Malibu residents are cheering plans to make major safety improvements along Pacific Coast Highway in an attempt to curb deaths on the famous and beloved stretch of road.
About 150 recommendations passed by the City Council last month include bike lanes and raised medians, additional pedestrian crosswalks and designated underpasses, the Los Angeles Times reported Monday.
A city report suggests that the projected $20 million cost of the improvements could be funded by the countywide Measure R sales tax or by federal and state grants.
“I get very impatient for safety improvement on this highway,” Meril May, a Malibu real estate agent and public safety commissioner, said at the council meeting. “We need to improve as fast as possible.”
There have been four fatalities in 117 accidents during the first six months of this year along Malibu’s 21-mile stretch of the scenic roadway.
One morning last month, Dewayne Coleman, a Los Angeles rapper known as MC Supreme, was killed as he sat with his girlfriend in his legally parked car on the seaward shoulder of PCH. A pickup barreled into them, toppling their car and pushing it to the lip of an embankment above the beach. Coleman, 47, died instantly and his girlfriend was injured.
In February, Bruce (now Caitlyn) Jenner crashed his SUV into the back of a Lexus that had stopped in heavy traffic, pushing it into the path of an oncoming Hummer. The 69-year-old female Lexus driver died at the scene.
In the three years ending in December, 376 people suffered injuries and nine people – including six pedestrians – died in accidents involving vehicles on PCH in Malibu, according to the Times.
Peter Mullin, who commutes between Ventura County and Los Angeles, told the newspaper that driving on PCH “is kind of like taking a left turn out of your driveway onto the 405.”
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