Safe traffic flow urgent at school

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The chronic traffic problems surrounding Malibu Junior/Senior High School and Juan Cabrillo Elementary on Morningview Drive are well known and troubling. Traffic is frequently gridlocked on Morningview Drive, Ebbtide Way, PCH and portions of Merritt/Bush during student drop-off and pick-up hours. The drop-off and pick-up lanes are continually blocked with illegally parked cars forcing drivers to line up on Morningview to enter the school thus blocking access to thru traffic. As a result, there is no safe place for children to walk and enter/exit the schools. Law enforcement, fire personnel and emergency vehicles cannot guarantee access to the schools or the residents in the event of an emergency. Residents are frequently denied access into and out of their homes.

The time needed to drop off and pick up students is abnormal due to the excessive traffic and illegal parking causing wasted fuel, excessive pollution and noise. Absence of routine law enforcement emboldens drivers to commit illegal turns, illegal U-turns, blocking of crosswalks, illegally passing other vehicles and illegal street parking including the blockage of driveway, streets and the current drop-off and pick-up lanes. To avoid gridlock, drivers park on streets on the other side of the school and trespass through private property to gain access to the school. There are frequent reports from Malibu Park residents about speeding on Morningview Drive on the section away from the school towards Guernsey to the North.

Malibu Park is home to the majority of the city’s most intensely used recreational facilities and gets the bulk of their associated negative impact including traffic, noise, trash, nighttime brilliant lighting, air and water pollution, crime and negative impacts on wildlife. We are referring to Zuma Beach, the schools, the multiple trail heads, the equestrian facility, ball fields and the swimming pool. Soon, Trancas Park will be complete and will attract many more visitors to the immediate area. Much of this expanded use will take place on the Malibu High School campus. These are welcome facilities we all enjoy. However, it is imperative that safe roadways, open traffic flow and adequate on-campus parking exist to help mitigate these negative impacts on Malibu Park residents, the facilities users and our children.

It is encouraging to observe that with the planned major improvements to school buildings from Measure BB funding, there is at last an opportunity to arrive at a permanent fix for these nagging traffic and public safety problems. Addressing the linked issues of traffic and on-campus parking must be a priority in the earliest planning stages of the improvements. The school cannot be allowed to exist as an island apart from the surrounding community. These are legitimate and shared concerns.

Thus, the Malibu Township Council Board applauds the district for including public participation in meetings with local organizations such as the Malibu Park HOA, the Malibu Park Safety Coalition and Malibu residents during the planning phase of Measure BB. We respectfully urge the Santa Monica Malibu Unified School District to recognize its responsibility to the community to establish and maintain necessary improvements to safe traffic flows and off-street parking for its staff and students.

Graeme Clifford, president

Sally Benjamin, vice-president

Marshall Thompson, board member

Malibu Township Counci