Package ran live March 7, for NewsWaves 32
A battle for parking at Westward Beach in ongoing — with Point Dume Access Road opening and closing by the day.
L.A. County closed the Point Dume Access Road to the Point Dume parking lot for most of January due to mudslides on one side and high tides on the other, said Chris Frost, chair of the Public Safety Commission, in a March 1 Public Safety Commission meeting. This closure has left residents and drivers with limited parking.
“If we don’t do something safety-wise, we are going to have some type of disaster coming up,” said Steve Graham, owner of a residence on Cliffside Drive.
L.A. County has urged residents and tourists to stay clear of Westward Beach following the mudslides on Point Dume following the rain, Frost said.
The Volunteers On Patrol team has seen the opposite, with crowds swarming to Westward Beach, especially for sunsets. VOP leader Mark Russo said the team wrote 151 tickets in the Point Dume area just over Presidents’ Day weekend.
“Sunsets are just ridiculous up there [Westward beach],” Russo said.
Drivers crowding Westward Beach Road have started to park in residents’ yards and driveways on Cliffside Drive — sparking concern, Frost said.
“I’m not an advocate of making everyone’s weekend terrible, but they can’t just flaunt the law whenever they want to,” Frost said.
Frost said there needs to be a consequence for drivers blatantly not following parking laws, whether they want to get to the beach or not.
“If you parked in Beverly Hills on a sidewalk, you’d never see your car again,” Frost said.
Drivers are feeling frustrated, too — they said they spend more time looking for parking than they do at the beach.
“If you’re on a bike, it’s easier, but a car is almost impossible,” Westward Beach visitor Jose Sawale said.
Sawale said he has to stay persistent to park at Westward Beach and enjoy his time in Malibu.
The Public Safety Commission offered a few solutions — one being to add more signage to the area informing drivers of where and where not to park.
Russo said VOP will also start monitoring the area immediately, enforcing towing and writing tickets.
“I can’t count how many times we’ve heard these cars going 60 to 70 miles an hour,” Graham said. “It’s come to the point where we need to do something before somebody is going to get killed.”
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