MALIBU (CBSLA.com) — The Malibu city council is set to consider a $20 million package of proposed road improvements on Monday night, following four traffic fatalities in five months.
A three-year study proposes over 150 small or large projects, from one end of the 22 mile-long, mountainous beachfront city to the other, and recommends the improvements be funded by the countywide Measure R sales tax, or federal or state grants.
The study follows three PCH fatalities in June, as well as the publicized February death of a woman whose car was rear-ended by a driver then known as Bruce Jenner. Meanwhile, PCH is closed every month by dozens of smaller crashes.
June also produced two fire trucks and a sheriff’s squad car in simultaneous, unrelated crashes.
Pinpointed by the study is a “first come, first served” policy for the busy PCH’s shoulders, where bicyclists, pedestrians, parked cars and MTA buses all compete for the same space.
The chaos is escalated by inconsistent “no parking” signs and red curbs, some of which were installed by beachfront residents, according to the study.
The study also criticized the use of pay parking at beaches and valet parking at businesses, with free parking on the street, which leads to an unusual amount of on-street parallel parking maneuvering in 45, 50 or 55-mile-per-hour sections of PCH.
The highway’s current configuration dates back to 1947, when records indicate PCH was laid out as a rural intercity highway, with a design speed of up to 65 miles per hour. Speed is identified as a major factor in these crashes.
One proposed solution includes an extension of a striped bike lane from its current end, at Zuma Beach. The study, however, stops short of reducing on-street parking to make way for bike lanes, instead suggesting that the lanes should be installed only where it is safe to reduce lane width and accommodate both bike lanes and legal on-street parking.
Bike lanes have been opposed by many residents in eastern Malibu, who have campaigned against them as a threat to on-street parking. Many residents say there is no alternative parking place within miles of their homes.
The city council will consider the plan at 6:30 p.m. on Monday at Malibu City Hall.