Kanan Dume Road Safety Proposal Is Up for Review
• City to Look at Spending $250,000
BY BILL KOENEKER
Plans for nearly $250,000 worth of roadway improvements on Kanan Dume Road are to be considered by the Malibu City Council at its meeting next week.
After reviewing several op-tions, the staff is recommending the council go forward with nearly a half-dozen roadway safety "enhancements."
They include: Widening the existing arrestor bed by about six feet. "This enhancement will allow the width of the existing arrestor bed to be upgraded to current design standards and provide additional room for entering vehicles," a staff report states.
Installing reflectors, lighting, flashers, striping and signage at the arrestor bed.
"This enhancement will allow improved visibility of the arrestor bed and encourage drivers to utilize the arrestor bed when needed," the report adds.
Provide consistent signage along the roadway. "This enhancement will potentially aid drivers by clarifying road conditions," the report notes.
Reconfigure the lanes at the intersection of Kanan Dume Road and Pacific Coast Highway. Restripe Kanan Dume Road leading up to the arrestor bed. "This enhancement could allow drivers additional time to recognize the location of the arrestor bed," the report states.
Planners turned to the city's traffic engineer to search for alternative solutions. The design plans will only include areas within city limits.
Traffic experts are quick to note that none of these changes can "guarantee" that accidents will not occur or that runaway trucks will utilize the arrestor bed.
"However, the enhancements should improve overall traffic safety and reduce the possibility of a serious injury accident," the staff report concludes.
If approved by the council, the staff has indicated it will utilize the design services of Willdan Consultants to prepare the plans which are expected to cost $40,000.
Upon completion of the plans, the staff will return to the council to seek approval of sending the project to bid and request the council allocate further funding of the project. The estimate cost at this time for the construction improvements is about $250,000, according to the staff report, which indicates that planners are already seeking grant funding for the project, but have not yet bane successful after two requests.
The steeply graded winding road, which traverses the western Santa Monica Mountains connecting Malibu to the Conejo Valley has been plagued with fatal accidents and after several severe fatalities that involved runaway trucks, the county constructed an arrestor bed for southbound Kanan dume road immediately north of Pacific Coast Highway. The final construction was completed in 1991, according to city officials
Trucks over 8000 pounds are prohibited on the roadway, except when they are in compliance with local delivery laws. In no case should a truck in excess of the weight limit utilize the road to access PCH from the 101 Freeway. However, trucks are often seen using the roadway, either inadvertently or intentionally, according to city officials.
Traffic accidents have occurred over the years due to truck brake failure as they come southbound on the road.
"Even though the Los Angeles County Sheriff Department and the State highway patrol have placed an ever increasing presence along the roadway, Trucks are still illegally using the roadway. Many truck drivers have failed to use the arrestor bed over the last several years.