A group of residents from a Canyon Country neighborhood to met Friday with city officials to discuss concerns raised by speed humps on Abelia Road. Tammy Murga/ The Signal

City: the speed humps are staying; residents vow to oppose

Residents who have voiced concerns over speed humps on Abelia Road in Canyon Country say their efforts to address them aren’t finished, following a meeting with the city of Santa Clarita on Friday.

“We will be pushing; we don’t consider this an end,” said Dennis, a resident who refused to provide his last name, citing tension and “drama” between neighbors on opposing sides of the speed humps issue. He’s one of several people whose homes, located north and east of Grandifloras Road, are accessible only via Abelia Road and feel the city should consider alternatives.

About a dozen residents who created a 30-plus page report, titled “Major Concerns and Recommendations about the Installation of Speed Cushions on Abelia Road,” met with City Traffic Engineer Gus Pivetti to present their findings on the effects of the speed humps on the street, including delayed emergency response and “irregularities in the city’s speed hump policy.”

The residents’ signatures are listed as “redacted” on their report.

Both sides presented their facts, but “nothing budged (the city’s) position that the humps are staying,” read a statement about the meeting on abeliahumps.com, a website where the report, a video, surveys and other related materials have been published.

Pivetti said the meeting offered an opportunity to gather feedback directly from residents and address concerns more intimately.

“During the meeting, we were able to provide answers and clarification that we hope provided some additional context around the need for this project,” he said. “We look forward to future open dialogue in an effort to maintain a high quality of life for our residents with safety as a No. 1 priority.”

Safety in regards to reducing speeds is the focus behind the city’s motive in installing about 10 rows of speed cushions on Abelia Road. According to the traffic department’s data, the speed humps have reduced the 85th percentile speed from 33 mph to 28 mph. Over the course of 18 years, a total of 53 collisions have been reported, which includes intersection-related collisions.

“In this situation, based on recent speed data collected and documented studies, the advantages outweigh the disadvantages,” reads a letter to Dennis from City Manager Ken Striplin in late February. “Based on the results of the speed surveys, the city maintains that the speed cushions along Abelia Road should remain.”

The city’s overall view remains the same since the installation of the speed cushions, but Dennis and other residents said the city “just refuses to accept (our points).” At the meeting, the group highlighted the city’s speed hump policy, which they said the city did not correctly follow.

To qualify for the installation of speed cushions, residential streets must meet criteria established in the city’s Speed Hump/Cushion Program, including 67 percent support from abutting property owners. The city said 167 residents along Abelia Road, between Begonias Lane and Jasmine Valley Drive, received a letter, where responses indicated the required threshold for the installation of speed cushions.

The objecting residents pointed out that, out of 192 ballots sent to the residents, only 60 indicated a “yes” vote in support of the speed cushions, which equals just more than 31 percent.

Dennis said several residents who originally voted “yes” to have the speed cushions installed on Abelia Road would have voted “no” if they had known “what the speed humps were going to be like.

“We are not opposed to speed humps; we know they’re necessary,” he added. “We are 442 homes locked in. We’re opposed to speed humps on single ingress and egress streets.”

As an alternative, residents behind the report have suggested either having fewer speed cushions, less drastic designs or have more enforcement and raise the fine for speeding.

The group of residents said they asked the city to start the process outlined in their official policy to hold a vote on having the speed cushions removed. The city said it would have to first discuss the matter with its legal counsel.

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