Santa Clarita will use $3.4 million to install the equipment that should help adjust the traffic flow.
Seventeen new cameras are due to be installed at Santa Clarita intersections during the next three months in a bid to improve traffic flow, a city official said Friday. Some $3.4 million has been set aside for the city to beef up its Traffic Operations Center and install the cameras, which will allow monitors at the center to adjust the flow of traffic, said Assistant Traffic Engineer Cesar Romo. Under a kind of pilot project, the center currently staffs the Traffic Operations Center with one part-time member and employs a single closed-circuit video camera to monitor traffic at Bouquet Canyon and Newhall Ranch Roads, one of the busiest intersections in Los Angeles County. While Romo said traffic at the intersection has gotten any better, having a camera there has led to “better management.” Besides installing 17 cameras at major intersections to monitor traffic flow and adjust signal timing, the project calls for 10 miles of fiber-optic cable to be installed. Of the $3.4 million for the project, nearly 50 percent is budgeted city funds for the 2005-2006 fiscal year. Additional funds will come from a Metropolitan Transit Authority grant. Department of Traffic Engineering officials expect to see an improvement in traffic along roads in Saugus, Canyon Country, Newhall and Valencia, including McBean Parkway, Valencia Boulevard and Soledad Canyon Road, Romo said. The installation of the cameras and cable, which will begin within the next few weeks, is the first phase of the city’s Intelligent Transportation Management System. Romo said Subsequent phases will be carried out as additional funding or grants are available. The city will also be hiring a full-time monitor for the Traffic Operations Center “(With) the capability of live video, we’re trying to monitor traffic and be reactive to incidents and traffic conditions,” Romo said.