01 July 2008

Lights Out for Summer

My post from the 29th on "Motorcycles in the canyon, Part One" now seems like a hazy distant memory after last night's shenanigans and hijinks.

Last night, after picking up my kids from daycare, I turned onto Carbon Canyon Road and saw a CalTrans or city portable message board saying that the road was closed until 4 a.m. this morning. It could only be one thing! That's right, kids, another serious accident on ol' SH 142!

When I rolled up to Canyon Hills Drive, just before entering Sleepy Hollow, I was greeted with a phalanx of volunteer patrol persons for the Sheriff's Department preventing anyone from going past Rosemary Lane, which just happens to be my turnoff to get home. As I went past, I casually asked (what else do you do when you live in the canyon?) if it was a car accident. Did I even need to ask?

Actually, the road was blocked at Oak Way Lane, with cars not permitted to enter or exit that street. A patrol car was there and there was some crime tape and a rope stretched across the road to prevent access. From there, I couldn't see just exactly where the pole was, but it was somewhere near the Rosemary Lane intersection closest to the county line. I took a few photos and have posted them accordingly.

Talking to a sheriff's department rep, we found out that a SUV driven by a 30-something male took out the pole about 3 p.m. Wires were still attached and functioning for a little while before the power went out. The SUV appeared to be totaled or at least heavily damaged and the driver was taken to the hospital but said to not have major injuries. Southern California Edison, meanwhile, was delayed because of a life-threatening situation in Corona involving a woman who electrocuted herself at her home's circuit panel, so crews didn't arrive until later in the evening.

After working all night, though, SCE personnel were able to replace the pole, reconnect the wires, and get power up again at little after 6 this morning, after about 14 hours plus or minus. Let me just say that all the credit in the world should go to these workers who pushed on through the night on this emergency job and got our power back on. That can also be really dangerous work sometimes, so MANY THANKS to the SCE workers for their efforts.

There were two benefits actually, maybe three: One--we got to experience a little drawdown of normal power-driven life. We lit some candles, sat outside and enjoyed the dusk, the kids played at the front of the house. It was relaxing. Two--we got to talk to many of our neighbors as they walked down to see what all the fuss was about and we don't see some of them all that often. Finally, this was a rare phenomena of an extremely quiet evening, the kind where the crickets and frogs make more noise than cars, trucks, and motorcycles. For those of us who live right next to the road, it makes for a better night's sleep. Naturally, a motorcyclist came through at 5:15 a.m., not realizing the road was closed, but felt it his patriotic duty and/or entitlement and right as an American to let out his throttle as he rolled through the neighborhood. I know, I know, one bad apple and all that. Plus, wasn't I talking about benefits?

Well, now it's time to make a little phone call to a Chino Hills city official and see if he thinks this something worth being concerned about, especially given that this is now three accidents in five days in the canyon (or maybe just another normal week in Carbon Canyon.)


Alexandra said...

Hey, maybe you would get some attention if you put up a home made "BLANK days since the last accident in Carbon Canyon" sign. I'd post the names and numbers of any city officials who could be of help on this blog--and share the list with your neighbors, too. Officials will perk up when their phone won't stop ringing--and heaven forbid that they would want you attending a city council meeting (gasp!).

canyon lover said...

Paul, I just stumbled upon your blog, and it is so cool, especially the stuff about the history of the canyon. What fun information. We've lived in Olinda Village for about four years now and seem to share a lot of your views, especially on development. I'll spread the word to my neighbors that you're here, and look forward to coming back. Keep up the good work!

Paul said...

Hello "Canyon Lover": Well, I'm kind of stumbling along in the blogosphere, but hopefully there'll be more stuff of interest for you and others. I just posted something kind of tangential on the history side. Also, there'll obviously be a lot more on "Canyon Crest" and, I suppose, down the road (literally) about two proposed housing developments on the Chino Hills side. Thanks again!

Paul said...

Hello "Alexandra": Actually, just after I moved in back in '04 a car plowed through a neighbor's roadside fence (the third such incident in a couple of years), so the neighbor put up a big banner reminding drivers that the speed through the curve there was 25mph. The city of Chino Hills, apparently, objected to the lack of conformity to design standards and hauled the thing down. I've had this fantasy of hanging a banner over the road that says: "Welcome to Carbon Canyon Speedway" but I'm scared of heights. I'm not sure about putting up specific names and numbers, which might spell harrassment to some people, but would encourage people to visit the websites of cities, state elected officials, etc. if they want to make contact themselves. I can always add a few links along those lines, though we're going to see a new State Senator and Assemblyperson come November so I might wait until then. What I will try and do is list meeting dates for council and committee hearings on relevant issues. Thanks for the comment--you have the distinction or the infamy of being the first on this humble little blog.