Duna DiVito, 8, reports from along Pacific Coast Highway in Malibu, explaining why post-fire reconstruction is putting bicyclists at risk. Photo credit: Malibu Times via YouTube
An aspiring journalist is warning cyclists of a treacherous new bike trap on PCH – from the passenger seat of her parents’ car.
Taking viewers along for the ride, DiVito points to recently erected concrete barriers meant to protect the road against landslides after the Springs Fire charred 38 square miles of western Malibu in early May.
“The problem is the bicyclists get trapped right in here,” she said, narrating a trip down PCH. “It keeps getting narrower and narrower and the bicyclists are unaware that they’re headed for big danger.”
The 8-year-old begins her video standing along coastal roadway with cars whizzing behind her. Then comes footage of bicyclists traveling down PCH, shot from the passenger seat of her parent’s Mercedes and narrated with a maturity beyond her years.
“I guess this problem is a lot more complicated than I thought, so I asked the help of my parents to produce this article with a video,” she wrote.
But DiVito doesn’t just point out a problem. She offers a solution.
The 8-year-old suggests building another concrete wall, so bicyclists can ride between the barriers – protecting the road from slide-prone hillsides, and riders from speeding cars.
DiVito’s message joins a chorus of concerned citizens sounding the alarm about especially dangerous portions of the scenic roadway.
Last month, the father of a 13-year-old girl who was killed along the right shoulder of a stretch of PCH that has been called “Blood Alley” raised more than $37,000 to create a documentary about improving safety on PCH.
A Caltrans spokesman said there's no record of DiVito calling the agency's public affairs department in Southern California. But that her video will spark a discussion within the statewide transportation agency.
"I'll talk to our people – the experts – traffic operations, to see what they have to say about that," spokesman Patrick Chandler said. "We welcome public input on a lot of things."
Chandler said he is not sure whether there's signage on the roadway warning cyclists about the tight corner, or how long the K-rails will line that portion of PCH.
Messages to the Malibu Times about DiVito's piece were not returned by publication.
More Southern California Stories: