Median should be mode


    To: Caltrans, city of Malibu, Sheriff’s Department

    The Board of Malibu West Homeowners Association has considerable concerns about the increased danger resulting from the welcome resurfacing of PCH in Malibu.

    While the troubles of the disorganized logistics of the resurfacing has been covered in detail, there is a longer term danger that has been largely ignored.

    I am referring to the problems of the increased potential for accidents in the areas where the curb height center median has been removed. The removal of these medians causes less cautious drivers to cross double yellow lines (an illegal turn) in making turns off PCH and onto PCH.

    For example, close to the Malibu West Beach Club by Trancas Market, I have observed drivers making illegal left turns out of the market parking lot onto PCH. This is extremely dangerous as vehicles traveling south (east) on PCH travel very fast over the light. Likewise I have observed vehicles making an illegal left turn into the Trancas parking lot from PCH when traveling south (east) — wait for the rear end shunts there. Neither of these turns were possible when the recently removed center curb was in place.

    This pattern is repeated at numerous other points on PCH including opposite Zuma Sushi, the ARCO station at Heathercliff Drive and by Indigo Caf. There are also a number of points where there was no curb but these kinds of turns were a constant danger.

    I understand from the media that there is a plan to install “rumble strips” at some of these points. That will clearly be inadequate in deterring the less cautious who will still find a need to break the traffic laws, thereby endangering others in their quest to get to stand in line at Starbucks quicker.

    If proper K-rail dividers in the median strip are considered too unsightly (paint them blue with dolphins on them if you must) or litigation attracting (both absurd notions where lives are involved), would it be possible to put plastic/rubber cones or similar devices which would deter the impatient while not preventing the emergency services from their valuable duties?

    If this is possible, I feel certain the emergency services will be needed less frequently.

    The above is really a compromise, as the only real solution for the Pacific Coast Highway is K-rail concrete dividers with specific left turn and U-turn points. I am aware that this will inconvenience some, but I have no doubt that the number of fatal accidents would be significantly reduced.

    A little inconvenience for our already overprivileged lifestyle or many deaths on our collective conscience?

    I also believe that the notion of a $500,000 study to figure this out is absurd — common sense is a lot cheaper.

    Paddy Spinks,

    Malibu West Homeowners Association Board