18 December 2017

Big Rig Sparking Trouble on Carbon Canyon Road

Today, at a little after 5 p.m. and as it was getting dark, a big rig came down the middle set of S-curves below and to the east the summit eastbound on Carbon Canyon Road and was taking a curve as I was coming up westbound.

Because he couldn't swing the truck into my lane, he hit the inside shoulder asphalt berm, scraping the bottom of his vehicle against it and sending a shower of sparks out.  If there had been any wind at all, like the strong Santa Anas we've had for most of this month, that could have been a problem with the extremely dry brush and trees along the road.

Then, he had to swing completely into the westbound lane to make the next curve and, as I looked in my rear view mirror, I could see that, fortunately, no one was immediately behind me.  Otherwise, because the truck was fully in that lane, there could have been another problem.

This is the third time I've personally had a big rig come into my lane just before or after I was approaching--the last time was reported here several months ago.

But, this is the first time I've seen a rig strike the road with such force that it caused sparks like this one did.

Someone eventually is going to get hit by one of these trucks that can't negotiate curves on a road that wasn't designed for them.  It almost happened to me twice before and could have today.  How many other people have experienced the same thing?


JolynneM said...

I don't travel CCR much so I haven't experienced the dangerous situation you mention. I think we need to pursue trying to get whoever manages the road, CalTrans (?), to limit such oversized vehicles from using it.

prs said...

Hi Jolynne, CalTrans can't apparently limit truck traffic on a state highway. The advisory signs were installed, but that's a warning easily ignored. The sheriff's station in Chino Hills occasionally goes out and writes tickets for vehicles crossing the double yellow centerline. Recently it was reported the the CHP will be patrolling the road more. Though the local agencies wouldn't want this because it would be a financial and maintenance issue, should CCR remain a state highway? It was clearly not designed for truck traffic when built in the 1910s and that didn't change when it became a state road in the 1930s, even with some changes in alignment and route. A recent and relevant example of a change due to evolving conditions was when Hacienda Road, which is very similar to CCR in that strech, in La Habra Heights was removed from the state highway system as part of Highway 39. Under local control, restrictions can be imposed. So, this could be done with CCR.

JolynneM said...

Headed eastbound, I noticed two advisory signs dissuading trucks >50' from traveling on the road. These signs were right near where we enter the city of Chino Hills. Do you have any idea who put the signs up and perhaps when/why? (CalTrans? spurred by SanBerdo County? City of Chino Hills?) It just struck me as unique that the signs are right when we enter Chino Hills/SanBerdo County. Yes these signs are shortly before the S-curves when headed east, but if one didn't want trucks on the road it seems these signs should be at the beginning, too, in Brea, if one wants to dissuade big rigs.

prs said...

Hi Jolynne, those signs were put up at the end of 2014 and afterwards on both the Brea and Chino Hills sides after Chino Hills residents raised the issue with the city and CalTrans. I think there are signs on CCR just as it heads east from Valencia in Brea and on Chino Hills Parkway in both directions approaching CCR. Then, there are signs as you move further in on both sides of CCR. So, there are plenty of signs and advance notice, but, as is too often the case, they can be easily ignored when they're advisory or otherwise. Thanks again.