According to Failing, the bed would also have to be 26 feet wide and at least three feet deep.
Eric Zandvliet, La Cañada’s city traffic engineer, is not certain those figures are correct.
“You can slope the [arrester bed] up, which would slow the truck down,” he said.
Failing and the city proposed another arrester bed ¼ mile north of Bay Tree Road at a wide spot in the road.
“The location is about the safest way we have to get them back off the road,” Failing said.
This type of conversation with Caltrans is something the city has been wanting for quite a long time.
“We would love to have a dialogue with Caltrans,” Zandvliet said.
La Cañada Councilman Steve Del Guercio said it was extremely difficult working the state agency, either through the studies or permitting process. And Caltrans’ contention that they did not have the authority to stop big rigs from traveling the ’Crest or from simply repairing the arrester beds that are still in the median seems a thin excuse.
In the 1980s signs that marked the existing arrester beds for the drivers of runaway vehicles on ACH in La Cañada were taken down by Caltrans. Neither Zandvliet nor Failing know why the signs disappeared and why plants in the beds were allowed to overgrow.
Zandvliet would like to see those arrester beds up and working again.
“We can still make it look nice and [functional],” he said. “There can be signs for [runaway truck and cars]. We would also need new sand in there, the gravel is now so compacted.”
Zandvliet said even if the beds would not stop a big rig they would be useful to stop smaller vehicles. A car without brakes could still do a lot of damage as it goes down the ’Crest.