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A stretch of Pacific Coast Highway in Malibu that’s seen several bicycle collisions in as many years is being looked at for changes that will make it safer for bicyclists while adding motor vehicle parking.
The Planning Commission next week will take up a proposal to construct median improvements to widen the outside shoulder for about approximately two miles along PCH between Webb Way and Puerco Canyon Road.
According to the July 19 meeting staff report by Jessica Thompson, associate planner, the changes “will provide increased travel space on the right shoulder for a combination of bicycle use and on-street parking, thereby improving safety on this segment of PCH.”
The project includes painting green bicycle refuge lanes between the through lane and right turn lane on northbound PCH at Malibu Canyon Road and John Tyler Drive, and on southbound PCH at Webb Way. The bright, green-colored pavement is intended to signal “bicycle use only” and increase the visibility of cyclists using bike lanes.
Striping for separate bicycle lanes is not part of the plan.
The project would widen the right shoulder within the existing paved cross section without widening the public right-of-way.
By establishing the bicycle refuges for increased visibility at the intersections, according to the report, “would allow for additional lateral public access within the city’s Coastal Zone, particularly involving active transportation.”
No changes are proposed to driveway access or on-street parking, and the 11-foot-wide vehicle lanes would also be unchanged.
“The existing shoulder widths on PCH do not provide an acceptable level of comfort and security to bicyclists for the combination of bicycle use and on-street parking,” according to Thompson.
According to state collision data, the area in question has been the scene of several bicycle collisions within the past three years, including three broadside collisions (one of which was fatal); one rear end collision; and one involving a bicyclist and parked vehicle.
“Widening the roadway shoulder within the project site will increase safety and reduce collision incidents,” according to Thompson.