Cutting traffic queue not worth the cost


Barring unexpected snags or storm clouds on the horizon, Caltrans officials say they remain optimistic about meeting their Nov. 12 deadline to reopen all lanes of Pacific Coast Highway. The lifeline to Malibu has been reduced to two lanes between Las Flores Canyon and Big Rock since a landslide occurred June 19. Caltrans crews and contractors have been working to complete a buttress and drainage system and a 250-foot-long retaining wall and to haul away remaining dirt and debris.

La Costa residents, meantime, are getting some relief from motorists who have been using their streets to shortcut the eastbound backup. On Monday, Caltrans posted a No Left Turn sign at PCH and Rambla Vista. Turning on to the western end of Rambla Vista will be prohibited between 7 a.m. and 9 a.m. — peak times for the morning commute. Rambla Vista has been closed to through traffic since the 1993 fire. After residents complained about speeding cars and traffic, patrol cars were posted in the area but only turned cars away. Now, with the sign, motorists will be cited and won’t get off so easily. Still, some sheriff’s officers seem to think their energies may be better directed elsewhere. “I don’t think it’s as serious as it’s being made out to be,” said Sgt. Martin Daily. “But if there’s a sign, we will enforce it.”