Welcome back, Angeles Crest Highway

Assuming the intelligence that has reached our ears is true, Caltrans will at last reopen Angeles Crest Highway between our city and Angeles Forest Highway this week, but not before the agency finishes holding a dignitary-filled press conference set for 10 a.m. Friday.

That’s all as it should be. Those workers who have been chipping away at the extensive project since the heavy rains of January 2010 are probably proud the work has finally seen completion. They deserve some thanks for their efforts, and what better way to do that than to stage an official ribbon cutting?

But I hope the ceremony isn’t too long. Countless recreational users have been psyched up for the reopening at least a couple of times over the past 16 months, when earlier completion estimates were bandied about, so I say let the gates swing open as soon as possible Friday, even if it means yanking a long-winded speaker away from a microphone to do so.

Before the road is reopened, I offer this note to the speed enthusiasts: We La Cañadans sincerely admire your energy but would really appreciate it if you could use a modicum of care now that you’ll be zipping through our territory again. We prefer to see you fly past still attached to your ride than hear the rescue ambulances scream through on their way up the hill to pick you up.

And to all drivers of motorized vehicles, regardless of the amount of lead in your right foot: Please watch out for the bicyclists who train by pedaling along Angeles Crest Highway. The road can be a bit tight in places and cyclists need a little room too.

Speaking of cyclists, I’m hoping that now that the ACH is back in business,  the annual Amgen Tour of California will return to La Cañada. Do you think 2012 would be too soon for the tour’s organizers to pencil us in for one of their stages? I loved watching the racers sweep down ACH then down Commonwealth toward Pasadena when the tour passed through here on two occasions before the Station fire messed everything up.

As you may be able to discern, I’m pro-ACH and appreciate the opportunities it affords us to make good use of the Angeles National Forest. May no further natural or arson-induced disasters descend upon us anytime soon, so that we may enjoy it fully.

CAROL CORMACI is managing editor of the Valley Sun. She can be reached at ccormaci@valleysun.net or carol.cormaci@latimes.com

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