For Manhattan Beach residents, asking the city to implement increased traffic safety measures is a lot like shouting “Give me water!” into a well. The words bounce around, hit the other end, and then come back at them. But they never get what they want.
Manhattan Beach Community Group has been pushing an ever-expanding set of proposals for years. The other neighborhood civic – Manhattan Beach Neighborhood Association – has a similar set of proposals. And the Community Board and locally elected pick up on the demands and relay them to city officials. But in the end, all they ever hear is each other. With the exception of the planters – a rather minor improvement – the city has yet to deliver on any of the requests.
For the first time, MBCG has published on its website a list of all its demands for traffic safety reform neighborhood-wide. It’s addressed “To The Honorable Mayor Bloomberg – Stop the Accidents” and rattles off requests from residents for all three major avenues and several side streets.
Some highlights from the list:
- Along Oriental Boulevard, eliminate zebra stripes and bike lanes, and add a safety lane along the median that, at corners, serves as a left turn bay. Change the speed limit to 20 mph, and make signage more prominent.
- Add standard traffic lights on Oriental Boulevard at Ocean Avenue, Falmouth Street, Mackenzie Street, Coleridge Street and Irwin Street (which would also have a turn signal for the beach parking lot).
- Add a crosswalk with prominent signage at Hastings Street and Oriental Boulevard.
- Add school zone signage that reduces the speed to 15 mph during school hours.
- Reconfigure signs on Shore Boulevard where the road curves around Exeter Street, Dover Street and Coleridge Street to make more prominent a reduced speed limit of 15 mph, and add blinking yellow lights.
- A standard traffic signal on Shore Boulevard at Mackenzie Street, Exeter Street and Ocean Avenue, with marked crosswalks.
- Multiple turn lanes on Shore Boulevard and West End Avenue.
- Stop signs on Hampton Avenue at Girard Street, Exeter Street, Coleridge Street and Amherst Street
- Speed bumps on Oxford Street and Norfolk Street.
MBCG’s plan includes several smaller proposals, and also has explanations for many of the larger improvements they suggest.
The latest traffic improvement in Manhattan Beach was the removal of the planters, which came after the group took their demands to the mayor’s office. With this list going to the same place, it’s a matter of time before we see if they’re shouting into another well or actually pulling up a bucket of water.