14 April 2018

New Share the Road Signs on Carbon Canyon Road

This morning personnel from District 8 of CalTrans were out and quickly and efficiently, over the course of a few hours, put up signs and painted markings along and on Carbon Canyon Road, on the San Bernardino/Chino Hills portion of the Canyon only from the county line to Old Carbon Canyon Road at the east end of the summit, warning motorists to "Share the Road" with bicyclists.

The state highway has long been a favorite route for riders and for obvious reasons: it winds through some nice scenery and provides a break from the urban areas on either side of the canyon.  Obviously, funds from either county or state taxes were made available for these improvements and, hopefully, drivers will be more aware of bicyclists as they travel through the canyon, especially on weekends.

One of the big issues, though, is that state law requires at least a 3-foot separation from a motor vehicle and a bicyclist on any road.  That is generally not a problem for most streets and highways, but, then again, Carbon Canyon Road is different than most thoroughfares.  There are sections that are very narrow with no shoulders and no way to maintain that separation when passing a bicyclist.  That means having to slow and ride behind the bicycle until there is room to provide that 3-foot cushion.

Then, there is the winding, curving nature of the roadway, which is one of its main attractions, but also one of its principal concerns.  Signs and markings are certainly helpful and better than the absence of them, but there have been collisions involving bicyclists with injuries and the occasionl fatality.  Riders should remember to constantly be watching traffic behind and in front and drivers, who are all-too-often distracted, need to be very mindful of who is riding on the highway.

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