Thursday, December 1, 2016

2 Freeway & Corralitas Drive: Nov. 30 Tragic Car Crash, No Surprise. Shocking No One On Corralitas Was Struck By Car Flying Off 2 Frwy.

Photo: Red Car Property Neighbor, November 30, 2016.  Yesterday's evidence of a car crashing off the southbound 2 Freeway onto Corralitas Drive became tragic once neighbors started sharing photos.  (Click on photos to enlarge.)

The neighbor who first reported the incident to me, was relieved that no one on Corralitas Drive was struck by the flying car or debris.  Photos at street level were shot around 9 AM.   Corralitas Walk is the public sidewalk heading up the hill adjacent to the southbound 2 Freeway in the background of the above photo. 
Photo: Red Car Property Neighbor, November 30, 2016.  That's not a retaining wall in the background, it's the dirt embankment of the 2 Freeway.  Notice the fire engine and cars up on the 2 Freeway.  There is no guardrail.  There has never been a guardrail there.  In the past, enormous Eucalyptus trees stopped cars from flying off this section of freeway.

In July, CalTrans cut down all the trees in the parkway it deemed as unsafe, including the 50+ year old Eucalyptus trees that did not burn in the June 19, 2016 Silver Lake Fire.  
Photo: Red Car Property Neighbor, November 30, 2016. 
As jarring as the photos are, we shouldn't be surprised a car flew off the southbound 2 Freeway.  Neighbors have been warning about this potential scenario for months.  We hope the driver is recovering from this horrible crash.
Photo: Red Car Property Neighbor, November 30, 2016.  The scale of the 2 Freeway slope and inadequacy of the guard rail is more evident when viewed from above the Red Car Property.  The guard rail,prior to the crash and prior to the tree carnage, has always been approximately 50 long, almost all of it leading up to the overhead freeway sign.

Beginning in August, shortly after Cal Trans cut down all the trees adjacent to Corralitas Drive south of Rosebud Ave., neighbors tried to get the attention of public officials and CalTrans regarding the health and public safety issues with the recent tree carnage.  One neighbor wrote to several elected officials and CalTrans:

"I have 3 children [ages omitted] that play on the cul-de-sac. There’s only a small strip of guard rail by the freeway sign. We’ve seen a few cars end up on the ditch where the trees prevented them from ending up on Corralitas. I don’t feel safe having my kids play outside anymore. The fence on Corralitas side will not prevent a fast moving car from ending up on my street."
Photo: Red Car Property Neighbor, November 30, 2016.  You wouldn't have been safe in your own driveway from large pieces of flying car parts.  This large piece of the car easily could have killed a young child as it landed a good 12 feet up a neighbor's driveway.  Another neighbor's parked car window was shattered by flying debris. 
This summer, I had several conversations with CalTrans representatives regarding the section of the 2 Freeway burned in the Silver Lake Fire. Among other topics, I requested concrete K-Rails, the "temporary" barriers CalTrans uses to protect their workers from traffic in long term construction zones.  On multiple occasions, and despite their awareness of my documentation of the removed trees stopping cars from flying off the freeway in 2015: both CalTrans reps said the safety of the motorists on the freeway was their only concern; not the safety of the adjacent residents or users of city streets.  

If that's true, then K-Rails are warranted on the southbound 2 Freeway adjacent to Corralitas between the Rosebud Ave Overcrossing and approximately 100' north of the intersection of Allesandro Way and Lake View Ave.  Need more reasons?  Check out some of the videos on CalTrans website of trucks crashing into K-Rails