City Council continues the push for safety on ACH grade

April 23, 2009|By Ruth Longoria

The City Council pushed forward Monday night with the second step in its four-stage plan to make safe La Cañada’s city streets. In the aftermath of the April 1 truck crash fatalities at Angeles Crest Highway and Foothill Boulevard, city officials have worked with county and state legislators to push Caltrans take measures to prohibit commercial trucks on Angeles Crest Highway/State Route 2.

A temporary ban on five-axle trucks was initiated within days of the crash. Signs were put up by Caltrans to notify drivers of the ban. State legislators also jumped into the fray with AB1361, a bill redesigned by state Assemblyman Anthony Portantino and co-authored by Senator Carol Liu, both former La Cañada Flintridge mayors, to create a permanent ban of specified trucks traveling on State Route 2.

After the crash, the City Council appointed Council members Don Voss and Greg Brown to a subcommittee to work with officials to help determine content of the legislation.


A draft of the proposed legislation was presented to the council Monday night in order for the council to approve that wording and make necessary changes before the bill is moved forward by Portantino.

According to AB1361, no trucks over two axles or with a weight of five tons or more would be allowed on the Highway between County Route N4/Big Pine Highway and the Foothill/210 Freeway. A $1,000 fine also would be implemented for anyone caught violating the ban.

Passage of the bill is expected to prevent all of the “honest” truck drivers from using the ’Crest and “greatly reduce the risk,” Brown said.

In order to push the bill through quickly, without having it stall in another committee, the bill doesn’t include follow-up steps, which would require appropriations, said Ann Wilson, La Cañada’s senior management analyst.

“The primary objective is to get trucks off the highway,” Voss said, adding that other measures, which involve cost, can be followed up on later.

The council suggested a few minor changes to the legislation, which will be passed on to Portantino and his staff, including re-wording to make it OK for local delivery vehicles, and tow trucks picking up or servicing a vehicle that’s only accessible by Angeles Crest Highway.

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