Residents give input on bike master plan

Members of the Malibu community shared their thoughts on a proposal for a bicycle master plan Thursday, Oct. 21, during a workshop at City Hall.

Attendees voiced their concerns, offered suggestions and stated their preferences regarding possible implementations such as specific bike routes, types of bike lanes, signage and others.

Catherine Ferguson, who recently moved to Malibu from Milwaukee, Wisconsin, bikes regularly and feels that safety along Pacific Coast Highway is one of the most important reasons to implement a bike plan.

“The number of bike accidents and car accidents that happen along the PCH are really unacceptable,” Ferguson said. “I think that we have to invest enough money in the public safety to make biking safe, not only for the bikers, but for the people who drive.”

The plan, still in its early stages, would be implemented in five cities — Malibu, Westlake Village, Hidden Hills, Augora Hills and Calabasas — and is projected for completion in June 2015, said Terry Dipple, executive director of the Las Virgenes-Malibu Council of Governments (COG).

“We thought that pulling it all together for all five cities that we could have a more comprehensive plan that connected up as opposed to each city doing their own plan,” Dipple said.

The COG was awarded a grant of $170,000 from the Southern California Association of Governments (SCAG) to pursue a bike plan. Alta Planning, a firm specializing in bicycle and pedestrian planning, design and implementation, was then hired to develop the plan.

Ryan Johnson, an employee of Alta Planning, said Malibu could benefit from having a bike plan.

“I think a bike plan here will help the residents more [to] create safe routes to local destinations,” Johnson said.

After the final plan is drafted, it is sent to each of the five cities for approval, then back to the COG for finalization, Dipple said.

Audra Hotchkiss, who was writing several suggestions on a map of Malibu using sticky notes, said she is most interested in seeing improvements to the area around Malibu High School.

“I’m also interested, as a parent, [in] improving safety on Morning View Drive because that’s where the kids use it to get to school and back from this general area,” Hotchkiss said.

This is not the first time the COG has been awarded funding and implemented a plan in the five cities it represents. The Council received $150,000 several years ago from the California Office of Emergency Preparedness to develop an emergency management plan, Dipple said.

“It’s the good government kind of thing that we like to do where we’re able to get funding for something that the cities might want to do individually, but the COG could get grant funding for it,” Dipple said. “It just creates value for the cities that way.”


Injuries cost Sharks home match against Lancers

Halle Detrixhe (left) sets up Ally Sidley during the match versus the Grace Brethren Lady Lancers on Thursday, Oct. 10 at Malibu High School in Malibu, Calif.

Halle Detrixhe (left) sets up Ally Sidley during the match versus the Grace Brethren Lady Lancers on Thursday, Oct. 10 at Malibu High School in Malibu, Calif.

A shark’s bite is devastating. But the bite of the injury bug is deadly.

The Malibu High School girls volleyball team lost four players to injury during their 3-2 (25-19, 25-23, 22-25, 13-25, 6-15) loss against the Grace Brethren Lady Lancers on Thursday, Oct. 9.

“It’s like whatever could go wrong tonight definitely went wrong,” head coach Airess Padda said.

At one point in the fourth game, the Sharks were forced to play the Lady Lancers five-on-six. One of the four injured players, Haiden Bohm, returned in the fifth game, but was limited physically.

Ava Bolander went down in the first game after hurting her left ankle and had to be helped off the court by several of her teammates.

But injuries in the second game were what did the Sharks in. Almost immediately, Natalie Aldrich hit the deck and also hurt her ankle. Then near the end of that game, Ellery Smoller went for a dig and hit her head on the court, giving her a mild concussion, Padda said.

At that point, Malibu only had six players for the rest of the match, and were unable to use substitutions.

“To only have six people play all the way around, no subs — and to know that there’s no subs — it wears on you physically and mentally,” Chelsea Bostwick said.

Despite the injuries, the Sharks still found themselves only one game shy of sweeping Grace Brethren. But fatigue started to set in, and the Sharks started to lose their composure.

“With everything that happened — all the fatigue, all the mental errors and all the different spots that we had to play in — I just felt like that’s what took over,” Ally Sidley said.

Malibu only lost the third game by three points, but then Bohm hurt her knee in the fourth and had to come out of the game. Malibu then only had five players to go against the Lady Lancer’s six, and got blown out, 25-13.

Bohm’s return in the final game gave Malibu a full team of six, but the damage had been done by then. The Sharks lost 15-6.

Bostwick had an uneven offensive game, and admitted she was distracted by her teammates getting hurt.

“I think I let my mental play get in the way too much,” Bostwick said. “There were just times where I would think about the injuries or I would think about other things and I would just let it get in my way.”

Padda was proud of the effort put forth by the team, and said they can take some positives out of the game.

“I thought tonight they fought at hard as they could,” Padda said. “I don’t think I’ve ever seen them push like that.”

Sidley felt the team learned that they can play through adversity.

“In this game, we really showed that we can fight through anything,” Sidley said.