The California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) held a news conference at the Topanga State Beach parking lot last Friday to unveil a new bicycle sign, as part of the public awareness safety campaign for the Pacific Coast Highway (PCH).
The project, which has been instigated by Caltrans and the Bicycle Safety Task Force brought forward by Senator Sheila Kuehl, will install 18 "Share the Road" signs along PCH from Decker Canyon Road to Chautauqua Road to raise public awareness to the mixed use of this heavily travelled scenic route. In conjunction with the sign installation, new requirements will be implemented when maintenance and construction work is performed through the area. Wherever possible, a four-foot shoulder will be maintained and a new "Share the Road" black and orange construction sign will be used as part of closure signage.
A PCH Bicycle Safety Task Force was formed in October 2005, following the deaths of two cyclists. It is supported by several local elected officials, various state agencies, the county, cities, law enforcement, Auto Club, bicycle clubs and the community.
"Last year, after a fatal accident in which two cyclists were killed on PCH, members of the cycling community approached me with a number of ideas for ways to improve safety on PCH for cyclist and for all users of the state highway," said Senator Kuehl. "The installation of the Share the Road signs on PCH will help to make PCH safer for cyclists and motorists alike. I applaud Caltrans, the cycling community, and all the members of the PCH Task Force for their time and commitment to make our wonderful coastal roadways safer for everyone."
"We are very pleased that the cooperative efforts of elected officials, government agencies and the community will result in greater safety on PCH, a unique and treasured resource," said Raja Mitwasi, Chief Deputy District Director covering Los Angles and Ventura counties. Also present were County Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky and Duncan Lemmon of the Velo Club La Grange Cycling Club.
The Task force is ongoing to identify other possible safety enhancements for PCH. The $12,000 sign installation is estimated to be completed by the end of the month.