Mailbag: Use tunnel to avoid dangers in exiting Emerald Bay

David Kuhn Jr. writes in his letter to the editor ("Mailbag: Traffic signal should be installed at Emerald Bay entrance," May 11) about the dangers of turning south onto Pacific Coast Highway from Emerald Bay.

These dangers are eliminated if the driver uses the Emerald Bay tunnel to get to the ocean side of Emerald Bay and then makes a right turn onto Coast Highway.

Instead, he wants to install a traffic light and each day make thousands of drivers stop one extra time on their way through Laguna Beach.

Currently, the Emerald Bay guard gates prevent public access to the public beach at Emerald Bay. This is a public beach that Emerald Bay residents treat as a private beach.

If Kuhn is so concerned about safety, he should be willing to take out the guard gates and de-privatize the Emerald Bay beach in exchange for the traffic signal.

Or, he can just use the tunnel for the purpose for which it was intended.

Patrick Wiseman

Laguna Beach


Laguna Beach does have a music festival

Re. "Hansen: Music is Laguna's artistic stepchild," May 11:

Although you make a good and interesting point, you failed to include in your story the fact that Laguna does indeed have a music festival, which concluded its 10th season this past February, the Laguna Beach Music Festival. This year it was headlined by the world-renowned, award-winning Joshua Bell. And very popular music was performed.

Check out next season's performances.

John Benecke

Laguna Beach


Safety is more important than anything

Congratulations, Laguna Beach. Your City Council can be controlled by threatening to vote them out!

Apparently public safety isn't their responsibility. Keeping you happy is their only concern. They aren't into providing a safe roadway for residents and visitors because it makes sense.

Whatever the problem, just tell them you won't vote for them and you'll get your way whether a life is in danger or not.

So the next time you are inconvenienced by an accident at Emerald Bay and Coast Highway and the road is blocked for hours, remember, your City Council had the opportunity to avoid that accident, injury or death.

But you asked them to let you run with scissors and they wanted to win the popularity contest. So beware. The inevitable will happen. Someone else will die. It should devastate you all, but it won't. You'll say, "Someone should do something about this. I'm late."

My son, Aron Negron, is missed. It is ridiculous that you are willing to risk anyone else's life. But you did.

Paula D. Negron



Coast Highway speeding has got to stop

Laguna Beach Councilwoman Elizabeth Pearson's description of hundreds of emails she received, some threatening, in regard to a possible Emerald Bay entrance signal was shocking.

She said that she has never received so many radical messages in her 17 years of public service. Whatever happens in relation to the signal, one fact remains disturbing: The Laguna Beach Police Department turns its back when it comes to speeding on Coast Highway, especially at the Emerald Bay main entrance.

Coast Highway was built in 1928 and is considered an antique when it comes to the load of cars it now accommodates. Many coastal cities give few speeding tickets because if the traffic moved at a slower rate, there could be heavier traffic and backups all along the way. But even in town at Wesley Drive, Crescent Bay Drive and other intersections, cars in many cases are going 55 to 65+ mph and represent the biggest threat to drivers. What will it take for the LBPD to enforce the speed limits?

Roger Carter

Laguna Beach


Law enforcement is all that's needed

After sitting through the May 15 City Council meeting and the extremely contentious discussion of the proposed half traffic signal at the entrance to Emerald Bay, it occurs to me that there is a simple way to resolve many, if not all, of the problems: simply enforce the law.

The posted speed limit on the dangerous "s" curve in front of Emerald Bay is 30 mph, yet traffic consistently flows at 45 to 60+ mph.

The City Council should direct the Laguna Beach Police Department to hire three more officers and station them at that entrance with radar guns. That would make the intersection much safer.

As an added benefit, the city of Laguna Beach would derive a new and very lucrative source of income into the city coffers. The traffic engineer reported that the average daily traffic on Coast Highway in that area is 17,000 trips. I think it is safe to assume that virtually all of those vehicles exceed the posted 30 mph speed limit.

According to the county website, the fine for a speeding ticket is $234. If the officers ticket just one half of 1% of the speeding cars a day, that would yield $19,890 a day to the city. That's more than $7 million on an annual basis. That would, of course, cover the cost of the additional officers and still provide a tremendous influx of new money into the city's general fund.

So let's stop the bickering and the divisiveness and simply enforce the law.

David B. Kuhn, Jr.

Laguna Beach

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