Businesses seek plan to solve traffic jams

The sun was out over Memorial Day Weekend, but so was a stoplight, and that meant a disappointing take for many of Malibu’s businesses, as holiday crowds, hearing news reports of a major traffic jam near the center of town, shopped and dined elsewhere on that Saturday night.

Now, the businesses that rely on the high-season crowds want the city to have a plan in place to solve these types of traffic tie-ups.

Jeff Peterson, president of the Malibu Chamber of Commerce and general manager of Geoffrey’s, said his restaurant lost thousands of dollars when people either did not show up for their reservations or cancelled them.

Janice Swerman, manager of Granita restaurant, reported similar losses during the period the stoplight was broken, from lunchtime through the dinner hours.

Peterson recounted in a letter to the city, by way of the Business Roundtable, that calls were made to authorities regarding the flashing red light in the 22000 block of PCH. Only a voice mail message awaited callers to City Hall, and Lost Hills Sheriff’s Station referred calls to Caltrans. Operators at Caltrans told callers they could expect a long delay until the stoplight would be repaired because it was a holiday weekend.

“As business people in this city, what are we to do?” wrote Peterson. “We need the support and cooperation from the city of Malibu if we are to survive and prosper.”

Peterson suggested having a community liaison officer available on weekends to mitigate traffic problems.

City Manager Harry Peacock said at the roundtable meeting that the city could hire a private company to maintain the traffic signals inside the city. The sheriff’s department does not use deputies to direct traffic unless an accident occurs.

“That’s the standard formula for situations like these,” said Peacock.

The issue is scheduled for discussion at the City Council’s June 22 meeting.

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13StarsManagerhttps://malibutimes.com
The Malibu Times is the first newspaper in Malibu, serving the community since 1946.

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