Roadway hazards are a real problem for motorcyclists. Whether they come from nature, or are man-made.
Unfortunately, a motorcyclist was recently killed in Orange County at the transition of the 133 / 241 southbound transition. Upon exploring the circumstances, we noted potential hazards at this transition. While we don’t know the facts in this tragic accident, we give full credit to our Sister Rider for alerting us.
A motorcyclist would need to abide by all rules of the road at this location to negotiate a safe transition. This southbound interchange involves two transition lanes, sweeping right and nearly curving to a switchback and joining the southbound 241 toll road.
First, reducing the speed would be critical as the rider needs to hold this curving turn longer than might be expected. Second, as the transition lanes join the 241 through-lanes there exists a long, painted median extending to a gore point. This is a painted median / gore and legally cannot be entered or crossed. To make matters worse, the pavement within the gore is not fully improved. In fact, the unimproved area is a couple of inches below the paved portion, effectively creating a hole. This area is wider at the beginning and narrows near the gore point. Almost at any rate of speed, this would be very hazardous. Steering and full control would be compromised if entered or crossed.
Needless to say, this is potentially a very hazardous area if not properly executed. Imagine passing through in impaired weather or at night and the risk becomes very substantial.
When entering or exiting a freeway with a marked gore point, it is very important to obey the painted lines and stay away from the gore point. It is very tempting to “cheat” this area when entering or exiting a highway when trying to beat traffic.
The best option is to always be safe and stay out of the marked gore points on any highway or street.