KBUU News Monday: PCH Reopens At Big Rock, After Big Rocks Fall = City Council To Discuss Legalities Of Telling Caltrans To Screw It On Potential 25 MPH Malibu Speed Limit = AFM Ankles SaMo For Strip

Written by on March 11, 2024

Tuesday 4:15 AM UPDATE: Caltrans reopened much of Pacific Coast Highway Monday evening, after being closed Sunday night and all day Monday because rocks fell onto the highway.

Late Monday, the state placed K-rail in both traffic lanes of the westbound highway just before Big Rock Drive.   Westbound traffic was detoured to the center turn lane.

Both eastbound lanes were open. 

The rockslide was at 11:30 p.m. Sunday… the rockfall covered all five lanes of the highway.

This was just east of the traffic light at Big Rock Drive. 

No cars were being allowed to connect to Big Rock from the Santa Monica side.

The rocks were quickly cleared … by Caltrans operations made the call to keep the road closed until geologists could see the rocks on the cliff in daylight.

No pedestrians are allowed.  

The danger is too unknown. 

School buses normally stop right there … they will not be running today.

Also … the 35 MTA buses that bring workers to Malibu and commuters to Santa Monica will not be running either … until this is open. 

The LA TV stations are set up on the other side oftheclosure.

KCAL Channel 9 interviewed workers who cannot get to work in Malibu this morning.


PERSON 1: “We are already coming from far.  So I mean just o go around is just going to be a hassle.”

PERSON 2: “I AM HEADING TO Malibu Whole Foods.  I am going to be alate for work,.  So I’m just trying to figure out what’s the fastest way to get over there.”

PERSON 3: “I work at the Malibu Coast Animal Hospital … trying to get across. I open the hospital so I gotta go take care of ‘em.

“Jeez, it’s a little .. difficult.”

Adding to the delays:

Topanga Canyon Boulevard remains closed between PCH and Grandview.

Last night … Caltrans officials said that closure is indefinite … no estimate for reopening. 

Because of the closure of both PCH and Topanga Canyon … all traffic between Malibu and Santa Monica has to use the 405 and 101 freeways … there is simply no other route. 


Caltrans Flummoxed By 30-Year-Old Mudslide Now Covering One Lane Near Sunset/Coastline

As if today’s Big Rock landslide isn’t bad enough … a landslide that is 30 years in the making pinched off traffic into Malibu all weekend.

Muddy dirt finally pushed out into the right lane of westbound PCH … just past Sunset Boulevard and approaching the Getty Villa Museum … on Friday.

This year’s enormous rains have saturated the dirt hillside above … pushing the toe of the landslide across the fog line and over four feet into traffic.  

Muddy water flowed from the landslide’s toe. 

One lane was blocked westbound … it was taking drivers more than one hour to get through.

Last week … when it looked like the slope was going to give way … KBUU News asked caltrnas officials if they had any plans to take on the hillside before it moved into traffic lanes.,

The response: 

“Our Maintenance Division clears  the roadway as the slides occur up to the fog line, which is our right of way. 

“The slopes from which the mud slides originate are not state property and are outside of state right of way.”

No plans for a permanent fix.

And no idea how long that one lane at Sunset Boulevard will be closed. 

The big traffic jam was made much worse by the lack of traffic control at the signal just past the closure.

The traffic light at PCH at Coastline is just outside the city limits of Los Angeles … in county jurisdiction.

And that means there California Highway Patrol is in charge there.

The CHP rarely … if ever …. deploys officers to direct traffic in a jam like this. 

Assuming the road closures at Big Rock and at Topanga Canyon are fixed today ,,, that lane closure at Getty Villa will just cork up traffic heading to Malibu … once again. 


City Council Will Discuss Legalities Of  Telling Caltrans ‘Screw It, We’re Dropping Speed Limit To 25 On Our Own’

Extremely severe traffic law changes are going to be discussed by the city council tonight.

City council member Bruce Silverstein wants two use the state of emergency declared by the city to order a nighttime curfew in Malibu … unless drivers obey draconian speed limit reductions. 

He wants the city to study speed limits of 35 or 40 miles per hour for open stretches of PCH … where the current speed limit is 50 … and the traffic flow is regularly above 55…. 

And in eastern malibu???

Speed limits are 45 there … with traffic flow regularly clocked above 55.

Silcerstein asking off the city can reduce the speed limit to 25 miles per hour where there are homes or businesses along PCH.

All of this is just in the talking stage right now.

Bit the city attorney points out big problems with draconian sped limits. 

Unless limits specified are adopted according to procedures in the California speed trap laws /// judge may throw out tickets./

That may lead to the sheriff’s office simply refusing to enforce Malibu’s speed limit. 

The city is exploring ways to use the city’s declaration of an emergency to restrict drivers from going above posted “emergency limits”, such as 35 or 40 miles per hour for open stretches of PCH and 25 miles per hour where there are homes or businesses.

Five questions are posed by city staff: (1) How does the City enforce this?  (2) What is effectiveness and safety of these measures. (3) How would City prevent Caltrans from removing emergency speed limit and stop signs? (4)  What to do about conflicting signs that could confuse motorists?  (5) What to do about in vehicles traveling at greatly different rates of speed if only some motorists notice/adhere to lower speed limits?

The session starts at 6:30 p.m.


Permanent Skatepark Back On Agenda, For Umpteenth Time, May Get Continued, For Umpteenth Time

The permanent skate park at Malibu Buffs park is back on the city council agenda tonight.

Last week … the city council approved a settlement agreement with the developer next door … who is building five ultra-posh houses on lots that wrap around the park.

But the developer … Scott Gillan … still has an appeal filed with the city against the Planning Commission’s approval of the project,.

The deal approved last week has a stipulation that requires Gillen to withdraw that zoning appeal after revised construction plans for the skate park are approved by the city.

Those plans include some landscaping … moving the skate pads 10 feet to the west and lowering them by about 2 feet.

Late Friday ….. the city manager said tonight’s hearing of the zoning appeal should be continued to some date in the future.

Also on there agenda tonight … a pair of traffic related resolutions … asking for city support for two measures in Sacramento.

One of those would increase penalties for people driving more than 25 miles per hour over the speed limit.


AFM Ankles SaMo For Strip

A major blow to Santa Monica. 

AFM … the American Film Market … announced Friday it is moving to Las Vegas.

This … after 33 years in Santa Monica. 

The Independent Film & Television Alliance announced the AFM would move to the Palms Resort Casino in Las Vegas for this year’s show.

The casino boasts a 14-screen multiplex and a 170,000-square-foot meeting conference and event space.

It’s a crushing blow to the city’s slowly recovering economy.

AFM is credited for pumping more than $20 million into the westside’s economy during its annual week-long stay.

It drew more than 7,000 participants from 70 countries yearly … during the city’s slow winter season.

A loud strike by hotelworkers that interrupted last year’s AFM is partly blamed for the departure.

AFM’s main venue from the Loews Hotel, which was undergoing major renovations, to the Le Meridien Delfina …  which is embroiled in a bitter battle with Unite HERE Local 11 over stalled contract negotiations.

And there were loud union protests outside the AFM by more than 100 people … and calls to boycott AFM.

“I think that hurt,” Mayor Phil Brock told the Santa Monica Lookout newspaper. 

City officials pointed to Santa Monica’s expensive hotel rates, which are among the highest in the State.

“It’s a big deal, and I think it hurts,” said Mayor Phil Brock to the Santa Monica Lookout.

“But at the end of the day we can’t compete with hotel rates in Vegas. And they have enough rooms to keep the rates lower.”


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