30 November 2016

On the Skids in Carbon Canyon #19541

A neighbor on Monday passed along the news that there was a wreck on Sunday on the Brea side of Carbon Canyon.

Sure enough, the eastbound lane of Carbon Canyon Road shows residue on the road and scraping along the hillside at the scene directly across from the La Vida Mineral Springs property.  It did rain on Sunday, but whether this was a factor is not known, nor are other details known.

26 November 2016

On the Skids in Carbon Canyon #s19371 and 19426

There has been less activity on this blog than in the past and that means that some of the attention paid to errant drivers and their mishaps along Carbon Canyon Road has been lacking.

Still, it does appear that there have been fewer crashes along the state highway recently.

However, there are two recent examples that show that dangerous driving still takes place and that anyone navigating the road should beware of their brethren racing along.

One spot is a common one for crashes:  this is at the mid-point of the S-curve in the Chino Hills portion of the canyon, where metal barriers are placed to protect a light pole.  Invariably, these barriers get hit, plowed down, and repositioned.  Even an old tree stump used as further protection was shoved back from its previous position.

Over on the Brea side of the canyon near the old La Vida Mineral Springs resort site, a vehicle left the roadway in recent days and took out the end of a guardrail on the southern side of the highway.

More dangerously, this vehicle was clearly traveling westbound and crossed lanes before plowing into the rail.  This is also an area that experiences regular instances of miscalculation along Carbon Canyon Road.

It may well be that persons celebrating Thanksgiving were a little too impaired when driving through the canyon.  As the Christmas and New Year's holidays approach, it may well be that other examples will follow.  We'll see . . .

13 November 2016

Western Carbon Canyon and Brea Area Map, 1964

Following the recent post that highlighted a United States Geological Map from 1967 showing the eastern portion of the Carbon Canyon Road corridor and the future City of Chino Hills, this entry takes us to the west and the portion of the newly numbered state highway (142) in a 1964 edition of the Yorba Linda Quadrangle.

The map basically covers, from west to east, eastern Fullerton, western Placentia and eastern Brea to Yorba Linda and much of the Chino Hills range and, from north to south, a section of City of Industry, southern Diamond Bar and Tres Hermanos ranch to downtown Placentia and southern Yorba Linda.

Being over half a century ago, there is not much development in Diamond Bar, which was then about a half dozen years old.  Yorba Linda only went as far east as about Fairmont Boulevard and Yorba Linda Boulevard.  The portion of Brea shown, essentially from Placentia Avenue east had no residences at all--everything in this section consisted of oil fields.  Much of Placentia was either oil fields, orange groves, or housing tracts that were plotted out, but not yet built.

This 1964 United States Geological Survey map of the Yorba Linda Quadrangle includes the Carbon Canyon area from the S-curve in what is now Chino Hills west to Olinda and Brea (and a lot more.)  Click on any image to see them enlarged in a separate window.
In the Carbon Canyon area, the dam was about six years old and the regional park was a decade or so from opening.  Olinda Village, which was developed from 1964, is not shown on the map.  La Vida Mineral Springs was still very much in operation.

Sleepy Hollow and the Mountain View Park tract just over the San Bernardino County line were well established, but Western Hills Country Club was still in development and the Western Hills Oaks housing tract was a couple years off yet.

In fact, the Shelly Stoody Ranch, where the golf course would soon be developed is still shown with its airplane hangar about where the clubhouse is today and Stoody's residence, which still stands, up on the hill overlooking the hangar site.  Stoody and passengers were killed when his airplane crashed into a hillside on his ranch a few years before the publication of the map.

This detail shows the area from La Vida Mineral Springs to the S-curve and up to  portions of Tonner Canyon.
As far as Carbon Canyon Road is concerned, it extended from Valencia Avenue north past the junction of Rose Drive and what was then Brea-Olinda Boulevard (now Birch Street) and then went at an angle to the northeast and curved toward the east.  The remnant of this old roadway is still visible to the east of the current Valencia Avenue path before Lambert Road, which not exist at the time.

Once Carbon Canyon Road properly began after this curve, its pathway is almost completely the same as today, except for one little jog on the San Bernardino County portion where it took a sharp curve before ascending the summit where the Carriage Hills tract is now.  That jog also still exists as Ginseng Road, just south of today's road path.

At the S-curve, the current roadway is shown, but so, too, is the Old Carbon Canyon Road, which veered sharply to the right and then ascended down and curved left. This old roadway is also in existence and goes just between the modern road and the Carriage Hills tract before abruptly ending before Old Carbon Canyon Road, which then intersected with today's highway.

A closer detail of the map covers the area from La Vida to Sleepy Hollow and the coming together of the three counties of Los Angeles, Orange and San Bernardino.
Also of interest given recent activity is the area encompassing the Tres Hermanos Ranch in Tonner Canyon north of Carbon Canyon.  The Firestone Boy Scout Reservation is shown at the lower portion of the ranch and the Arnold Reservoir is shown towards the upper end.

In 1964, the heirs of Los Angeles Times publisher Harry Chandler, one of the tres hermanos (three brothers, who actually weren't siblings, but friends) including William Rowland and William B. Scott who bought the ranch in the 1910s, were still owners of Tres Hermanos.  They were leasing the property, however, to Hal Arnold, who grazed cattle on the ranch.

In 1978, the Chandlers sold Tres Hermanos to the City of Industry, which allowed Arnold to continue the lease until it went to others.  Cattle are, for now, still roaming the ranch pending its future transformation, whatever that entails.

Brea canyon at the left and upper left and Tonner Canyon, including the Firestone Boy Scout Reservation, running from lower left to upper right are notable in this detail.
There are other notable elements, including the old Brea Canyon Road being the only access between Brea and Diamond Bar, several years before the construction of the 57 Freeway.  The old Pacific Electric Railway streetcar line parallels Imperial Highway.

The former Anaheim Union Water Company canal, an irrigation channel that ran from the company's reservoir where Tri-City Park is today off Kraemer Avenue (then Carolina Avenue), ran southeast--this pathway is largely a multiuse trail within the City of Yorba Linda running from about the intersection of Rose Drive and Bastanchury Road (which didn't exist westward past that point and east it was Citrus Avenue) down into the outskirts of downtown and beyond.

In the early 1970s, Frances Klug, who was dismayed by the direction taken by the Roman Catholic Church after the Vatican II transformation, bought some ranch land adjacent to Sleepy Hollow and established St. Joseph's Hill of Hope, but, of course, the only indication of what would be there on this map is an access road to what an earlier ranch.

The upper portion of Tonner Canyon includes the area where Tres Hermanos Ranch is located in and around Arnold Reservoir, which is now just south of Grand Avenue (that roadway did not appear until years later.)  The future of this large ranch of about 2,500 acres is uncertain.
Then there are vast stretches of the Chino Hills that were still largely used as ranch land, including the Rolling M Ranch, which was owned by Christopher Hendra and his Mollin Investment Company until the 1720-acre property was sold to the state for the development of Chino Hills State Park.  There was also the McDermont Ranch, which was discussed in the recent post concerning the 1967 map.

This map and its sister 1967 edition for land to the east allow us to see what the Carbon Canyon area and surrounding regions were like in the transitional period between oil production, citrus growing and cattle raising and spreading suburban development that ramped up increasingly in the decades following the publication of these valuable documents.

05 November 2016

Carbon Canyon Traffic Study Underway

This blog once had a post that cited a 1969 (yes, 47 years ago) article about concerns of traffic on Carbon Canyon Road.  So, this is hardly a new issue, yet little, really, has been done about planning for the future of a road that is no wider and has no more built capacity today than it did a half-century ago.  But . . .

Today's Champion has an article by Marianne Napoles on a traffic study for Carbon Canyon Road that is, evidently, in the planning stages and being coordinated by the City of Chino Hills in partnership with the City of Brea and CalTrans, of which two districts (8 in San Bernardino County and 12 in Orange County) have jurisdictions in the canyon.

According to Chino Hills city manager Rad Bartlam, proposals were sought from give traffic engineering consulting companies with one so far received, about two weeks ago.  The estimate for the length of the study is about six months once the contract is signed.  Details on what the study would involve were not given, but, presumably, would be once the announcement of selection is made.

Interestingly, Bartlam told the city council about ten days ago, that previous conversations with Brea and CalTrans did not lead anywhere, but now they "have become fruitful and have shed light onthe 'monumental challenges' ahead."  According to the city manager, road capacity, traffic operations and truck traffic are the "three major factors."

What's curious is that missing among the "major factors" is basic urban planning principles relating to residential and commercial development and transportation networks.  Is it really believed that these are unrelated to the factors Bartlam identified?

Given the Inland Valley Daily Bulletin's astounding editorial conclusion that the "best of all solutions" for regional traffic is a "mature" economy bringing jobs closer to Inland Empire residents, whatever that means, this is a central issue that planners and leaders need to be asked.

A prime opportunity to do this would be at dedicated public meetings/workshops, if these are going to be offered either during or after the traffic study.

A late August grind up the S-curve heading west on Carbon Canyon Road towards Orange County.  Lines have gotten very noticeably longer in and outside of the canyon in recent months.

Notably, the article identified where the worse problems are along the state highway on the Brea side, principally at the intersection with Santa Fe Road, and also pointed out that there is some reconsideration of the signals placed at Olinda Village several years back in terms of having them "modified to make it [sic--them] better."

Nothing, however, was said about the Chino Hills side.  This observer has noted two major periods of increased volume.  The first was in 2013 and the other within the last several months.  In recent weeks and months, lines of cars waiting to enter the canyon, which were very common on west/north-bound Chino Hills Parkway coming from the 71 Freeway, now include a caravan of vehicles backing up to Eucayptus Avenue and even a little beyond on Chino Hills Parkway and on Eucalyptus, as well.

A Carbon Canyon resident was quoted in the article as suggesting that "the signals [at Olinda] cause daily havoc and are the primary reason the afternoon traffic gridlock in Brea is so bad."

Without disagreeing that the signals did not help traffic flow at all, though their implementation is routinely cited in planning documents and in testimony and statements before commissions and councils as reflecting "traffic improvements" and as "traffic mitigation," it seems that the local focus belies the regional scale and scope of this problem.

Again, the biggest contributor to local traffic tie-ups and gridlock is not the signals, nor is it the volume of trucks, or road capacity, or traffic operations (which, by the way, went undefined).

Simply put, it is volume.

Huge numbers of new homes are being (and will be) built in south Chino, in south Ontario, in Eastvale, in Corona and in other places inland.  Many of the workers living in these places, because they are more affordable, are driving west.  Until that glorious era comes as the IE's economy "matures" (whatever that means), this will continue.

The second biggest factor is that this volume is overwhelmingly driven (literally) be single-passenger commuting.  That is, people are driving themselves to work, school and wherever they're going.

It's not just Carbon Canyon Road, obviously--this is Grand Avenue during a morning commute in October.

As has been said here before, this has got to change.  Period.  We can't accommodate 15 million or so people in the metropolitan area with all of the cars driven and occupied by one person, spewing all of the pollution (which is on the rise despite efforts to drive it down), and wasting all of that key productive time.

We can't expect there to be realistic, productive and transformative solutions without confronting this basic problem.

Yet, here again is a lack of recognition by planners, staff and elected officials that the only way to have the population we have in this region and then to responsibly transport them to where they need to go is to recalibrate our thinking about single-passenger commuting and the vastly pollutive internal combusion engine powered by fossil fuels.

Mass transit, be it large-scale carpooling, a wider and more coordinate network of buses (think dedicated roads solely for buses), as well as trains and subways has to be the major effort undertaken to deal with this problem.

The article indicated that, among the cited components of the study, are: limiting truck access and volume, roadway capacity (which is, actually, fixed and that's been known for decades already), collision history (which this blog used to focus heavily on), side street access and delay, and . . . wait for it . . . "potential traffic signals at some intersections".

So, yes, look forward to those signals going in at Fairway Drive and Canyon Hills Road, because this will be a traffic improvement and mitigation solution coming soon.

But, to beat a dead car (seems a better metaphor than the poor equines), where's the mention of regional planning for development, for the way people drive themselves around solo, for mass transit, and other related components that, if left out, make these studies largely irrelevant.

The Chino Hills portion of Carbon Canyon has 76 in-process homes here at Hillcrest, 28 more appoved at Stonecrest, and 100+ pending in an application at Hidden Oaks across from Hillcrest.  The larger problem are the tens of thousands of homes in the Inland Empire feeding much of the volume on Carbon Canyon Road.

A article-cited victory was the placing of signs along and near Carbon Canyon Road "advising" vehicles over 50 feet in length not to use the road.  Not to belittle those who took the time from their busy lives to work for that, but this observer has seen very little actual effect of this.  Big rigs and longer vehicles still routinely make use of Carbon Canyon Road.

The one publicized and concerted effort a few months ago by Chino Hills sheriff's deputies to ticket truckers for crossing the double-yellow line yielded a number of citations, but it has not stopped the problem and it won't.  As long as Carbon Canyon Road is State Highway 142, trucks cannot be prevented from using the road.

This blog had a post almost 6 years ago asking the question "Why is Carbon Canyon Road Still a State Highway?"  The same resident quoted above about the biggest factor in slow traffic on the Brea side of that road mentioned that "its classification as a state highway may not longer be appropriate."

Indeed, in this blog's post of 17 January 2011, the example was given of State Highway 39 on Hacienda Road through La Habra Heights.  The designation was, in fact, removed, and no longer applies to that two-lane winding road that goes through small canyons and ascends to a summit (sound familiar?).

Finally, the article concluded by noting that both Chino Hills and Brea are working to increase police patrolling, more frequently enforce traffic laws, and use electronic message boards as part of their efforts to deal with the problem.  There's nothing wrong with these and, if they could be done, when most dangerous driving and accidents occur, which is actually outside of commute times during late weekend hours (Friday and Saturday nights, for example,) that would be welcomed.

But, as Chino Hills is poised to approve another large housing project--the 100+ unit Hidden Oaks, across from the in-process 76-unit Hillcrest (and down the street from the approved 28-unit Stonecrest) and then claim that these volumes of residences (over 200, meaning probably 800-1000 people and many car trips from them) are insignficant because most traffic in Carbon Canyon is from outside the canyon, therein lies the rub, right?

A traffic study is fine and is probably needed.  But, if the expectation is that installing more traffic signals, targeting truck traffic, and implementing more acceleration/deacceleration lanes is going to do anything but replace the pinky with the ring finger as the hole in the dike widens because the water behind the dike represents massive traffic volume from unabated inland development--well, then what?

The big, big picture (the one that looks at climate change, population volume, outdated transportation methods, etc.) would seem to dictate that we have to fundamentally change many aspects of how we live if sustainability is achievable.

It is understandable, to a degree, that local analysis looks at the immediate situation in and around that area.  The problem, though, is that solutions really have to be bigger and broader than that.  Otherwise, whatever is done is either marginal, distractive, or insufficient.

We can't afford any of those.

For a society that put humans on the moon, mobilized an all-out war effort on two massive fronts during World War II, built the great educational system in the world, completed a huge interstate highway network, and so much more, the ability to improve regional planning for residential and commercial uses and for transportation to serve those is not impossible, though it's difficult.

As said here recently, it's a matter, fundamentally and substantially, of political, social and economic will.

31 October 2016

Sleepy Holloween 2016

The kids in this household aren't kids anymore, so trick or treating in Sleepy Hollow is done.

A few little ones from the neighborhood have made their way over, but it looks to be a "dead" night here on Halloween.

Check out the Sleepy Hollow Daycare display!

Still, some of the folks on this street have done their usual stellar job of decorating.

So, here are a few examples of some of what has been for the holiday.

Meanwhile, we usually think of Halloween as the scariest, most frightening, terrifying, blood-curdling, bone-chilling and horrifying day of the year.

But, in 2016, that distinction may well be reserved for a week from tomorrow.

Happy Sleepy Holloween 2016!

30 October 2016

Eastern Carbon Canyon and Chino Hills Map, 1967

For map geeks, the United States Geological Survey quadrangle maps provide fascinating detail about an area and the historical development of those locations are a notable part of these documents.

One titled "Prado Dam Quadrangle" and issued in 1967 (hard to believe that is a half century for those of a certain age [like a half century]), but with elements dating to 1927, 1933 and 1949, covers the eastern part of the Carbon Canyon Road corridor and a significant area of what became Chino Hills.

What is really obvious in looking at the map as a whole is how sparsely populated the area from Prado Dam up to Boys Republic and from Carbon Canyon over to Grove Avenue really was.  Virtually everything east of Highway 71 (listed as the Corona Freeway, though it was a two-lane oad then) was either dairy lands with houses here and there, the massive Prado Flood Control Basin, and the two prison facilities—the California Institution for Men and the California Institution for Women.  The Chino Airport also is shown at the upper left of the map.

In what is now the Chino Hills State Park area, the section of map from Rolling M Ranch (park headquarters) on the right to McDermont Spring, which is near the Four Corners rest area, at the left, is highlighted in this 1967 U.S. Geological Survey map of the "Prado Dam Quadrangle."  Click on any image to see the set in larger views in separate windows.

As to the areas west of the 71, most of what is shown are the sections of the Chino Hills range, much of which became Chino Hills State Park, at the bottom half of the map.  Fifty years ago, there were two identified ranches in and just adjacent to the future park.  One was Rolling M Ranch, of which over 1,200 acres were purchased for about $5.7 million in 1981 for the park. Some of the history of that ranch has been provided on this blog before.

The other ranch was the McDermont, which bordered the future park at its northern extremity and of which 278 acres was added to the park in 1983 at a cost of just under $1.4 million.  The rest of the McDermont Ranch, which was established in the early 1920s, wound up being purchased by Aerojet Corporation for its weapons testing facility now where the Vellano Country Club and high-end residential community is located.  Meanwhile, regular users of the state park may know of McDermont Spring, which is next to the popular Four Corners rest stop.  More on McDermont Ranch in a forthcoming post.

There are also lots of notations on the map for springs, drill holes for wells (presumed water and oil), oil wells, and existing trails and dirt roads.  A couple notable elements in what became south Chino Hills adjacent to S.R. 71 is "Chino Downs" and  the "Claypit."

Below Los Serranos was the Higgins brick factory, labeled "Claypit", and Chino Downs, a horse tracks operated by the DrVries family.  The latter is near today's Chino Hills High School.

Chino Downs, opened by the DeVries family about 1960, was a horse racing track that later, after that family sold the place, hosted events, including concerts by such diverse performers as country legend Merle Haggard, who died earlier this year, and the rock band Great White, best known for being the headliner at the terrible Station club fire in Rhode Island in 2003.  The Chino Downs location looks to be just about where Chino Hills High School is today.

The Claypit refers to the Higgins brick factory, which sat along a road that extended into the Chino Hills where a gravel pit was situated just a short distance away from the factory (other gravel pits were found near where today's Butterfield Ranch Road and Pine Avenue meet further south).  James Higgins (1879-1937), a native of Illinois, learned the brickmaking trade in his home state and then came to Los Angeles in 1909.

He opened his first factory in 1927 in Gardena.  After his death, his widow and children kept the business going.  In the 1940s, they opened yards in Santa Monica and Monterey Park.  After buying 100 acres in Chino in 1958, they opened the facility there five years later.  The factory closed for good in 2011 and the Higgins Ranch subdivision carries the family name.  Click here for lots of info on the Higgins brick factory.

Boys Republic, which moved from San Fernando to Chino in 1907, and the English Road horse-breeding area are shown in this detail.  The Chino Hills government center, Ayala High School, the community center and community park are all within the area included here.

At the upper left of the map is Boys Republic, which moved to Chino from San Fernando in 1907, a year after the facility for troubled teens opened and directly west is the English Road area of horse breeding facilities.  It is striking that the map identifies these hills as part of the Puente Hills range, not the Chino Hills.  Also, in a little fold of the hills south of English Road is a indication of "mines," though of what kind is not stated.

Moving south there are a few scattered houses and more horse properties and small ranches along Peyton Drive and along Eucalyptus Avenue until Peyton until Carbon Canyon Road was reached.  East of that intersection was the brand new subdivision of Glenmeade, which opened in 1966, and which was between Carbon Canyon, Pipeline Avenue, Rolling Ridge Drive and Glen Ridge Drive in the early stages.

Across Pipeline Avenue and southeast was the main residential district of the future Chino Hills and that was Los Serranos, developed in the mid 1920s along with the country club of that name.  Lake Los Serranos is also shown, but the mobile home park was a few years off from creation.  Off Bird Farm Road, so named because the State of California established a bird farm in the late 1920s, was the state fishing hatchery, where Chaparral Elementary opened a decade ago.

The two existing neighborhoods in the future Chino Hills are shown here.  Los Serranos, developed in the mid-1920s in conjunction with the country club, and Glenmeade, which was a new community southwest of today's Chino Hills Parkway and Pipeline Avenue, contained the majority of the sparse population.

Another notable detail is that Central Avenue coming south from downtown Chino turned and followed the route of today's El Prado Road ending near the City of Chino's sewage ponds at Pine Avenue.  A turnoff from Central crossed Chino Creek and then the 71  and that was Los Serranos Road, where an old store was at the corner of Pomona Rincon Road.  Los Serranos Road was cut off when the 71 Freeway was completed and some of the portion of it east of the freeway is Red Barn Court, for all the old red-colored barn that used to sit at the intersection of today's Fairfield Ranch Road.  This was all rerouted when Soquel Canyon Road was created in the 1990s.

Carbon Canyon Road technically ended at Pipeline Avenue in 1967, with the portion east known as Merrill Avenue and leading to the men's prison.  Merrill does still exist east of Euclid Avenue today, while Carbon Canyon, now Chino Hills Parkway, terminates at Central and the highway designation of 142 ends at the 71 Freeway.

Finally, the area west of Glenmeade and Los Serranos was undeveloped hilllands leading west along Carbon Canyon Road to about where the base of the S-curve climbs to the summit where Carbon Canyon geologically began.  The area where it says "Little Chino [Creek]" is today's Gordon Ranch area of Chino Hills.

This map shows a portion of Carbon Canyon heading west into the hills and curving southwest past a dirt road that led into the Gordon Ranch (discussed in this blog previously.)  That dirt road is the extension of Chino Hills Parkway north towards the 60 Freeway.  It appears that the western edge of the map shows Carbon Canyon Road just as it gets to the bottom of the S-curve where Old Carbon Canyon Road is today.

Maps like this Prado Dam Quadrangle can be very useful for those who like to compare how areas are laid out and used today to how they were in the past, especially somewhere like Chino Hills which has developed relatively recently and changed dramatically within the last several decades.

29 October 2016

Inland Valley Daily Bulletin's "Best of All Solutions" on Traffic

On Thursday, the Inland Valley Daily Bulletin's editorial board offered its endorsement of incumbents Art Bennett and Cynthia Moran for the upcoming election, recommending readers choose them rather than challengers Paul Molinaro, James Gallagher and Roseanna Mitchell-Arrieta.

This post is not to address the merits of the board's recommendations, but, rather, its interesting statements concerning a major campaign issue raised by the challengers.  Actually, there are two that are intertwined--these being development and traffic.

On the first point, the paper stated that Molinaro, Gallagher and Mitchell-Arrieta were arguing "for pulling up the drawbridge and saying, 'I got to town before you did, so sorry, you can't come in.'"  The board then opined that "youn gamilies—our children—[have] to be able to establish themselves in our cities, not to have to move 'way out' somewhere while Inland Valley cities get grayer and grayer."

This seems to be conflating several separate development issues in one argument.  First, it is true that Molinaro and Mitchell-Arrieta, both practicing attorneys, actually suggested in the sole candidate debate that the city deliberately delay development project process to slow down building.  This is, as Bennett and Moran both quickly replied, extraordinarily problematic from an ethical, if not a legal, standpoint.

However, there is the question of what cities can reasonably do within their discretion to halt development if the effects on the environment are such that the projects do more harm than good.  In Carbon Canyon, for example, the risk of wildfire exposure, as an upcoming post will address, is growing; traffic is becoming a greater problem, and our long-term drought involves water scarcity.  These matters aren't going away and to ignore them is not prudent public policy.

The "I got to town before you did, so sorry, you can't come in" canard is an old one.  I don't know if any of the challengers have said or suggested that, so to toss that one out as if they did is questionable, at best.  Limiting development in sensitive areas is definitely not a matter of keeping people out just because.  It's because of the long-term effects such development has, given changing conditions.  Carbon Canyon, as an example, is not the same place it was ten, twenty, or thirty years ago, but to keep applying the same development philosophy as existed then is something that needs to be questioned and challenged.

As to encouraging "young families—our children—to be able to establish themselves in our cities" rather than in Moreno Valley, Hesperia or Menifee, that's hardly a matter of city policy so much as it is basic market forces.   Unless you've got a very healthy six-figure income and higher, affording to buy in Chino Hills is just not going to be feasible.  How many "young families" can pay market rates for homes is the real question, not whether current residents want them to live in Chino Hills.

The "graying" of our society is another matter, but, again, doesn't seem, to this observer, to be connected to the argument about limiting development in sensitive areas.  This is especially, again, if the effects on the environement, not to mention the long-term net expense of maintaining residential neighborhoods which don't pay for themselves, are serious issues.

Where the editorial board's logic gets really interesting, though, is with traffic matters.  Firstly, the piece actually offers that "when 'Hills' is part of your city's name, it means there are limited routes of egress and ingress—that's what hills do."  First off, from a purely grammatical perspective, hills actually don't do anything, people do.  Secondly, to act as if traffic matters are determined purely by geography and topography is astoundingly illogical.

Why not offer the argument that, if the hills area prohibits ingress and egress then you limit development so that the residences built there are appropriate for the geography and topography?

But, here's another befuddling logical exercise:
too many residents work in Orange County or L.A. County, and there are too few ways to get to and back from those places.  We're not saying some improvements can't be made, but the best of all solutions is for the Inland Empire's economy to mature to the point that more people find good jobs close to home, so that fewer people have to drive south or west to get to work.
The line of reasoning is that a "mature" economy in the Inland Valley will bring jobs there from Orange and Los Angeles counties.  But, how is "mature" defined in that context?  That goes unexplained.  And, then, how would companies be drawn to the "mature" Inland Valley economy exactly?  Finally, how would housing affordability factor into this?  Again, not explained.

Beyond this, though, is the highly troubling lack of consideration for the nature of traffic congestion, which is the badly outmoded concept of the single passenger vehicle and the equally outdated dinosaur (literally, in terms of fossil fuel consumption) of the internal combustion engine.

We had electric and natural gas vehicles in the 1920s and a Model T that got 25 miles to the gallon.  Admittedly, the first two were inefficient, but innovation and increased technological advancement could have brought better quality to them decades ago.  Fuel economy could have been dramatically increased decades ago.  Mass transit options, used in many places because of physical space limitations, have successfully operated, but not in enough places and could have decades ago.

The reason we took the path of wasteful consumption of fossil fuels for cars, trucks and other vehicles is because we could.  No one thought about the long-term supply, much less the environmental effects until relatively recently and, even now, the concern is half-hearted for way too many people.

For the Daily Bulletin to suggest that "the best of all solutions" is to have jobs closer to home leaves out the growing problem of traffic congestion on weekends when most people are not working.  How does this "best of all solutions" deal with that?  Finally, fundamental congestion of too many people in a given area driving themselves around solo too often is not addressed by this "best of all solutions."

This post hasn't even touched rising pollution levels in recent years when we should be radically reducing it; the continuing strength of the climate change deniers; the financial and environmental costs of maintaining an aging and inefficient car-based transportation network; and more.

We cannot continue to add to our regional population of roughly 10 million people, consuming resources at rates far higher than other parts of the world and emitting pollution at rates far higher than other parts of the world, without a dramatic change in how we live.  This includes water use, pollution creation, disposing of waste, processing waste, funding schools and public works, repairing and replacing aging infrastructure.

And, it includes transportation.  The single passenger vehicle model is not only extremely wasteful, it is destructive in the aggregate.  For a nation that sent astronauts to the moon, built the world's greatest educational system, and, yes, built a comprehensive national highway system, coming up with mass transit solutions that address our transportation problems should not be anywhere near impossible.

It wouldn't, certainly, be easy, but we don't really have many choices here.  Mass transit (buses, trains, streetcars, larger group ridesharing) is basically the "best of all solutions," especially if incentivized.  That means stringent "use fees" on people who choose more polluting methods and financially rewarding those who go the route of reducing carbon footprints.

Speaking of carbon, Carbon Canyon Road's traffic volume has increased significantly just in the last several months, following another spike in 2013.   This means more wasted time and more pollution emitted in the canyon and generally.  We need forward-thinking solutions, not ones rooted in old ideas no longer applicable to changing times and circumstances like those advocated by the Daily Bulletin's editorial board.

Fundamentally, it's not a technological problem, it a matter of political, economic and social will.  The Daily Bulletin's antiquated views on traffic and development as related to it are, unfortunately, still very orthodox.  The problem is: we can't afford for those views to be the mainstream, because that philosophy is just not sustainable.