Public Works Commission hopes to schedule a meeting with Caltrans to address traffic safety

0
1245

Public Works Director provides a status report on capital improvement and disaster recovery projects 

Two days after the City Council meeting last week, the Public Works Commission met on Wednesday, Oct. 25, to address improvement projects but also addressed its concerns about improving traffic safety on PCH.

Nearly 200 people attended the City Council meeting on Monday last week due to the fatal incident that killed four Pepperdine students on Oct. 17. The incident prompted residents to urge the City Council to take action and make PCH safer.

While the Public Works Commission is unable to address items that are not on the agenda, the commissioners did share their concerns on the incident and hope the city will increase enforcement on Pacific Coast Highway.

“If we want to prevent that level of catastrophic accident from happening again, we need other remedies, and I think the one that is most obvious is —we need more deputies, and we need [the California Highway Patrol] back,” Commissioner Wade Major said. “It’s horrible that it’s taken something like this to elevate that conversation again, but we need more deputies, we need more funding for the Sheriff’s Department from the county so that they can deploy more officers here because we are under-policed by the ration that is supposed to be a normal policing ratio, we should have is at least 15 cars patrolling Malibu believe it or not, and CHP could get us there.”

Public Works Director Rob DeBoux provided an update on improvement projects but also said they are working to bring more enforcement on PCH.

 “They are trying to get there, it’s just the availability of CHP, so I am pushing to get CHP out there,” DeBoux said. “So were all working together to make that area safer.”

DeBoux said they have a lot of support from different agencies but was upset it took the accident to bring them together. 

“I can’t say enough, it really upsets me that it has to get to this when a lot of us are pushing this [traffic safety on PCH] and doing this for a long time,” DeBoux said.

Chair Scott Dittrich asked DeBoux if they could schedule a joint meeting with the Public Safety Commission and have Caltrans in the meeting.

Dittrich also asked if Caltrans could add a guardrail on Malibu Canyon. 

“I don’t know how many people have died off this year, but I know that has happened,” Dittrich said. “It would be very easy and very inexpensive.”

The commission received an update on the City Hall Solar Project and reviewed when the next commission would be. The commission voted to cancel the November and December meetings and scheduled a special meeting in January. 

“We should let Caltrans know after Monday’s [City Council] meeting, we can’t control what the public says, but the purpose at least of the commissions is certainly not to bash them, it’s to try to come up with constructive ideas, that could be done quickly,” Dittrich said.

The date of the meeting is to be determined.