My father, William E. Johnston, who lived on PCH near Tuna Canyon for 60 years, wrote this letter in 2006.
Allyn Johnston, Malibu
Stop speeders on PCH
August 6, 2006
The bargain made to seek city status, in part, in exchange for what used to be a substantial California Highway Patrol presence, was grossly irresponsible. If Malibu can’t find the will to afford adequate highway safety, there is no hope for dealing with more costly, complicated, and necessary social issues.
I live on PCH, and I am an early morning user of it. The speed of drivers heading toward Santa Monica is appalling. I have never seen police patrol activity before the traffic volume chokes on its own numbers. Sixty-five to 70 mph is average speed for eastbound traffic in the predawn hours. The only sign of enforcement is an empty sheriff’s vehicle occasionally parked in the westbound direction, a mockery of the whole problem.
Years ago, I was active with several others in securing legislation that banned four-axle trucks from PCH in Malibu. I have noticed many such vehicles sneaking along PCH at high rates of speed in pre-dawn hours. They are not involved in local business deliveries. This conduct should be stopped immediately so that the word will spread. It is allegedly much cheaper to run such vehicles along PCH than over the Ventura Freeway to Los Angeles in that it avoids the grades on the latter approach. With present fuel prices, the temptation will increase.
I have noticed on Mulholland west of Topanga Canyon Boulevard, electric signs which capture drivers’ speed in bold numbers. Often speeders slow down in the face of such evidence. They are reasonably cheap and should be instituted at reasonable intervals, along with increased patrolling.
William E. Johnston, Malibu