L.A. County Bicycle Coalition Calls For Bikeway Along PCH

The nonprofit has been working with local agencies to improve safety for bicyclists along Pacific Coast Highway.

Following the death of a bicyclist in Malibu over the weekend, the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition called for safety improvements, including a dedicated bikeway, along Pacific Coast Highway.

The nonprofit issued the statement Monday, two days after the death of a 36-year-old Cypress Park woman, whose name was being withheld pending notification of next-of-kin. 

"Pacific Coast Highway is a notoriously dangerous street for all travelers, and particularly challenging for people on bicycles. Outdated road design, inconsistent shoulders, and high motor vehicle speeds are a perilous combination for people walking or riding along the highway," the statement read.

"PCH is Malibu’s main street, yet it was built to rural highway standards that provide first and foremost for the fast movement of vehicles over local access to residences, businesses, and beaches. Bicyclists face increased risks when navigating such a complex traffic environment."

LACBC has been working with the City of Malibu, Caltrans and other agencies since the 2005 death of Scott Bleifer and Stanislav Ionov on PCH.

"Education, enforcement, and engineering strategies must be used in concert to reduce collision rates," according to LACBC.

The nonprofit praised the City of Malibu's recent efforts, especially its Pacific Coast Highway Safety Study through a $375,000 grant from Caltrans. The City is also currently working toward the design of a bike lane project running two miles from Busch Drive to Trancas Canyon Road.

"The California coast is a shared treasure, with access guaranteed by the California Coastal Act and our State’s Constitution. LACBC calls on all jurisdictions to cooperate in providing a safe, continuous bikeway along the Pacific Coast Highway so that all people can enjoy its scenic beauty. We must work together to improve safety in the short term while moving toward a more balanced PCH that better serves residents and visitors in the future."

hellwood October 18, 2012 at 04:38 PM
Brent ...God? interesting...so God gave you perfectly good legs for walking, but you cant can't get down the block without the help of a bicycle? ...and he gave you a computer to complain about cars with too, obviously. that is deep
hellwood October 18, 2012 at 04:51 PM
yeah, because forcing all of the residents in eastern malibu to cross the highway back and forth all day with their groceries and families is safe? ...worst idea yet
Gary Kavanagh October 18, 2012 at 07:55 PM
The public highway is not anyone's driveway, it is not a garage, it is also not the private drag strip of those passing through. It belongs to those whole live there, those that visit, and those that pass through equally, that is how public roads and streets work and they should be designed to accommodate all users in the safest manner possible.
hellwood October 18, 2012 at 11:33 PM
gary, im really starting to think that your tight little biking leotard panties are cutting off the circulation to your brain. You cant expect the local residents and thousands of motorists to put their own lives in danger for your bicycle riding pipe dreams. The majority will always rule.
Gary Kavanagh October 19, 2012 at 12:08 AM
Improving safety for bicyclists is not a zero sum contest. The Netherlands started building bike paths and bike lanes as a matter of policy importance, both within and between cities. They have a safer traffic safety record for all users with bigger gains than the US over recent decades. Many of the streets redesigned for to include bike lanes here in Santa Monica saw declines in collisions of all kinds, as high as a 50% reduction in the case of Ocean Park Blvd. PCH is obviously a very different context than Santa Monica streets, but to suggest improving conditions for bicycle travelers is somehow automatically detracting safety from others, is not true. Although it's worth noting simply doing something but not well planned is not guaranteed to improve things either. When Caltrans says there is nothing they can do, what they really mean is they have targets set for design speed criteria locked in, auto-centric level of service ratings to meet for intersection delay, and vulnerable road users are a tertiary concern (a.k.a. human life = less value than speed, motoring convenience, and throughput capacity, which is measured in cars, not actual people). We should be demanding better safety for everyone, bicycling is one component of that, and it so happens efforts targeted to improve bicycling safety, when done well, are themselves often things that improve safety for others as well, which has been borne out in research from many different places and contexts.


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