Thursday, November 15 , 2018, 9:35 pm | Fair 52º


Bill Macfadyen: Crash of Big Rig Carrying Pods Casts Santa Barbara Commute in a Slow Jam

NoozWeek’s Top 5 hops on the latest scooter spin, encounters a driverless rollover crash, runs into a suspected DUI case that strikes two pedestrians with one car, and comes back to me

Wreck Click to view larger
I hope they had contents insurance. (Urban Hikers / Noozhawk photo)

I can’t be the only Los Angeles Lakers fan feeling like — no matter what moves the team makes — there’s been a tectonic shift in California to the now-perennial world champion Golden State Warriors. Oddly, I’m finding myself OK with that.

But enough about the NBA draft. According to our Google Analytics, the Noozhawk franchise had an audience of 104,238 this past week.

This is my take on the Top 5 stories you were reading. Please keep in mind that this is my opinion column, not a news story.

1. Tractor-Trailer Crash Bogs Down Morning Commute on Highway 101

A big rig carrying storage containers crashed on northbound Highway 101 in Santa Barbara around dawn on June 20, closing a lane and a key exit for several hours and catching tens of thousands of commuters in the inevitable traffic jam.

According to the California Highway Patrol, the tractor-trailer crashed just north of the Garden Street exit ramp right before 5 a.m. There were no injuries in the single-vehicle wreck and the three Pods the rig was carrying did not appear to be damaged — at least on the outside.

The resulting mess, which included a leak of about 75 gallons of diesel fuel, shut down the freeway’s right lane until about 8:25 a.m. The exit ramp was reopened later that morning.

The CHP is investigating the cause of the crash.

2. Santa Barbara City Council Looks to Pass Emergency Scooter Ordinance

Scooters Click to view larger
Scoot. (Joshua Molina / Noozhawk photo)

Shared electric scooters may be the darlings of the Silicon Valley venture capital set but Santa Barbara is usually unimpressed with the likes of a Laurie Bream and her ilk.

That has never been more apparent than after San Mateo-based LimeBike tried to pull a fast one by parking 100 of its rentable E-scooters all over downtown State Street sidewalks earlier this month. Evidently, the plan was to ask for forgiveness from the City of Santa Barbara rather than permission. Talk about not knowing your market.

Not surprisingly, LimeBike’s arrogance did not go over well at City Hall. With uncharacteristic dispatch, Public Works crews first impounded 100 of the scooters and, less than a week later, the City Council was considering an emergency ordinance to regulate them.

It passed unanimously, 6-0.

Among other things, the ordinance requires a $5,000 permit application fee, followed by a $10,000 permit fee and a fee of $100 per scooter to offset the city’s administrative and enforcement costs. Each mismanaged scooter would be seized with a $100 impoundment fee to get it back.

Further, E-scooter companies must submit to the city a proposed service area plan, and they’re obligated to make sure that customers comply with proper operational and public safety rules — including use of helmets.

For LimeBike, that’s the bad news. The good news is ... eh, I’m just kidding. There actually isn’t any good news for the company.

Councilmen Eric Friedman, Gregg Hart and Randy Rowse offered brutal condemnations of LimeBike’s strategy, such as it was.

Friedman said he had “no trust” in the company’s lines, while Hart called the attempted end run “a catastrophic start.”

“This isn’t the way to do business in Santa Barbara,” Hart said. “I am not interested in the city of Santa Barbara being on the cutting edge of this. This is chaotic, unsafe and not well-evolved.”

Predictably, City Hall gadfly Anna Marie Gott, who appears in Noozhawk more often than I do, declared a pox on both houses.

“Enacting this ordinance is ridiculous,” she said. “We are rewarding bad behavior.”

I’m not sure that’s a valid conclusion but, as a small business owner, I do think that even a super-funded Silicon Valley startup should have to operate here under the same conditions and restrictions as the rest of us.

As far as the city is concerned, there also must be consistent and continuous enforcement of the rules of the road — especially as they apply to sidewalks, which are no place for E-scooters. Or skateboards. Or bicycles.

3. Wrong-Way Driver Flees After Rollover Crash in Goleta

For the second week in a row, a wrong-way driver crashed in Goleta after traveling north on Highway 101 in the middle of the night. This time, the wreck was a rollover and no other vehicles were involved.

It would appear that no one was injured either, at least not seriously, because the driver was nowhere to be found when authorities arrived at the scene just after 2 a.m. June 18.

According to the California Highway Patrol, numerous 9-1-1 callers reported a car heading north in the freeway’s southbound lanes, beginning at Las Positas Road. The car was said to be driving erratically without its headlights — in addition to being, you know, on the wrong side of the road.

CHP Officer Maria Barriga said the vehicle ultimately overturned at the Patterson Avenue exit from Highway 217, more than five miles away. The crash took out a freeway sign for good measure.

“When we got there, the driver was not there,” Barriga said, adding that a search, aided by a K-9 unit, came up empty.

The crash site was not far from the scene of a terrible June 8 head-on collision on Highway 217.

In that wreck, which was No. 5 on last week’s Top 5 list, alleged wrong-way driver Grady James Hocking, 21, of Goleta, was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence before being taken to Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital.

David Cruz, a 53-year-old Uber driver from Oxnard, suffered critical injuries in the collision.

A GoFundMe page was established to help the Cruz family with medical expenses. Click here to make on online donation.

4. Bill Macfadyen: After Years of Futility, Does Goleta Finally Have Its Target Acquired?

Apparently, my Best of Bill column was right on Target.

5. Collision with Pedestrians in Carpinteria Leads to Bakersfield Woman’s DUI Arrest

Crash Click to view larger
Crosswalks are supposed to be safe spaces. (Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Department photo)

Two pedestrians — including a 91-year-old woman — were struck and seriously injured by an alleged drunken driver while they crossed a Carpinteria intersection the afternoon of June 17.

The driver was arrested on a felony charge of driving under the influence of alcohol causing injuries.

Stacielynn Sandrini Click to view larger
Stacielynn Sandrini chose ... poorly. (Santa Barbara County Jail photo)

According to the Santa Barbara County sheriff’s Sgt. Jarrett Morris, two women — one 50 and the other 91 — were IN the crosswalk of the intersection of Linden Avenue at Ninth Street when they were hit by a car around 3:30 p.m.

He said both women suffered serious injuries and were treated at the scene by American Medical Response paramedics and Carpinteria-Summerland firefighters before being rushed by AMR ambulance to Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital.

The driver — identified as 50-year-old Stacielynn Sandrini of Bakersfield — was arrested at the scene.

“During the course of the investigation, deputies suspected Sandrini had been consuming alcoholic beverages,” Morris said.

She was booked into County Jail with bail set at $100,000.

The victims’ identities and medical conditions were not disclosed.

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Last Year on Noozhawk

What was our most-read story this time last year? Carpinteria Woman Dies After Being Hit by Vehicle in Front of Her Home.

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Bill Macfadyen’s Story of the Week

For those of you who aren’t copy editors, this can be hard to talk about: Where the ‘No Ending a Sentence With a Preposition’ Rule Comes From.

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Best of Bill’s Instagram

Bingo! I finally break a two-year losing streak in my Instagram feed.

                                                                 •        •        •

Watch It

Very irresponsible parenting by Mama Bear to leave her cub in the car with the windows up and the child-proof locks set. HT to our Tom Bolton.

(Placer County Sheriff’s Department video)

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— Bill Macfadyen is Noozhawk’s founder and publisher. Contact him at [email protected], follow him on Twitter: @noozhawk and Instagram: @bill.macfadyen, or click here to read previous columns. The opinions expressed are his own.

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