Traffic volume at center of neighborhood debate.
A few weeks ago, residents of two Canyon Country neighborhoods surrounding Canvas Street and Linda Vista Rd. asked the Santa Clarita City Council to offer some help in easing the high traffic flow and speeding problems on their streets.
The area boasts an older neighborhood that borders Soledad Canyon Rd, which was linked in recent years to the Sunset Heights development that borders Sierra Highway. When the two neighborhoods were linked at the intersection of Linda Vista and Canvas, a connection between Soledad and Sierra Highway was created.
According to some residents, that has resulted in a large increase in cut-through traffic, speeding and crime.
After they requested help, a traffic study was completed in the area, and Deputies from the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s station conducted a five day enforcement period. City staff also added a multi-way stop sign, extra speed limit signs, and looked into whether or not it would be feasible to close off Linda Vista at Canvas Street.
Late Tuesday evening, City traffic engineers reported their findings to the City Council and the bevy of residents who showed up. According to the engineers, the data collected pointed to no significant evidence of cut through traffic. Also, they revealed that during the law enforcement crackdown, 49 citations were issued, 30 for speeding. Of the citations issued, 92% of them were received by residents of the communities. In addition, the City Uniform Building Code would be violated if the road was closed off, because it would limit emergency vehicle access. As a result, the traffic engineers advised against closing the road at Linda Vista Rd. and Canvas St.
Many of the residents attending the meeting disagreed in their public comment, which led to City Council members looking for options to better mitigate the problem. There were also residents who spoke in favor of keeping the road open, as they see it as an important way to get to specific areas of town and a necessary way for emergency vehicles to respond to the neighborhoods.
The topic did at one point include discussion of placing a gate at the intersection, whereby only residents could pass, however City Attorney Carl Newton said that gating a public road to prevent access to select groups would be illegal. Councilmember TimBen Boydston then prompted Newton to clarify the issue, which he did by adding that if the road was made private, then such a gate could be permitted.
Since the Council had no intention of making a decision on the issue Tuesday evening, the discussion then turned to planning the proper course of action to further investigate a remedy.
A motion by Councilmember Marsha McLean was eventually approved by all five Council members. It directed City staff to come up with alternative speed abatement measures that could be added to the street, and to hold meetings with the residents to discuss those and other solutions that could include automatic ticketing schemes similar to red light cameras. The motion also stipulated that the above work must be completed and brought back to the City Council no later than June.
While this topic had a huge public turnout, residents also showed up in force to admonish a proposed Materials Recovery Facility in Newhall. To read about that, click here.