Transient Killed While Crossing PCH at Night

People unwisely attempt to cross Pacific Coast Highway near Will Rogers State Beach. Numerous fatalities have occurred in the stretch of road between Chautauqua Boulevard and Temescal Canyon Road.

Transient Killed; Pedestrian Bridge Needed

A transient was struck by a car and killed in the northbound lanes of Pacific Coast Highway, near the Potrero Canyon construction entrance on January 15 around 10 p.m.

According to sources, who wished to remain anonymous, the transient was dressed in dark clothing. The windshield on the passenger side of the car was smashed, but the occupants of the car escaped injury.

This is yet another pedestrian death on PCH, between Chautauqua Boulevard and Temescal Canyon Road.

David Wolfberg posted on his Facebook page after the Potrero Park groundbreaking was held on January 22, “George Wolfberg has something bigger in mind as he reminded everyone at this ceremony: [we need] safe public access to and from the beach with the [building of the] first pedestrian bridge over Pacific Coast Highway that I know of north of Santa Monica. The tunnels under PCH are convenient but visitors have trouble finding them and they tend to flood. They also don’t connect near Potrero Canyon. This needs more of a push from the rest of us.”

David, George’s son, noted that in the mile stretch of PCH from Chautauqua to Temescal Canyon, there is no pedestrian access to the beach from the inland side of the highway.

George Wolfberg, chair of the Palisades Community Council, sent a January 25 letter to Assemblyman Richard Bloom and State Senator Ben Allen, with copies to Councilman Mike Bonin and to Caltrans.

Wolfberg wrote, “The new park will have trails from the Palisades Recreation center to the inland edge of Pacific Coast Highway. We will need access at trails end to assure safe passage to Will Rogers State Beach.

“This is not only a recreation access issue for beach goers, walkers, runners, swimmers, surfers and bicyclists, but also primarily a safety issue. People die regularly trying to jaywalk across six lanes of high-speed Pacific Coast Highway traffic.

“The danger will only increase exponentially once the park is open and the trail ends so tantalizingly close, yet so dangerously far across the highway to the sand.”

George was asked by Circling the News if there would be money left from the Potrero Canyon Park construction fund to build a pedestrian bridge. He responded in a January 27 email, “The money will come from the balance in the Potrero Canyon Trust Fund after the grading and landscape contracts are paid for. We do not have an estimate and will not until the landscape contract is let. Whether that covers the price of the bridge is to be determined.”

With so many pedestrian deaths along that stretch of PCH, the question might be asked, “Why is a pedestrian bridge that could save lives dependent on what it costs to landscape the park?”

Wolfberg asks residents who believe a pedestrian bridge will save lives to contact their elected officials.

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3 Responses to Transient Killed While Crossing PCH at Night

  1. George Wolfberg says:

    It should not be dependent upon the remaining balance in Potrero Trust Fund. It should be a mandatory government expenditure for public safety. Funding requirements should be determined once the bridge is designed and, ultimately, the contract amount. If the Trust Fund balance is inadequate, all of our local public officials should get together and get the overpass funded, and built, before the park officially opens.

  2. Jim McCashin says:

    Please advise how many is “so many pedestrian deaths along that stretch of PCH.”
    Can we get figures for each of the last ten years? That would help evaluate how much money can be justified to achieve the desired level of safety.

    • Sue says:

      Jim,

      I used to do all the traffic stories for the Palisadian-Post when I worked there and I can remember reporting on at least two transients being killed during that time on that stretch. Part of the problem is the highway report. The most recent accident was called in as one by Chautauqua. There are no street numbers between Chautauqua and Temescal, so the accident is often recorded as closest to an intersection. For another story I’m doing I asked for the accident reports for Temescal and PCH, I received accidents at or near that location between 2013 and 2016. There was a fatal accident on February 2014 (pedestrian), and a second transient fatality in 2016. (I reported on that one for the Palisades News.)

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