$75,000 Allocated for PCH Traffic Study
• Caltrans to Provide $300,000 Grant to Look at Safety
BY BILL KOENEKER
The Malibu City Council, with Councilmember Pamela Conley Ulich absent, unanimously gave the green light this week to appropriating $75,000 from the general fund to serve as a local match for $300,000 for a Malibu Pacific Coast Highway study project.
The city had submitted an application to the Caltrans transportation planning grants program to study safety along PCH in the city, but only metropolitan planning organizations are eligible for grants, so the city partnered with the Southern Californian Association of Governments on the application.
Under the grant terms, SCAG will be the primary recipient and responsible for administration.
Public Works Director Bob Brager, in his staff report, described the study as looking at all modes of travel on PCH and will examine current conditions, and analyze and identify potential strategies to improve safety.
"Ultimately, the study can be used as the basis for a master plan of safety improvements along PCH," Brager added.
Public safety activist Hans Laetz said the two years to complete the study is too long. "This study won't be a master plan. This starts us down a road that is not an express," he said.
Laetz was quick to praise the city for getting the funding but said the city cannot wait two years before it embarks on any safety improvement projects.
"I agree with Hans. We need to try to do it quickly," said Mayor John Sibert.
But Councilmember Lou La Monte said, "We should seriously consider anytime someone wants to give us money." He insisted the ad hoc safety committee would move it along. "We are not going to wait for this one report."
Councilmember Laura Rosenthal said, "I totally agree."
"We can put the coals under the city manager," said Councilmember Jefferson Wagner.
City Manager Jim Thorsen responded, saying, "We think we can beat the timeline. We are already meeting with SCAG. We can quickly organize it. There are several things we think we can come back with. We can look at quick and easy designs."
Rosenthal noted the city got one-third of what was given out in grants. "It is important hearing from the public. I encourage all of us to get involved," she said.