18 February 2009

On the Skids in Carbon Canyon #909: Our Accident of the Week

Well, it did seem awfully quiet out on Carbon Canyon Road when I work up this morning because the usual routine, starting about 5 a.m., is that steady stream of commuters rolling through from the Inland Empire to points west. The eerie quiet (or relative quiet) is due to yet another car crash that has knocked down power lines across the roadway.

Here is the text of an e-mail blast that my wife forwarded from work:

A traffic collision on the Brea side has knocked an Edison powerline down
across all lanes of traffic. Carbon Canyon Road is closed at the County
line. The closure is expected to last throughout the morning as crews work
to remove the powerline. A message will be sent when the road reopens.

Unfortunately, there are a few people, probably mostly canyon dwellers, who are driving west on Carbon Canyon and then having to turn around, backtrack, and use of one of the few available options (Grand Avenue, the 60 Freeway and, that most desperate of last resorts, the 91 Freeway.)

Now, once again, it is certainly possible that this latest accident was caused by something other than recklessness. But, to my knowledge, it was not raining (or at least not particularly hard) at 5:15, so I'm not inclined to think we can "blame the rain." And, this is at least the 7th or 8th time that I know of in which power poles have been toppled by errant vehicles in the Canyon over the last few years, including a period of a few months in 2006-07, in which there were four separate road closures due to downed power lines. The last incident that I'm aware of occurred last summer.

I suppose our authorities will deem this the latest in a long line of unpreventable accidents and we'll have to file this incident and its predecessors under the heading "Nothing To Be Done."

Late night update (11:45 p.m.): I learned earlier tonight that this morning's road-closing accident involved a fatality. I haven't heard specifics, so don't know what the cause was. If I find out more, I'll make a further edit on this post.

Meantime, I did receive a comment from "Anonymous" this morning, reading:

"For comments, complaints, demands for something to be done about Carbon Canyon, please contact CalTrans at (916) 654-5266, (866)383-4631, or write to them at 464 West 4th Street, San Bernardino, CA 92401. You can also go to their website at www.dot.ca.gov."

It should be noted, however, the CalTrans only handles road maintenance on Carbon Canyon Road, meaning the road surface, guard rails, and etc. There are already web links over on the far right on this blog to districts 8 (San Bernardino County) and 12 (Orange County).

What this accident and others like it concern is traffic enforcement, which is handled by the cities of Brea and Chino Hills. As I've stated in previous posts, there just hasn't been any expressed desire by Chino Hills officials I've spoken to increase enforcement in the Canyon. The conversations have been polite and cordial, but it really seems that they don't see the issues as significant enough to ramp up the police presence.

I can't speak for the Brea side, not having had any correspondence with the police department there on this issue, but I would imagine that my above statements are probably largely the same, especially with the economy and tight budgets. Let's just hope the problems that exist now don't get worse later.

ANOTHER LATE NIGHT UPDATE: 19 FEBRUARY. According to an article from yesterday's OC Register, this was actually a non-injury accident and here's the text:

A non-injury accident at about 4:30 a.m. has shut down Carbon Canyon Road near Olinda Village, police said.

Lt. Darrin Devereux of the Brea Police Department said a motorist hit a power pole, knocking the pole down.

Devereux said the eastbound lanes are closed at Santa Fe Avenue and the westbound lanes are closed near the county line bordering Orange and San Bernardino counties.

Southern California Edison has dispatched a truck to fix the line, but Devereux estimated the repair and cleanup could take several hours.

There is a photo and the usual array of comments on the website--here's the link:



Anonymous said...

For comments, complaints, demands for something to be done about Carbon Canyon, please contact CalTrans at (916) 654-5266, (866)383-4631, or write to them at 464 West 4th Street, San Bernardino, CA 92401. You can also go to their website at www.dot.ca.gov

CanyonNative said...

Hello, Paul -

Thanks for keeping us posted on the idiots who endanger all our lives on Carbon Canyon Road. I haven't seen a blog from you in the last few days. I check frequently because you write so well and always have topics of interest for those of us who live in the Canyon. Please keep writing!

Paul said...

Hello CanyonNative, thanks for checking in! The truth is, I'd rather not have to write about recklessness and thoughtlessness on our state highway, but . . . I was away for a few days, enjoying the snow up in Big Bear, but now that I'm back, I've just entered a new post on 1916 photos of the Olinda Oil Field. Thanks, Paul