Power -- Traffic -- Back To Normal After Day of Upset On Moraga Way

The latest in a string of accidents along Moraga Way closed a stretch of the vital roadway and left a number of locals in the dark.

In what has become a relatively regular occurrence Moraga-Orinda Fire District crews report that an accident involving a pickup truck into a power pole Thursday night has knocked out power in the area of Moraga Way and Glorietta Boulevard in Orinda.

Orinda police said a Toyota pickup truck hit the power pole at the intersection of Moraga Way and Casa Vieja in Orinda at about 10:28 p.m. Thursday, shearing off the pole and knocking out power to the area. Officers searched the area for the driver of the Toyota but could not find him.

Moraga Way -- critical to the morning commute in Lamorinda -- was closed through the Friday morning commute while crews from the utililty agency attempted to make repairs. A PG&E spokeswoman estimated that repairs could last into the early evening.

Moraga Way was closed between Brookside and Glorietta in both directions throughout the day and into the night as utility crews fought to straighten out the tangle of power and communications lines at the top of the pole. Neighbors reported that the crews worked long into Friday night.

Some were sharply critical of the manner in which the incident was handled, saying that more effective traffic controls were needed to keep the flow of cars moving through the area or diverting them elsewhere entirely. A light commute hour still ended in frustration for thousands of drivers, some of whom expressed their displeasure here.

Anyone with any information on the truck or its driver is asked to call the Orinda Police Department.

smcmom January 07, 2012 at 08:04 PM
Police should have been proactive as to whether the detour was viable. This is definitely a lesson for the future. If you saw the detour road chosen, the traffic, and the tight uphill curve the semi-truck couldn't navigate in the traffic jam conditions, blocking both lanes almost entirely, you may have a clearer picture of what happened. And why it was so unsafe for residents and commuters, and why I hope for a better, more effective response in the future.
Lee daniels January 07, 2012 at 10:01 PM
I was hoping for a little more police presence out there too. It got a little sporty in the afternoon and it would have been worse on a bigger commute day. Good picture..... must have been a nightmare to get that worked out. And just remember, one person caused the whole thing.
John K. January 07, 2012 at 11:49 PM
In every other police related article many people say that Lamorinda has too many cops and all they do is write tickets and generate revenue. Now in this story several people complain about no police officers directing traffic. Orinda PD has 2 officers working the street and 1 traffic officer. I usually see 2 officers (or PG&E people, construction workers etc) directing traffic at construction sites etc. This accident happened at around 1045 at night, I don't know when the roadway got opened up but based on the posts above it sounds like late afernoon so lets just call it 18 hours. 3 cops working, 2 doing traffic control to get people through a little faster leaves 1 cop to work the city for 18 hours. Doesn't add up for me. You can't have it both ways folks, either there's too many cops in Lamorinda or more cops are needed for when things like this happen.
Chris Nicholson January 08, 2012 at 12:38 AM
I've not heard people say "too many cops." I've said and heard people say "too much emphasis on speed traps / ticket writing" and "too much overhead spending per cop." There are already mutual aid policies for surge capacity in true emergencies. We don't need dedicated police surge capacity to direct traffic. That could easily be PG&E workers or others that are much cheaper and less scarce than cops. I guess I am not sure what your point is other than to highlight (falsely, I think) an inconsistency in what you think you are hearing....
Danielle January 08, 2012 at 05:18 PM
Several factors contributed: too much traffic; worst possible location of heavily used connector street; extended response time by utility company; lack of adequate traffic control around the affected area ---- and one guy behind the wheel of a truck probably when he shouldn't have been. Amanda is right though, this is happening regularly now.


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