Public safety has always been a priority for our city. Safety on Pacific Coast Hwy. has been a vexing problem for decades as more and more commuters pass through our city and more visitors travel the highway to enjoy our beaches and mountains. Our efforts to improve safety have yielded mixed results, not for lack of effort but, in my view, for a lack of vision. As a motorcycle enthusiast who has traveled over 30,000 miles in the past decade on a bike, I have seen a lot. I have analyzed and, in many cases reacted to, dangerous situations on our roads right here in Malibu. I would like to see us try some new methods and innovative ideas to control the traffic that passes through our city. PCH is one area of concern but far from the only one. The canyons have become a playground for exotic cars and motorcycles and my ideas will work there as well.
Defending against wildfires is another obvious public safety concern. I have experienced most of the wildfires in Malibu dating back to the big one on the West end in 1978. Mother Nature has taught us many lessons since then about how to react in a firestorm situation. Unfortunately, some of the lessons were not learned the first time. Perhaps now, we are ready to face the reality that in certain situations it will be impossible to ‘out man’ Mother Nature. Every neighborhood must have a plan, and structures must be hardened to the maximum extent possible. Our city must support, not inhibit, our citizens’ efforts to do battle and survive. Just as individual neighborhoods and homeowners need a plan, so does our City. We learned a lot during Woolsey. There will be a next time and we must make certain that we correct our past mistakes. We must anticipate and act to protect the neighborhoods that will be the unlucky ones next time.