Raise your hand if you have been in the right-hand lane on the downhill side of Chautauqua waiting to turn south onto Pacific Coast Highway and someone zooms by you in the adjacent lane and pulls in front of you at the last minute, causing you to miss the green light? You’ve waited sometimes as long as 10 minutes and now you have another 3-4 minute wait.
At the Pacific Palisades Community Council meeting last Thursday night, President David Card said he had met with Councilman Mike Bonin’s transportation director, Eric Bruins, and small changes have been proposed that should alleviate those drivers who “cut the line.”
Circling the News contacted Bruins and he responded today (Wednesday) by email: “This intersection has been the source of many complaints over the years, so we’re happy to be able to take some steps to simplify it.”
In the coming months, motorists going downhill on Chautauqua will only be able to access north- or south-bound PCH from the far right lane. The left lane will be designated only for turning sharply left onto West Channel Road, which is the current scenario.
To help enforce this change, there will be a vertical delineator and a buffer between the two lanes. “It will make it harder for drivers in the [West Channel] lane to cut back into the PCH-bound traffic from the other lane,” Bruins said.
Meanwhile, drivers heading northbound on PCH who want to make a right-hand turn onto West Channel or Chautauqua will only be able to do so from the far right-hand lane. The other three lanes on PCH will be through-bound only. Currently cars can turn right from two lanes.
“The turn volume is such that there should be ample capacity in one lane,” Bruins said. “LADOT also believes there will be safety benefits for having a single right-turn lane instead of the current double right-turn across a crosswalk. The existing condition would not meet current safety standards.”
He added that LADOT is preparing the final designs before they are submitted to Caltrans for approval. Once that happens, implementation could happen within a few months, and will include new signage and striping.
“I won’t have an exact schedule until the work order is executed,” said Bruins, who noted that the traffic improvement ideas had come from a PPCC public meeting several months ago.