping Malibu commuters informed in time of emergency.
I believe this is do-able. I know it would take much time and work on the part of the City of Malibu to make this happen. But I think the benefits to Malibu’s citizens and commuters would be immeasurable and worth whatever it takes. What do you think? Let me know.