By now many of you that commute on the 5 freeway might have heard of this story but I was there. My commute has come under siege over the last couple of days.
First the Tour de France is on and is keeping me up late –even with all the fast forwarding of the commercials. I love DVR. I can take 5 1/2 hours of Tour coverage and condense it down to 4 hours.
Second the Marines are holding a Combined Arms Exercise (CAX) and they have closed the bike path from Las Pulgas to San Clemente via San Onofre campground. This crises was resolved when Caltrans allowed cyclists to travel on the 5 Freeway from Basilone Rd to Las Pulgas.
But today was totally unexpected and could not be planned for. A Von’s truck over turns, flips and comes to rest in the shoulder (bike lane) catches fire and sets off a brush fire in the process. News sources say the accident happened around 5am.
I got on the 5 freeway at Basilone Rd heading south just before 7am on the shoulder of course. I could see a huge back up of traffic. I think to myself this is cool I’ve never been on the freeway on my bike on this section. Trucks are lined up all along the right most lane as far as the eye could see. I continue south and enter the weigh station. The truck drivers must have thought I was nuts. Out the other end and keep heading south.
You would be surprised how many people are poor planners. They go past San Clemente and don’t get gas and now they are running out of gas on the freeway. So now there are numerous cars on the shoulder out of gas or overheating. In addition, there were the drivers who thought they were too special to wait in traffic and think they can ride the shoulder. Ok if there has been an accident and everybody is stopped don’t you think you should leave the shoulder open for EMERGENCY VEHICLES to clear the accident so that you Mr and Mrs Special can get to your ohhh so important place.
All the things above went on for a good 19 mile stretch of the 5 freeway. Finally, when I arrive at the accident site all but one lane is flowing. There are a dozen of emergency vehicles and at least 40 personnel. It was quite a sight. It sure made for an interesting morning.
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