If you have ever ridden SoCal’s scenic Angeles Crest Highway, Mt. Baldy or Highway 39 you have undoubtedly experienced the beautiful mountain scenery and roads that we as cyclists frequently ride on to get out of the city traffic. A growing concern has occurred since Cal Trans chip sealed portions of these mountain roads which makes it dangerous for cyclists, especially while descending. A petition has been created by the Pasadena Athletic Association to stop the use of chip seal on highways that are frequently ridden by cyclists on Change.org.
The Petition Description Explains:
“Angeles Crest Highway is the gateway to the Angeles National Forest for many Southern Californians. Hikers, road and mountain cyclists, motorcyclists, and more all use the stretch of highway between La Canada Flintridge and Wrightwood to access forest trails, patronize businesses such as Newcomb’s Ranch, and simply enjoy the stunning views and scenery.
To the east, Highway 39 and Mt. Baldy Road are similarly frequented by cyclists and other recreational users. These roadways and others like them across the State of California provide wonderful recreational opportunities for residents and visitors alike.
CalTrans resurfaced Highway 2 from La Canada Flintridge to Wrightwood with a layer of chip seal in the summer of 2013.
This stretch of roadway was in fairly good repair, due in part to road work, repair and repaving conducted in 2010-11 following the Station Fire. In contrast, other nearby sections of highway, such as Angeles Forest Highway to Palmdale, were in far greater need of improvements.
The rock aggregate used in the resurfacing is very rough, and makes riding a bicycle highly uncomfortable and more dangerous, especially when descending.
In September 2013, a section of Mt. Baldy Road also received a layer of chip seal, despite the safety concerns expressed to staff by local road users.
According to the Caltrans District 7 Public Information Officer, “Caltrans is committed to providing the safest, most comfortable experience for all users of the state highway system.” Yet this road treatment continues to be employed by the agency, despite its awareness of the cycling community’s concerns regarding the safety and comfort of chip seal.”
Please sign this Petition to Stop the Use of Chip Seal on Highways Frequented by Cyclists and share with your cycling friends, so that we can all enjoy riding these mountain roads safely!
Photo © Christy Nicholson / EchelonDesignPhoto.com