Permit Parking needed on PCH

0
188

Beach traffic on Pacific Coast Highway on the weekends during the summer months has become impossible for Malibu residents. I have lived in the Big Rock area for the past eight years. Each year the situation has become worse. This year it has reached a point where I have become a prisoner in my own home. On Sunday afternoons I cannot go either north or south from my home without hitting a parking lot on PCH. I cannot even get to the market let alone an urgent care facility (should I need it). The situation has become dangerous.  As a result of the heavy traffic congestion, the number of accidents on PCH has substantially increased. Emergency vehicles cannot get around the congestion and if I had an emergency that required me to use my vehicle, I would be stuck.

It is not acceptable for Malibu residents to be victimized in this way. With Legacy Park nearing completion, the Malibu Lumber Yard and other new business opening up, more and more visitors will be attracted to Malibu. Therefore, the situation will continue to worsen. PCH is the lifeline for the residents of Malibu. We do not have an alternative to PCH as a means of accessing our homes. The city needs to take action now! This problem greatly degrades the quality of life in Malibu.

The beaches in California are public. Public access laws date back to the days of the Rancheros when California was Mexican territory. People have the right to enjoy the world famous beaches that are an intrinsic asset of California living. 

The dilemma is how to balance the rights of the public to their enjoyment of the beaches of Malibu while balancing the rights of the residents to egress and ingress to their homes and city infrastructure.

I suggest the following possible solution: During the summer months, all public parking, including PCH street parking, starting at the southern Malibu border and ending north of Zuma Beach will be restricted to permit only on the weekends. Residents of Malibu and other authorized vehicles will be permitted. People who wish to go the beach will be provided (for a fee) excellent public transportation in the form of city busses and possibly water taxis. The busses will depart from areas of Los Angeles City and San Fernando Valley on a regular schedule. They will use the public parking lots in Malibu for pickup and drop off. Additionally, there will be shuttles that will transport visitors up and down PCH. Visitors that wish to come to Malibu to shop and eat at the local restaurants and business will still be able to travel by car and park in the private lots for those facilities. Therefore, the restricted parking will not have a negative impact on local business. I suspect it might even have a positive effect on local business. The shuttle/bus system will enhance movement by visitors around the city by creating more flexible and easier transportation.

Creating and operating such a public transportation facility, passing laws that regulate and restrict parking, and creating the PR program to temper public objections will be a sizable task. In the end, a program such as this will not only address a dreadful festering city problem, it will enhance the quality and value of life in Malibu for residents and visitors alike. 

Robert Seltzer