As a 35-year resident of Laguna Beach, I was overjoyed to read in the local paper that finally Coast Highway improvements, specifically pedestrian scrambles, were approved. For years it has been obvious that the pedestrian traffic in Laguna significantly impacts the automobile traffic.
However, I was horrified to read that a pedestrian scramble at the Broadway and Coast Highway intersection had been abandoned due to a computer model. You don’t need a computer model to tell you that the northbound traffic on Coast Highway is constantly jammed up at this intersection due to pedestrian traffic blocking the cars trying to turn right onto Broadway. The light turns green, the pedestrians cross Broadway, maybe one or two cars are able to turn right onto Broadway, the light turns red, and the northbound traffic is backed up. Just ask anyone who drives northbound daily! I don’t care what the computer model says—this intersection is extremely problematic and needs fixing.
While all the other Coast Highway improvements that are slated are great, it seems absolutely ridiculous to not deal with the massive amount of pedestrians and the snarl they create at the Broadway and Coast Highway intersection. Having the pedestrian scramble at the two intersections south of Broadway is not going to do much good if the northbound traffic on Coast Highway is backed up. The Laguna Beach city planners need to reconsider adding the pedestrian scramble at this intersect. At the very least, they need to consider adding a northbound right turn lane on Coast Highway at Broadway. Something needs to be done about the northbound traffic at this intersection, or the $700,000 that is going to be spent on the Coast Highway improvements is going to be a waste.
Winsom Weeks, Laguna Beach