County Pressured To Close Beach Lots – Beaches Remain Open, PCH Parking Remains Open
Written by 991KBU on March 23, 2020
Malibu officials are waiting for details about the planned closure of LA County Beach parking lots… after this beachfront city was overrun by beachgoers on Saturday.
This morning … LA County joined every other nearby government and closed its beach parking lots in Malibu.
But the beaches remain open …as do thousands of parking places along P C H and other city streets.
If the parking lot at Zuma or Surfrider or the smaller beaches is blocked off … thousands of cars may spill onto PCH or city streets or vacant lots.
Or commercial establishments … many of them closed because of the virus.
Or the few remaining commercial grocery stores that remain open.
On Saturday … tens of thousands of inland residents … tired of being cooped up and hearing the governor tell them to head to the beach … did exactly that.
Traffic jams in the canyons.
Big crowds on the beaches.
Lines of hungry tourists at take out windows … lots of people there failing to observe social distancing.
Sheriff’s deputies visited those lines and told people they had to spread apart.
Beach traffic jams and crowds from the Mexican border to Oregon.
And even after that … on Saturday evening … GoveRnor Gavin Newsom continued to urge people to go to the beach.
GUV SIMPLE COMMON
QUESTION: “Is there a scenario in which we could get some sort of order about restricting access or shutting down parks forest sbeaches that sort of public gathering places where people have some have not caught on yet??
“Yeah I hope not because that would defeat the purpose of meeting this moment, I think we’re going to meet this moment, I think we have more confidence in the people listed California.
“And it’s going to take a little bit of time, I mean we’re not even 48 hours into this process.
“We’re going to see how this plays out in the next days.
“It’s incumbent upon all of us to move quickly to change our behaviors.
“But I want people to feel free to walk their dog, I just don’t them to walk their dog where this hundreds of others concentrated.
“I want people to feel free to take a deep breath, fresh air, get some exercise, take a nice walk hike out in nature, walk along the beach.
“Just not with thousands of others.
“Again it’s not a mixed message, it’s simple common sense.”
California Gov. Gavin Newsom’s conference Saturday night … hours after his staff at been informed by Malibu officials of the crowding situation.
L A Mayor Eric Garcetti said the beaches in L-A Saturday were too crowded … the canyon trailheads were overloaded … and that was not acceptable.
“This weekend we saw too many people packing beaches, trails and parks” said Garcetti yesterday.
“So we are closing sports and recreation at LA City parks and closing parking at city beaches.
“That doesn’t mean gather elsewhere.
“This is serious.
“Stay home and save lives.”
And now comes this problem.
Los Angeles and Santa Monica have closed their beach parking lots.
Now Malibu has also.
Malibu Mayor Karen Farrer wanted the beaches closed … as she for Malibu.
“While the city does not own or operate the county, state, national parks or MRCA beaches or trails in the Malibu area … we share the concerns about the need to limit visitors and crowds.”
Malibu’s beach parking lots are now closed as of today … but 21 miles of Pacific Coast Highway in the city are available for visitor parking too.
And banning parking on P C H would mean … what to do with the hundreds of residents who park their cars on P C H every day.
City manager Reva Feldman tells KBUU that this may be the best Malibu can hope for.
FELDMAN MAR 23 AAA
“I think that the concept behind closing the beach lots is it limits the number of people who could park.
“Obviously at some point parking off of lots is going to be finite.
“So people will still be able to come to the beach.
“Obviously you cannot close the beaches. But we can limit the number of people who will be there.
“I do know that state parks yesterday implemented a 50% parking capacity at the Malibu lot in effort to limit the number of people at the Malibu Pier.
“but again I ask state parks and our state representatives to implement a full closure.”
Some residents favor roadblocks … or at the least closing the beaches.
Here’s a typical social media post.
“This is not NIMBYism .. this is exactly how the virus will get an exponential start to overwhelm our hospitals and health system.
“This is not a vacation. … look at Italy … now look at our numbers.
“You should be concerned.
“I am not panicked I am rational and I can do basic math.”
But that brings whole set of other problems … says a reply.
“People are coming to the beach and going on hikes to have some time in nature… most of these people live in cities that don’t have a lot of space to roam and now their malls, movie theaters, and restaurants/bars are closed. So they come to the beach and mountains…
“Think about what you are asking in this petition.
“Do you really want the government to step in to regulate our movement? Is that really the best option?”
Malibu mayor Karen Farrer … as we said … is asking the public to send messages to state and county officials …. close the beaches.
FARRER MAR 23 BBB
“I am advocating for the county and state to close properties such as the beaches, pier, local parks and all related parking lots in Malibu.”
The story was the same up and down the coast.
“I’m disgusted. I’m really disgusted with all the people who came to Laguna Beach yesterday and put all of our lives in jeopardy,” said Laguna Beach Councilman Peter Blake on Sunday.
The mayor of San Clemente lamented that his city “does not have the authority to unilaterally close the beaches,”
“My expectation is that the state will completely close the beaches at some point for everyone” said San Clemente Mayor Dan Bane.
By yesterday, the public found yellow caution tape draped off a popular basketball court in Laguna Beach; piers in Manhattan Beach and Hermosa Beach blocked to visitors; volleyball courts stripped of their nets on the sand across Los Angeles County.
Hermosa Beach officials met Sunday afternoon to call for closing its city-owned beach and walkway to the public, but decided against it.
Banning visitor use fo Malibu beaches … any beaches … is guaranteed to trigger an outpouring of public anger from people who do not live at the beach … including promises to violate the ban as much as possible,
We are already seeing that on social media … too.
Now that the parking lots are closed … what will happen to the rest of the city???