The Pacific Coast Highway Task Force, under direction from State Senators Henry Stern and Ben Allen, Assembly Member Richard Bloom and Supervisor Sheila Kuehl, meets quarterly.
PCH falls within four jurisdictions: Santa Monica, Los Angeles, L.A. County and Malibu. Caltrans oversees the construction and operation on the highway, but different law enforcement agencies have the lead role, depending where an accident or incident happens.
Sheila Kuehl started the task force when she was a State Assembly Member, in order to ensure all agencies are working on the same page on the road that starts at McClure Tunnel and goes to the Ventura County Line.
At the October 10 meeting in Santa Monica, the only City officials missing were from Los Angeles.
Caltrans officials spoke about five different projects that will affect cities along PCH. Regarding Pacific Palisades, Caltrans Office Chief Abdi Saghafi and Corridor Manager Osama Assaad spoke about the complicated Chautauqua/Entrada intersection.
They said they were working with the City (Councilman Bonin’s representative, Eric Bruins) about stripping and signage, but a modeling needs to be done before operations can be improved at that intersection or the next steps taken.
Caltrans does not have the money to fund a modeling, and they were told that Council District 11 did not have the money either. They suggested perhaps the City could go to Metro and ask for a modeling (forecasts outcomes according to choices made to access different streets or to plan street routes).
Saghafi said that resident Lou Kamer had done some work on the intersection and that about $50,000 was available.
Kamer was contacted and told CTN, “The $50K pledge was for the study proposal I created with PATH.” He said he would need to go back to the sponsors to see if it could be used for something else.
Malibu City Manager Elizabeth Shavelson said there was a Caltrans grant for planning that could be applied for, but the deadline was October 17. Circling the News sent the information to the Pacific Palisades Community Council Transportation Advisor Patti Post on October 10, who said there wasn’t time to fill out the application. (The grant is given annually.)
PPCC President George Wolfberg was also at the PCH meeting and gave a letter to Saghafi and Assaad from himself and Post, which read: “This heavily trafficked intersection needs attention NOW. . . .LADOT has undertaken some small changes within the City of Los Angeles. However, many improvements can’t be considered until the City and Caltrans meet and jointly determine a list of both short-term and long-term improvements.”
Caltrans is aware of the intersection. They have looked at it, but “we don’t have resources for modeling,” the Caltrans officials said. Both men said that once that is done, a traffic study could follow, and in a short time possible changes could be made.