By MATTHEW MEYER | Reporter
Drivers rejoice: The “scar wall” is dead.
A cluster of large, sand-filled barrels known as “impact attenuators” has replaced the dreaded metal safety barrier that repeatedly scraped and gouged vehicles as they made their way from Chautauqua Boulevard onto PCH through a narrow merge lane.
Victims filed claims with Caltrans—the agency responsible for the intersection—for thousands of dollars in damage, but the state transportation authority had opted for continually repairing the wall rather than replacing it entirely.
But on Saturday, Sept. 16 the agency finally swapped the wall with barrels that, at least in theory, should not present the same threat of damage to vehicles.
Caltrans Public Affairs official Peter Jones told the Palisadian-Post that a long-term solution for the troubled intersection is also in the design stages.
Traffic consultant, PPCC member and long-time scar wall critic Lou Kamer characterized the change as a step in the right direction.
“It’s great that Caltrans was able to replace the car-gashing barricade ‘cushion’ with huge, Minion-yellow ‘Big Sandy’ sand barrels. It’s a great temporary step until we redesign the intersection,” Kamer told the Post.
“Still, it’s important to remember that the bright yellow barrels will still do damage.
To avoid [them], we need to follow three key steps when passing ‘The Gauntlet’:
Be alert, make a wider initial turn from Chautauqua to PCH so you are lined up earlier, and take it as slow as you need to feel safe and confident.”
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