Commissioners vent on Caltrans’ bike lane proposal

A sign that reads 'Bikes Watch for Turning Traffic' on Pacific Coast Highway. Photo by Samantha Bravo/TMT.

The Public Works Commission received updates on capital improvement projects, a status on disaster recovery projects and an update on grants for future projects.

Assistant Public Works Director Troy Spayd provided an update on the temporary skate park and said they are waiting for final designs from the Community Service Department. 

“They’ve circulated their final planners, we’ve commented on them, and I think we’re in a good place,” Spayd said. 

Spayd is unsure about the process but said it’s a matter of coordination and communication from community service.

“I know that they gave us a set of plans that was supposed to be 100 percent design,” he said. “We made some comments, they took them back, [and] I think it’s a matter of coordinating comments at this point — I don’t know.”

Spayd said the Bluffs Park Shade Structure project and the Michael Landon Center HVAC Unit Replacement project were awarded. 

Spayd said there were new city hires, so they would be able to move forward with projects.

To receive the full status on projects and the current fiscal year assignments visit

Commissioners addressed the Caltrans presentation that was organized on June 28. Caltrans is proposing to remove 2,171 Pacific Coast Highway (PCH) parking spaces to install bike lanes from Serra Road all the way to the Ventura County line.

Commissioners Scott Dittrich and Lance Simmens had opposing opinions on the bike lanes.

“So you’re riding your bike on the bike lane, and you suddenly lose your bike lane,” Dittrich said. 

“You do what you do right now, you ride the white line,” Simmens said. “We’re not going to push back the parking spaces into the ocean, and people ride that thing the way it is now, which is a disaster, it’s a disaster waiting to happen, so we should take what we should get and we’ll improvise the rest.” 

Public Works Director Rob DuBoux said bike lanes are on his agenda for future projects.

“Believe me, just like anything else, once we get to a certain point, we’re going to bring it back to you guys for comment,” he said. “I’m going to talk about a potential project we’re going to do, let me fill you in and it’ll be more clear.”

DuBoux provided an update on funding and grants for projects for PCH utility, pedestrian intersection signal improvements, civic center way treatment facility and the solar panel project at City hall.

For public comment, speaker Ryan Embree commented on the grants and said the Civic Center Water Treatment Facility, Phase Two, would cost residents hundreds a month, if the city will make sure they receive complete grants and won’t have hidden costs. 

The Malibu Civic Center Water Treatment Facility (CCWTF), is a centralized treatment facility that will treat, reuse, and/or dispose of wastewater flows from properties in the Malibu Civic Center area.

According to the city website, in April 2019, the city entered into an Assessment District Reimbursement Agreement with HRL Laboratories, LLC, through which HRL will provide funding for the design and engineering assessment of the CCWTF Phase Two project. The funds would be reimbursed after formation of an Assessment District for Phase Two.

Phase One of this project was completed in October 2018. CCWTF Phase Two consists of expanding the facility from 190,000 gallons per day to 350,000 gallons per day.

The project is estimated to cost $63 million. 

Chair Wade Major followed up on Embree’s comment and asked DuBoux if they could make sure they could receive enough grants for these projects.

“There’s a burden for residents anytime you have an assessment district drawn involuntarily around them, and I’d like to see the city make every conceivable effort to alleviate that — if not completely eradicate it,” Major said.

DuBoux said he’s looking into as many grants as he can for this project. 

The next Public Works Commission meeting is scheduled for Aug. 24.