New traffic pattern coming to Santa Clarita Elementary

Part-time crossing guard Fred Mortimer, right, stops traffic on Decoro Drive for students and parents caring umbrellas as they head home from Santa Clarita Elementary School after rain fell on Saugus on Tuesday afternoon. DAN WATSON 011916

By Bobby Block

Signal Staff Writer

The city of Santa Clarita is introducing a new “Pedestrian Scramble” traffic cycle on two streets that see a relatively high volume of commuter traffic during school hours, beginning Tuesday, Aug. 13.

This timing eliminates vehicular-pedestrian conflicts, according to city officials in a statement Thursday. “Additionally, traffic circulation will be greatly improved because vehicles will no longer need to wait for high volumes of pedestrians to cross the street during a green light before they can make a turn.”

The new system will be used primarily on school days during morning drop-off and afternoon dismissal times at lights on Seco Canyon Road and Decoro Drive. At all other times the signals will follow a standard sequence. 

The new traffic pattern won’t affect the timing of the lights’ intervals, but rather introduce a phase in which vehicle traffic in all directions is stopped for pedestrians, according to city officials.  

“The difference is that all three crosswalks are going to be lit at the same time,” said Cesar Romo, traffic signal system administrator. “We’re not changing the parameters that we had before, we’re just changing the sequence.”

Romo said the new traffic pattern would also be supplemented by what are called “blank-out signs,” which instruct drivers on when they safely can make right-hand turns at the intersection. 

“We’re always looking at ways of improving traffic in the city, and safety,” Romo said. “There’s a lot of pedestrians at those two schools (referring to Arroyo Seco Junior High and Santa Clarita Elementary), and we want to get the pedestrians across the street without any conflict.”

For more information about the implementation of the pedestrian scramble phase, please contact Romo at [email protected].

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