Speed cushions and weight limits established to help calm neighborhood congestion.
Two areas in different parts of Santa Clarita were addressed in Tuesday’s City Council meeting. Both revolved around ongoing speed and traffic volume issues.
In Saugus, Benz Rd. and the surrounding residential streets will receive temporary speed cushions, which the Council hopes will help deter cut-through traffic and calm speeders.
The residents of Benz Rd. have been appealing to the Council for 5 years to help relieve the traffic problems that were caused by the extension of Copper Hill Dr. Once the roadway was lengthened, it connected to Benz Rd. opening up the use of Benz as a shortcut between Copper Hill and Bouquet Canyon Rd.
Those who live directly on Benz Rd. have so far been opposed to the speed cushion installation. They won an earlier battle to place a diverter in the neighborhood, despite the fact that earlier surveys indicated that the rest of the area residents were not in favor of that choice.
Just days after the diverter was installed, the City Council held a special meeting addressing a fervent outburst of resident displeasure. The other residents said that traffic volume on their streets had increased dramatically since the diverter’s installation. By the end of that special meeting, the Council voted to remove the diverter and purchase the temporary speed cushions.
Tuesday, despite Benz Rd. protests, the Council went ahead and voted 3-2 to purchase the speed cushions. Council members Ferry and McLean dissented.
“We are not in a position to spend $100,000 on a gamble,” said Council member Marsha McLean, expanding on the fact that if the speed cushions are a success, the residents would be faced with a decision on whether or not to install permanent cushions at their own expense.
While the issue got a resolution, it failed to appease everyone involved.
“The Council has struggled with this issue for years,” said City Manager Ken Pulskamp. “There just isn’t a solution that everyone agrees to. We have done a survey and we have had public meetings. What we have learned is that many people want speed [cushions].”
Speed cushions have a slightly different design than speed bumps. The cushions provide large emergency vehicles with the ability to traverse them at a greater rate of speed than normal bumps. The Los Angeles County Fire Department, however, has yet to endorse any form of speed humps, bumps or cushions.
The Council also took aim at a Canyon County neighborhood surrounding Canvas and Linda Vista streets. They voted unanimously to establish weight limits on the roadway, prohibiting travel by vehicles over 14,000 pounds. This comes after residents complained that large trucks were using the streets as a shortcut.
Later on Tuesday evening, the Council also heard public comment regarding a rapidly escalating dispute over the rightful display site of a historic school bell. Read this story by clicking here.