Judy Reinsma: Bouquet closure puts burden on San Francisquito Canyon Road

Car and truck traffic backs up on San Francisquito Canyon Road near Stator Lane on Wednesday afternoon. One San Francisquito Canyon resident says motorists diverted off Bouquet Canyon Road have created a rush-hour period during mornings and evenings on San Francisquito, one of a handful of routes through the mountains north of the Santa Clarita Valley. Dan Watson/The Signal

How can the county justify shutting down Bouquet Canyon Road for flood concerns for six months when there is no water on the road 90 percent of the time?

This closure has increased the traffic on San Francisquito Canyon Road to the point where there is now a non-stop stream of cars from 4 a.m. to 7 a.m. and again in the afternoon from about 4 p.m. until 6:30 p.m. It was bad before; now it is horrible.

This is a rural, winding, two-lane road, not a freeway, yet speeds frequently exceed 75 miles per hour and drivers have been seen passing three abreast where passing is permitted. It is crazy!

The road it is under the jurisdiction of the California Highway Patrol, not the L.A. County Sheriff’s Department, and the CHP does not have sufficient manpower to provide daily oversight.

Last year the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power ran double dump trucks loaded with dirt up and back from Powerhouse One for months, eight hours a day, five days a week. A relatively decent road soon became a mess.

San Francisquito Canyon Road was not built for this kind of traffic and it is in extremely deteriorated and dangerous condition, with numerous potholes and badly cracked pavement.

Public works is obviously unable to keep up with the situation. They no sooner fix one pothole than two more appear a day later. The road needs to be completely repaved, not patched over and over again.

Between the increased traffic, the excessive speed, the badly degraded road condition and the lack of law enforcement to control reckless driving, the decision to close Bouquet will only result in more accidents and possible loss of life on San Francisquito.

If the county cannot fix Bouquet Canyon Road, at least it could make San Francisquito Canyon Road safer, as it is obviously the road of choice now.

Since that probably isn’t going to get done, perhaps the county should only close Bouquet Canyon Road when there is actual moisture on the pavement. You know, like when it rains!

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