I am writing to urge support of the project to install a traffic signal and increase the safety on North Coast Highway at the main entrance to Emerald Bay.
My wife and I moved to Emerald Bay in 1984. Shortly after that time, we had some very close calls when exiting the main gate going south. We even had some harrowing experiences turning north from that gate. Despite clear speed limit signage, the average speed of cars going by is probably 50 mph with some up to 65 mph or higher. Blending in with existing traffic flow is almost impossible.
Many years ago, I flew supersonic jets in the Air Force. The type of flying that I found most challenging was formation flying at high speeds. Turning south on Coast Highway and trying to join traffic going 50+ mph while avoiding traffic coming from the south at perhaps even greater speeds is every bit as difficult as “joining up” in formation flying at high rates of speed. In my opinion, this intersection presents one of the most hazardous traffic situations I have ever seen.
I have discussed this project with some of the project opponents to try to determine what their objections might be. When pressed, they give varied reasons for their opposition. When one tried to convince me the intersection would actually be safer without a signal, I realized their thinking was irrational and they were just throwing up red herrings in an attempt to thwart the project altogether.
The number of accidents there near the main gate is appalling. The number of “near misses” would astound you. Every day that goes by while this project is bogged down in bureaucracy is just an invitation for more accidents to occur.
For the health, welfare and safety of all people driving on North Pacific Coast Highway, we should all urge the Laguna Beach City Council to support this project and to take whatever steps are necessary to see that the project is started and completed as soon as possible.
Thank you for your consideration.
David B. Kuhn, Jr., Laguna Beach