Point Dume Pedestrians on Better Path
Posted by Semhar Debessai on Dec 18, 2005 - 10:48:00 PM

MALIBU – City developers, councilmembers and community residents gathered earlier this month to discuss the new plans to build a pedestrian walkway as part of the Point Dume Safe Routes to School project funded by the city.


The soon-to-exist walkway is hoped to not only cater to pedestrian activity, but to achieve the goal of safety and possibly decreasing the use of cars transporting adults and children to work and school sites.


With construction tentatively scheduled for the summer of 2006, residents had the opportunity to voice their concerns and ask questions about the development of the walkway. “The City is actively seeking input from the community to ensure that the project will meet the desires of the community,” said Mondher Saied, Project Engineer for the City of Malibu. One such meeting was the one held on December 1st at Point Dume Marine Science Elementary School.


Considering the natural surroundings of the designated Malibu area and the local schools that will be near the development, it has been a concern that the project will not be environmentally sound, with plans extending the pathway to the Point Dume shopping center and connecting two heavily used bus stops.


With this in mind, the city has ensured that “the proposed walkway will be constructed in a manner to preserve the rural character of Point Dume and benefit the environment.” This is expected to be achieved by designing the walkway to minimize the impact on parking and landscaping.


But the necessity of such a designated space for non-drivers has been even more so emphasized and support for the project has been overwhelming. Current pedestrian accessibility is weak in the northern end of Point Dume where, in some locations, people have been walking on unpaved shoulders and traffic lanes to get to their destinations. A 2003 polling done by the Point Dume Marine Science Safety Committee showed that 86% of households were for the development of the extensive walkway while 10% were undecided.


The city cited challenges facing the developers would mainly focused around design and being especially aware of “drainage along the walkway, encroachment on right of ways, obstructions along the path such as bulky mailboxes or fire hydrants, steep slopes and multiuse.”


Estimated cost of the project is $500,000.