City Council OKs development of roadway safety plan, efforts to improve internet connectivity

Santa Clarita City Hall, as pictured on February, 26, 2020, is located on the 23900 block of Valencia Blvd. Dan Watson/The Signal

The city of Santa Clarita is set to develop a roadway safety plan designed to identify and analyze safety issues and offer improvements. 

The Local Roadway Safety Plan would provide a framework to “identify, analyze, and prioritize roadway safety improvements focusing on the 5 E’s of traffic safety: Engineering, Enforcement, Education, Encouragement, and Emergency Services,” read a city agenda report. 

Los Angeles-based architectural and engineering consultant Kimley-Horn and Associates Inc. is expected to work with the city in creating the plan, following a vote by Santa Clarita City Council members Tuesday. They awarded the company a $79,693 contract to complete the task. 

Of that total, $72,000 comes from a grant the California Department of Transportation awarded to the city in January. The grant requires that recipients provide a match of $8,000. 

Each local plan “can be a means for providing local and rural road owners with an opportunity to address unique highway safety needs in their jurisdictions,” according to Caltrans on its website. 

The Santa Clarita plan would build on other efforts the city has implemented to help mitigate collision risks, such as tracking collision data, the creation of a traffic safety committee that includes city departments and local law enforcement, and a recently completed systemic safety analysis report that focused on pedestrian and bicycle collisions. 

With an adopted roadway safety plan, the city would be able to apply for its highway version grant program. 

“An SHSP (Strategic Highway Safety Plan) is a statewide data-driven traffic safety plan that coordinates the efforts of a wide range of organizations to reduce traffic accident fatalities and serious injuries on all public roads,” reads Caltrans’ website. “In coordination with federal, state, local and private sector safety stakeholders, the SHSP establishes goals, objectives, and emphasis (or challenge) areas.”

Council members also approved Tuesday spending just more than $123,000 from its federal coronavirus relief funds for fiber electronic hardware, professional services and three years of support and maintenance to scale the city’s current fiber connection from 10 Gbps to 100 Gbps to fulfill the need of providing local businesses affected by the COVID-19 pandemic with reliable, high-speed and affordable internet access. 

Over the summer, the city learned that there is a “need for upwards of at least 100 Gbps of bandwidth capacity to fulfill the initial needs of the business community. This was no surprise to city staff and justifies the strategic approach City Council took to invest in fiber electronics that can be upgraded based on the need.”

The contract was issued to Lanair Group LLC. 

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