City Council to discuss investing $130K toward traffic circulation improvements

Dan Watson Traffic heads for West Ranch High School on Valencia Blvd. on the first day of school in Stevenson Ranch on Thursday. 081612

With ongoing development comes increased traffic across Santa Clarita roads, the City Council will discuss Tuesday an investment of $130,000 toward the design of circulation improvements.

Four major streets across the city’s four communities could see improvements: Lyons Avenue, between Wayman Street and Orchard Village Road; Bouquet Canyon Road, from Cinema Drive to Valencia Boulevard; Sierra Highway, between Stater Bros. Driveway and Via Princessa; and Copper Hill Drive, from Sycamore Creek Drive to Seco Canyon Road. 

Circulation enhancements to these roads would come from Santa Clarita’s 2019-2020 “Circulation Improvement Program,” which would modify medians, striping and asphalt to improve the traffic flow should the City Council vote to award a design contract to locally based Psomas for $130,986. 

More specifically, funds would come from the $4.3 million that City Manager Ken Striplin budgeted for in the 2019-20 fiscal year in the city’s 2020 plan under traffic and transportation planning.  

Vehicle volumes of approximately 90,000 cars daily are seen at some of the busiest intersections, including Bouquet Canyon Road, said Cesar Romo, traffic signal system administrator with the city, during a previous interview. 

Though a calculation was not provided, the city believes that “(i)n anticipation of future annexations, ongoing development in and around the city of Santa Clarita, and overall traffic increases, circulation projects such as this are needed to maintain traffic flow in the city,” according to the city staff report. 

To improve traffic flow, the proposed improvements, which were chosen based on intersections with insufficient right turn/left turn capacity and traffic pattern analyses, seek to accommodate “triple left-turn pockets, right-turn lane extensions, and early access to left-turn lanes.” 

With a budget of $180,000, similar enhancements were conducted in 2016 on the intersection of Bouquet Canyon Road and Soledad Canyon Road with median modifications that extended the westbound left-turn pocket on Soledad Canyon Road. 

The circulation project is part of others envisioned for the 2019-20 fiscal year that aim to “enhance roadway safety by analyzing collision patterns and implementing projects, improve the traffic signal system with adjustment of timing, secure transportation funding, and plan for the future,” according to the budget report. 

Among them is included a $1.6 million investment in the city’s Intelligent Transportation System that will allow for new signal coordination timing at 174 intersections to help provide real-time data and improve the overall flow of traffic at targeted locations. 

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