(No) Tow-away Zone

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I am disgusted. On Sunday morning, January 27th, I went to look At the surf at Zuma and was appalled to find the entire beach-side of the U-Turn zone at Tower 9 blocked by parked vehicles. It’s one thing (though equally unacceptable) to see this situation in the dead of summer when thousands of out-of-towners clog our beaches, but on a rainy Sunday in January when hundreds of legal parking spaces are wide open, that’s something else. Does anyone remember that people LOST THEIR LIVES on PCH at Zuma last summer, some due to illegal U-Turns (possibly because those drivers couldn’t use the legal U-Turn area)? Even more disturbing is that the people who parked there were there to honor someone who had recently died! Think about that: a handful of extremely selfish Malibuites put other people’s lives in danger by blocking the clearly marked “No Parking” U-Turn zone so they could have a straight line walk down to the sand so they could honor their fallen friend. Shame on all of them.

And yet it gets worse. I have the Lost Hills Sheriff’s station phone number in my phone for just these kinds of life-threatening occasions. But when I called them regarding this instance, here’s how the conversation went:

Me: “Hi, can you please send a tow truck to remove vehicles from the U-Turn zone at Tower 9 on Zuma Beach?” Officer: “No.” The rest of the discussion is not worth describing, except that after a bit of tongue lashing the officer did promise to ‘try and send someone later in the day.’ A lot of good that’ll do, I told him, by then the offenders will be gone and won’t have learned their lesson. Can you believe the people who are here to protect and serve us are just as indifferent as those who parked illegally to avoid a few extra steps in the rain? And it wasn’t limited to this one officer, either. Moments after my call I saw a Sheriff driving along Zuma, in the parking area. I stopped him and asked, “Did you by chance tell any of the people down there to move their vehicles out of the U-Turn zone?” He just looked at me with a strange look, and said ‘that’s Beaches and Harbors’ responsibility.’ I reiterate, I am disgusted. At least I know one of the offenders will get the point, because I recognized his truck and he is a friend of mine. And you can bet next time I see him he’s going to get an earful.

John Cross