03 September 2010

On the Skids in Carbon Canyon #5238: A Large Truck Bypass Route?

Officialdom has probably not noticed, but there has been an increasing frequency (at least, IMHO) of large trucks using Carbon Canyon Road in recent months.  The majority of these are gravel or dirt trucks with double loads variety, with an awful lot of them rumbling eastward and then turning down Chino Hills Parkway, presumably headed for the 71 and then to the 91 to bypass that notoriously busy freeway.

There are, however, also eighteen wheelers and similar-sized vehicles using the road.  This despite the fact that, at least on the eastbound side of Carbon Canyon Road in Brea, there are signs warning that vehicles over 30 feet long are not advised (now there's a loaded term for you) to use the highway.

Good example:  this morning when a truck well over 30 feet long drove ahead of me on the road eastbound.  When we reached the S-curves at Carriage Hills and then descended down to Old Carbon Canyon Road, the back end of this truck went literally off the roadway on curves THREE SEPARATE TIMES.

Twice, when taking a curve the truck had to come to a complete stop and make other vehicles coming westbound do the same because it could not negotiate the turn.  The second time, on the curve just past the entrance to Summit Ranch, the truck nearly collided into a school bus (the one my kids usually take to school) heading out toward Sleepy Hollow.

This is clearly a dangerous situation.  No vehicle should be on Carbon Canyon Road if it cannot safely traverse the highway within the lines painted on the roadbed to keep vehicles on it AND certainly not if part of the vehicle actually has to leave the roadway (much less three times) AND absolutely not if opposing traffic has to stop to allow it to negotiate it AND totally not if it comes close to shearing off the side of a school bus that could have kids (including my own) in it.

Alas, I suspect that this concern will dissipate noiselessly into the ether.  Then again, maybe there will be a major crash that will occur and then suddenly someone will take notice. 

Just a little more than a week ago, a gravel truck came careening down the steep grade into Santa Barbara on State Highway 154, which was not designed for that type of heavy vehicle and pulverized a house at the bottom of an offramp killing a small boy and his parents.  A year or two back, an eighteen-wheeler lost control descending State Highway 2, also not built for that kind of vehicle, and blew threw a busy intersection, crashed into some commercial structures, and killed a few people in La Cañada-Flintridge.  There are probably other recent examples, as well.

The reason:  high speed by drivers trying to save time by taking "shortcuts" or "cutoffs" on roads not built for their use from busier, congested freeways, which were built to accomodate their vehicles.

Does anyone really think Carbon Canyon Road is immune from a devastating accident involving large trucks that could claim lives?

Meantime, if you're driving the highway, especially on the Chino Hills side S-curve and you see or hear a large truck heading your way, be forewarned, because no one in positions of leadership seems likely to do it for you.

They seem to prefer playing the percentages and betting against the odds.


Canyon Native said...

It would seem that the only way to draw authority attention to this dangerous practice is for many residents to call and report truck sightings. I'll talk to Olinda Village HOA about this and get an email sent to residents. I, too, have noticed the big trucks, especially the gravel hauling type.

prs said...

Hi Canyon Native, thanks for the comment. I'm not sure what actually could/would be done on this, except as stated in the post, there is an "advisory" for trucks longer than 30 feet from front to rear axle not to use the highway. Undoubtedly, though, when a truck the size I followed cannot stay on the highway's roadbed and has to stop to avoid hitting vehicles coming the other direction, that simply shouldn't be allowed. But is it illegal?