Action needed on Canyon Road Another...

Action needed

on Canyon Road

Another head on collision on Laguna Canyon Road.

Can we blame the highway design? Sometimes yes, but usually the


fault lies with the driver in the middle of the road.

Laguna Canyon Road is a two-lane highway with a third passing lane

which alternates between south and northbound traffic. Only a single

yellow line separates oncoming traffic.


A sign is posted saying “Slower Traffic Keep Right,” yet every day

you see careless drivers tooling along in the passing line without a

care in the world.

Whether it’s a minivan driven by a soccer mom carting her children

at 35 mph, two cars riding side by side for no apparent reason or a

great grandmother who missed the El Toro Road turnoff while

disgruntled commuters whisked by, passing on her right side, it’s a

recipe for disaster.


It’s really quite simple. You drive in the right lane, you pass in

the left lane (if it’s really necessary) and then at the first safe

opportunity, you merge back into the right lane. Why put yourself

within inches of oncoming traffic if it’s not necessary.

Perhaps Caltrans needs to post a “Slower Traffic Keep Right” sign

every quarter mile or so to remind those careless left-lane suicide

jockeys that they are indeed traveling on a two-lane canyon road.

While they are at it, they should also remove that southbound


20-foot-long temporary right lane at El Toro Road. It serves no other

purpose than as an opportunity for a “Type A personality” driver to

quickly pass a law-abiding driver on the right and cut them off when

the lane suddenly ends.

How many close calls have we had there? Why is passing on the

right allowed for such a short segment of highway? Make it one wide

lane, I say.

Another Caltrans blunder occurs at the end of the toll road ramp

that leads from El Toro Road and the northbound 73 Toll Road. A

second right turn lane was painted here which actually allows traffic

to turn into the passing lane. What were they thinking? Only one lane

can safely turn right, and then once at highway speed, the slow

traffic and the fast traffic can sort themselves out into their

proper lane.

With a little more common sense, and a bucket of red paint from

Caltrans, Laguna Canyon Road can be safer.

Steve Rayment

Laguna Niguel

Treasure Island info should be public

Conspiracy, confusion or corruption. Perhaps all three.

I am talking about the mess that Ken Frank and our City Council

has put us into at Treasure Island.

I have talked with numerous other voters who, like myself, cannot

recall any wording in the referendum we voted on that would obligate

the city to pay millions of dollars to complete the five-acre park.

This is on top of the city waiving a million dollars in fees.

An ordinary citizen must go before the Design Review Board and

then a lengthy permit session just to change a roll of toilet paper,

but Frank and his gang give carte blanche to the Athens Group.

I have some questions that I and other concerned tax payers would

like to have answered. Perhaps this letter will shine a spotlight on

City Hall and help us get the information we are entitled to.

Who will be the contractor? What’s his name and state license

number? Make public the plans for us to inspect, as well as a cost

breakdown and the specifications. (What are we paying for?) Give the

names of other competitive bidders and the amounts of their bids. Who

authorized the contract? Was it by council action?

I have made numerous telephone calls, trips to City Hall and to

the construction office at the job site. I was stonewalled at every

turn. When did our village of Laguna Beach turn into a corrupt

political empire? Wake up fellow citizens, ask some questions and

take an interest in your community.

A concerned old man on the hill,

Dan Huston

Laguna Beach

City not prepared enough for fire

The Laguna Canyon fire two weeks ago was reported by the local

newspapers that stated that years of fire safety preparedness and

“quick response” by helicopters within 10 to 12 minutes kept the fire

at bay.

The story quoted the chief of the Fire Department as actually

viewing the fire start. Having no equipment to fight the fire he

drove back to headquarters just in time to see his men suiting up,

while the equipment operator was left trying to put out the fire with


I could not believe this supposed “preparedness” as I was a

volunteer fireman in South Laguna for two years from 1978 to 1980 and since then never drive anywhere without fire extinguishers in my car.

They have proven an invaluable tool for me while fighting several

blazes, including Coto de Caza and 1993 Laguna fires.

How is it we are “prepared” when both the chief and the equipment

operator aren’t carrying large extinguishers to stop a small fire of

10 or 20 square feet before it becomes 82 acres?

I suggest it be required that all trained and able city, police

and fire employees carry at least one larger extinguisher in their

private and city vehicles to potentially nip fires in the bud, before

we need or get water drops and fires have a chance to grow in the

first five minutes of response time.

Additionally, the Cajon Pass fire last week was another prime

example of how a small car fire on the shoulder of a highway sparked

a massive brush fire, costing millions of dollars to fight when

thousands of motorists passed by without volunteers helping before it

jumped to upslope brush.

We can do a lot better preparing our wild land edges, have ready,

trained professionals and local rapid response volunteers who

understand the risks and safety precautions necessary in reserve to

draw from in emergencies and assist in identifying existing high-risk

fire origin areas.

Bryan T.S. Menne

South Laguna

Traffic danger needs

to be addressed

The mills of the gods have finally ground out the light problem at

Beach and Broadway.

Whoever these gods are can now begin figuring out how to get off

dead center on the dangerous intersection of Cliff Drive and Rosa


Because there was a fatality at the crosswalk here several years

ago a lawsuit is pending against the city of Laguna Beach. Lawsuits

of this nature can drag on for years. It seems that in employing

discretion to replace valor, the city would be looking out for its

own best interests in trying to bring this suit to a final resolution

as soon as possible.

As each day goes by the probability of another death and /or

serious injury is compounded by the odds that eventually it will

happen again. The litigant in the present suit is claiming that the

city was derelict in failing to provide proper safeguards at the

crosswalk. Those who live in North Laguna would be quick to agree as

speed, lack of good visibility and absence of proper stop signs

continue to make this one of the most dangerous intersections in the


It appears that the gods are asleep at the switch and too late

will only be awakened by the sound of sirens once again.

Jim Kerr

Laguna Beach