Letter: Traffic and Safety on PCH

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Letter to the Editor

I have lived in Malibu for over 14 years. During that period, the traffic on PCH has increased to the point where there are days when I am unable to leave my home. The congestion in the summer is so bad that even emergency vehicles find it difficult to get through it. 

Unlike most cities, Malibu has only one main road. Other cities have a main street and a highway; therefore, an alternative route to take during peak traffic. We only have one highway and main street — PCH. During the peak summer months, hundreds of thousands of visitors add to the already overtaxed PCH. That, coupled with other distractions such as parking, drinking and jaywalking, has caused our main street to become nonfunctional and extremely dangerous. There is no practical way to widen or modify the highway to safely accommodate the heavy traffic load that it must support. 

One idea that I feel has merit is to limit the public parking along the road at least during the summer months. If public parking were restricted to limited hours during peak times, people who desire to spend a day at Malibu beaches would have to use public transportation. Increased bus and shuttle services could be employed to facilitate public access and use of all Malibu beach facilities. Malibu business should not be negatively impacted, in that they have private parking facilities which allow patrons full access to shop and dine. 

By restricting the parking, whether by time of day or limited hours, the volume of cars on PCH will be significantly reduced. Emergency vehicles will be able to navigate safely, locals will be able to leave their homes, traffic accidents and injuries will be reduced, and public safety will improve substantially. Visitors will still have full use and access to the amenities that our city and beaches have to offer, but they will have to use our public transportation system if they intend to spend a full day in Malibu. 

This idea may seem a little draconian, but when one considers the cost in loss of life that occurs on a regular basis on PCH, I believe that such a measure is very justifiable.

Robert Seltzer