Deadly car crashes on 56 impetus for stronger median barrier, according to Assembly Member

By Suzanne Evans

Several major collisions on CA State Highway 56 in less than a year have prompted California State Assembly Member Brian Maienschein, 77th District, to urge Caltrans to add safety measures to the highway, which has claimed new victims every few months.

Maienschein’s senior field representative, Michael Lieberman, reported at the Del Mar Mesa planning board’s April 10 meeting that the Assemblyman continues to focus on preventing the deadly crashes.

“Caltrans needs to step up and install safety measures,” Maienschein said in a phone call after the meeting.

Caltrans has argued that because the 56 freeway’s median is wider than 75 feet, it doesn’t need a guardrail.

Del Mar Mesa board members agreed that installing plants in the median would not prevent accidents, and a permanent solution, such as a concrete barrier, is needed.

“Guard rails would be an obvious solution, but I don’t want to tie Caltrans’ hands regardless of an estimated completion plan [of 2020]. I’ve done both meetings and calls, and will continue to advocate,” said Maienschein.