Our readers write

A fan of Chase’s weighs in

Regarding Jim Chase’s column of April 3, Just Being Neighborly, he hit the nail on the head again. We are beginning to wait for Friday’s paper and his articles. We always enjoy the trip down memory lane and do agree that neighborhoods are not as friendly for all the reasons stated.

We also love his political viewpoint and think we are losing our country to socialism.

Hope we all wake up before it’s too late.

— Betty and Ron Rohrer

La Crescenta

It’s not just big rigs using ACH

It’s Sunday April 5th and Caltrans is erecting a sign keeping 5 axle trucks off of ACH.

I hope this town’s leadership will not stop with these restrictions because this will not eliminate the dangerous conditions at Foothill Boulevard.

The concern I have is for all the “other” heavy vehicles that use this highway daily. Trash trucks, construction equipment, fire trucks and the like are all subject to the effects of gravity and that is what will propel a runaway vehicle into the heart of La Cañada at Foothill Boulevard.

I live on the highway and am very familiar with the smell of overheated break pads. I know recent events point to multi-axle vehicles as the main problem but I believe history shows past occurrences of runaway vehicles were smaller, yet heavy trucks.

How many trash trucks use the highway each week, each day? How many of these trucks have you seen disabled in our neighborhoods, leaking oil and spouting smoke? How often are these trucks serviced? What prevents a truck like this that loses its breaks at Lavender Lane and not ending up in Hill Street Café? The answer is you and me waiting in traffic near the Shell station.

I hope it never happens again in my lifetime. I pray another life is not lost while others contemplate a permanent solution.

I’d like to see a stop light along ACH to slow traffic down and provide drivers of vehicles with failing breaks more time to take action rather learning they have no breaks at the freeway.

Until something more is done than erecting a sign, I will avoid the congestion of our deadly intersection because I fear it will be only a matter of time before this happens again.

— Ralph Morones

La Cañada

I just want to make it known that I strongly oppose any plans to destroy the Verdugo Hills Golf Course and replace it with housing or other development. he only conversion I would support is for wilderness/open space. The quality of life in this area is steadily decreasing due to over-development and poorly planned development. Development of the existing golf course would be a disastrous and irreversible mistake.

— Randy Nichols

Montrose

An avoidable tragedy on ACH

With Caltrans outside my front window placing truck restriction and speed limit signs on the median strip, I am thinking about something my husband, Ralph, has been saying all along: It’s not just the 18-wheelers that are the problem barreling down ACH, it can be any vehicle speeding, and/or possibly losing its brakes, that is a potentially deadly hazard. Maybe it’s time to revisit the installation of a traffic signal on ACH between Starlight and Foothill.

This would slow down traffic — and yes, slow down our time to work, school, etc. by a couple of minutes. I would gladly welcome slowing down any vehicle that could potentially lose control and carry my friends, relatives and neighbors to their death — as we recently witnessed.

Sincerely,

— Christa Morones

La Cañada

Feels a correction is needed

In one of the letters the Crescenta Valley Sun published on Feb. 13 [Our readers write], several weeks ago the writer implied that the Security Protection Act supports illegals in obtaining Social Security benefits and that David Dreier voted for this. The truth is that the law strengthens the prohibition of illegals receiving such aid! Thus, it is completely understandable why Congressman Dreier would favor the bill. I feel you would do the Sun well by correcting this error on the part of the writer.

— Rev. Kenneth Grissom

La Crescenta

City sought Caltrans’ help

Two dead, 12 hurt when big rig, descending Angeles Crest Highway, loses control on Foothill Boulevard: My daughter asked me, “If the driver’s brakes didn’t work, why did he have to go to jail?”

I didn’t have an answer why the out-of-state truck driver, who didn’t know the area, was in jail for the “accident.”

The problem doesn’t lie in a negligent truck driver. He wasn’t drunk, asleep, texting, etc. He was driving on a road that his GPS system told him to take. The problem does, however, lie in the unresolved feud between the city and Caltrans. The fact that they were never able to resolve the safety concerns associated with the Angeles Crest Highway is why this tragedy happened.

Now, the driver’s in jail on felony manslaughter charges. Wrong. This is our system at work. This is what makes a driver flee in fear after a hit & run “accident.”

— Tim Tuchrello

Granada Hills

History repeats itself yet again

Sixty years ago, my father, Joe Sherburn, built a restaurant on the site where the Hill Street Café now stands. Having moved here from the Midwest after WWII, Dad wasn’t familiar with the potential hazard of the location. After his plans were drawn up and construction began, a local businessman came to him. He told dad that the intersection at Angeles Crest and Foothill had a history of out-of-control trucks barreling through it and wreaking havoc.

Dad halted construction, tore out the footings that had been poured and purposely moved the restaurant. As a result The Yellow Jacket restaurant sat further back and to the west on the lot, leaving a wide driveway between it and the businesses to the east.

Despite these efforts, during the time my father owned The Yellow Jacket there were two fatal accidents involving trucks. In the first, one of Dad’s employees was killed. The second, which occurred in 1958, killed the truck driver. Both trucks lost their brakes after traveling over Angeles Forest Highway and down Angeles Crest.

Over 50 years have passed, and here we are again. A family torn apart and grieving their loss, and a city in shock. What’s the answer? To say this is a new problem is obviously not true. Whatever decisions are made, they come too late for Mr. Posca and his precious daughter.

— Ann Sherburn Euson

La Crescenta

Speed limits on Angeles Crest

In light of the recent tragedy, I too am furious with the existing situation, but what I keep noticing is that no one seems to mention the speed limit on Angeles Crest Hwy.

For many folks, 45 mph means go 50 or 55. Seriously. I am an Angeles Crest resident, and I see it every day. People excessively gas it up the mountain, and down, even two days after the accident.

That speed limit DOES NOT CHANGE no matter how close to houses, businesses, and intersections you get. A speed of 40, or 35, might make folks think about slowing down.

A sign saying that the highway ends ahead might tell people something, too. And, yes there is a runaway lane in the middle, but it never gets used. There’s no indication of these things, just the go, go, go mentality of today’s car drivers. Now we all suffer.

— Shawn Broes

La Cañada Flintridge

How many more have to die?

After numerous dire warnings to Caltrans, it finally happened. The horrific truck accident which occurred on April 1 took two lives.

Mr. Failing from Caltrans and others in the organization have blood on their hands. Mr. Failing’s insensitive comments about the non-issue will certainly come as little comfort to the grieving families.

While the driver of the truck can and should be held liable, Caltrans should bear the burden of its inactions. How many more people need to die before Caltrans decides to do their job?

— Edward D. Vaisbort, Esq.

Pasadena

Editor’s Note: The writer is a former director of public works for the city of La Cañada Flintridge.

Vehicle escape lanes not marked

The two recent truck crashes, at the end of Angeles Crest Highway, would not have happened, if the nearby runaway vehicle escape lane was properly marked. The center lane has a sandbox with gravel, to stop an out-of-control vehicle, but the missing signs have not been replaced. If a vehicle has breaking problems, the driver could steer into the truck escape ramp to stop.

Any vehicle traveling down Angeles Crest Highway can easily overheat the brakes, making them less effective, because of the long downhill grade with many turns. I have experienced the same problem driving a car that had no mechanical problems. The heavy use of the brakes causes overheating and loss of control (but no accident, in my case).

The real problem is the missing signs.

— Craig Baker

Sylmar


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