15 March 2013

Carbon Canyon Road and Truck Traffic

A letter to the editor in tomorrow's edition of the Champion raises the issue of the greatly-increased use of Carbon Canyon Road for truck traffic, particular dirt haulers, which ply the route between Orange and San Bernardino counties dozens and dozens of times per day.  He states that has been going on since mid-January.

However, this blogger has seen and heard the increasing tide of truck usage for maybe the last year or two and, frankly, this is a mixed bag.  Letter writer Erik Simonsen makes valid statements about the damage to the roadway, which was clearly not built to handle the daily usage by trucks (or, for that matter, the sheer volume of general use it receives), as well as the growing pollution levels brought by these diesel vehicles.

And, he has a legitimate concern about the blending of these haulers with school buses and cars, not to mention motorcycles and bicycles, all using a two-lane road that, as he reminds, has many sharp curves, as well as blind spots. 

As to Simonsen's statement that the trucks exceed the weight and size limit warning signs on the border of the two counties, that may or may not be the case.

What is problematic, as he tries to get answers from the cities of Brea and Chino Hills, as well as CalTrans, is that Carbon Canyon Road is a state highway.  As such, it is probably impossible to expect that there would be any way to prevent certain vehicles from using the road.  Having said this, however, I've seen 18-wheelers not able to make the abrupt turns on the S-curve on the Chino Hills portion and actually force traffic in opposing lanes, including school buses that have nearly collided with said trucks, to stop or veer into the shoulder to get around these behemoths.

When it comes to the dirt haulers, though, even if some of them go fairly fast through the Canyon, there haven't been any reports of accidents or problems.  These drivers are usually used to navigating many different road environments and appear to be generally very safe navigators as they make their way through.

Finally, with it being very likely that at least 120 new houses on approved tracts within the Chino Hills portion of Carbon Canyon could be built someday, an application for 200 more on that side evidently coming to the city soon, and the Madrona Plan (formerly Canyon Crest), involving over 160 houses, moving towards a city council ruling on an earlier appeal—it doesn't take too much theorizing to determine how an increasingly-impacted Carbon Canyon Road could look, sound, smell, and hear like in about five to ten years.

By that time, this blog will probably be shuttered and its proprietor fled.  Well, we'll see.

No comments: