Caltrans provides update on PCH master plan during Public Works and Public Safety joint meeting

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The Public Works and the Public Safety commission held a joint meeting at City Hall on Wednesday June 26 and received a PCH master plan feasibility study from Caltrans. Photo by Samantha Bravo/TMT

Despite residents’ requests, director says construction near Carbon Canyon can’t be moved to nighttime due to safety concerns

Construction on PCH has created frustration among residents who commute through Malibu on a daily basis. One parent expressed her concern on the construction near Carbon Canyon and said she even pulled her child out of Malibu High School to a school in Santa Monica because of the traffic and asked the city and Caltrans for their support in making these improvements. 

Last week, the Public Works and Public Safety Commission held a joint meeting to receive a presentation from Caltrans and their proposed PCH master plan. 

“This construction can’t go past August, we really those roads to be open for school transportation — we can’t afford to spend two hours to getting from one end of Malibu to the high school, it’ll devastate our schools,” Commissioner Wade Major said. “We desperately need that consideration and for the current work as well.” 

Some residents have expressed their frustration on NextDoor and asked their neighbors to email the mayor and andmayor pro tem to move the construction to the nighttime.

“Tell them to move the project to the night, tell them how miserable the traffic is!,” Romy Bennett from Rambla Pacifica said in a Nextdoor post. “Email again and again and have your neighbors and friends email. I just emailed again!”

The day after the meeting, at the Cruise Malibu Campaign event at Malibu Bluffs Park, Public Works Director Rob DeBoux provided a statement and said the construction can’t be moved to overnight due to safety concerns.

“If they do it during the night, it would substantially lower production, cost, and make it very dangerous,” DeBoux said.“What they’re doing out there, they need to have good vision, they’re digging in the ground, if they cross a gas line and they don’t see it, it could explode.”

Public Works Chair Jo Drummond and Chair Chris Frost asked if they are able to open up the middle lane to let trafficflow.

“We’re looking into that,” DeBoux said. 

During the meeting, commissioners shared their ideas on what can be done to improve PCH and make it safer for drivers and pedestrians. One idea was to implement trees along the highway. 

“If the community and everyone feels like this is what they want, the trees, don’t let that go,” DeBoux said. 

Executive Liason of Special Projects Ryan Snyder also said they can take in the input and figure out how to implement everyone’s suggestions. 

Frost said vehicles racing on PCH continues to be an issue.

“The more we can do get CHP out here, we’re making a huge difference,” Frost said. 

Snyder said they’re unaware about the racing. 

The next Caltrans’ PCH Master Plan Feasibility Study is on Thursday, July 11, from 6 to 8 p.m., at the Malibu City Hall, Council Chamber. The next virtual meeting is on Thursday, July 18, at 1 p.m. 

The study aims to identify safety and multimodal travel improvements for all users of PCH in Malibu, including multimodal travel options for pedestrians and bicyclists, as well as enhancing transit opportunities on PCH. The PCH Master Plan will include community stakeholder engagement activities and community outreach meetings to gather input on various traffic calming measures and other street improvements, including a “boulevard” roadway. This Master Plan will be used in future PCH safety improvement projects. For background information, review the Fact Sheet at malibucity.org/DocumentCenter/View/34265/PCH-Master-Plan-Factsheet-6-20-24. For further questions, please contact: D7.System.Planning@dot.ca.gov