Planning Commission rejects Caltrans request to convert PCH crosswalk into full traffic signal  

This diagram from Caltrans shows its proposed pedestrian crossing near Carbon Beach. The city's Planning Commission, after expressing its doubts on the project, continued it to a date uncertain during the Feb. 20 meeting. Contributed Graphic

Lechuza Beach Public Access Improvements Project continued to a date uncertain

The Malibu Planning Commission rejected an application to improve two pedestrian crossings at an existing crosswalk near Carbon Beach at the recent Planning Commission meeting on Feb. 20.

Caltrans states the proposed project will improve pedestrian safety by including a mechanism for vehicles to come to a full stop. The subject area is located approximately 1,500 feet west of Carbon Beach Terrace. According to the report, Caltrans recommends the beacon lights to a pedestrian signal because of the high number of rear-end accidents when pedestrians use the existing crosswalk.

Commissioners shared their concerns about the project, saying the crosswalk is located too close to the crosswalk near NoBu and McDonald’s, and a crosswalk wouldn’t be necessary.

“What’s the reasoning to why it has to go there, and what’s the justification for it,” Planning Commissioner Skylar Peak asked.

After a discussion, the majority of planning commissioners shared their concerns and motioned to move the item to a date uncertain.

“This seems to serve no purpose, and we have other places where we need them,” Vice Chair John Mazza said. “I think that the only reason it’s going in, personally, is because we have one there.” 

Planning Director Richard Mollica said the proposal would help the synchronization and traffic flow.

Caltrans Transportation Engineer Ohannes Anserlian said their study found an increase of rear ends at that location.

Caltrans estimated the proposed project would be completed in 150 working days. The project also proposes overnight construction activity and requires written permission from the city manager. 

The commission said they wanted an overall study of the crosswalk placement from Caltrans and motioned to bring back the item to a date uncertain.

The commission motioned Coastal Development Permit No. 22-049, Site Plan Review No. 22-027. Motion passed 3-1 vote.

The commission motioned to continue the Lechuza Beach Public Access Improvements Project to a date uncertain. Lechuza Beach is located at the intersection of West Sea Level Drive and Broad Beach Road (continue south on West Sea Level Drive once through the pedestrian gate).

The proposed developments include Americans with Disability Act-compliant parking and restrooms, viewing platforms, an advanced onsite wastewater treatment system, and a staircase. For more information about the project, visit the California Environmental Quality Act website.

Speakers included members of the Mountain Recreation and Conservation Authority (MRCA), the Homeowners Association, and residents of Lechuza Beach and Broad Beach. 

On Oct. 2, 2023, the Planning Commission held a public hearing on the project and requested additional information be provided to address several items raised by the Planning Commission. 

“It’s really a shame that you go to such a beautiful place and you have such an eyesore,” Peak said. 

After a heated discussion between the planning commission and MRCA, the commission motioned to bring back the item to a date uncertain and ask MRCA to relocate the restrooms, and create an alternate plan.

The meeting adjourned in memory of Matt Rapf.

The article was updated to correct the Caltrans representative.