Letter to The Editor: A tradition of service? A community? 

Letter to the Editor: The Malibu Times

Dear Editor, 

On Friday morning (March 29), a pedestrian was killed (an apparent suicide) on southbound PCH on Malibu Creek bridge after being hit by a semi-truck. This is a difficult thing for all concerned, but not the main focus of this story.

PCH was closed in both directions from Cross Creek Road to the entrance to Serra Retreat. 

I arrived at PCH/Cross Creek Road as traffic was building in both directions. I talked to an officer who informed me of the death and told me the road would be closed for hours.

Because Topanga Canyon is closed, the only way to get to the West Side was over Malibu Canyon, the 101, the 405, then the 10, a diversion of about 40 miles, maybe two hours in the morning rush.

I then rode down to the Cross Creek entrance to Serra Retreat to ride through there, and around the blockage, and was told by the gate warden that it was a private entrance and cars and motorcycles could not go through. 

I rode back to the scene of the tragedy and talked to a sheriff’s deputy, asking them to contact the gate at Serra Retreat to let people through and get some traffic flowing again; it was after all the morning rush hour.

I was told that it was a private road and they could do nothing.

My concern is twofold, why was the northbound carriageway closed as there is a central median on the bridge, and why wasn’t southbound traffic routed through Serra Retreat?

Isn’t the catchphrase of the LACSD “A Tradition of Service”? Is Serra Retreat part of the Malibu community?

Does the doctor in the queue of traffic have no right to service? Does the patient at a westside hospital’s need for surgery, that is cancelled because of a multi-hour delay for the doctor, have no right to service? What about every other person in that traffic jam, do they have no right to service?  

Do the residents in Serra Retreat not want to be part of the Malibu community? How does that actuate in the next fire that comes into Malibu. Should we just ignore them?

Perhaps what should happen in these circumstances is the LACSD team should task an officer with getting traffic going as quickly as possible using the skills and resources they have available to them.

It seems to me that both the LACSD and residents of Serra Retreat should be looking to serve and help the community; instead, what many people in the queue experienced was a lack of service and self-interest trumping a sense of community. Poor form by both.   

Kevin Hughes, Malibu