The city of Santa Clarita has received a pair of awards from state agencies recognizing the achievement of two projects that enhance traffic and pedestrian safety. The Hydrogen Fuel Cell Technology Project and the “Pedestrian Scramble” signal phase near Santa Clarita Elementary and Arroyo Seco Junior High earned top honors for their innovative solutions to complex issues.
The city’s Hydrogen Fuel Cell Technology Project is one of five to earn a prestigious 2022 Outstanding Local Streets and Roads Project Award from the League of California Cities, the County Engineers Association of California and the California State Association of Counties. The Outstanding Local Streets and Roads Project Awards recognize programs in counties and cities throughout California that preserve and protect the public’s investment in improving local streets, roads and bridges.
The city’s Hydrogen Fuel Cell Technology Project received the top award in the “Safety or Intelligent Transportation System” category due to its impact on residents’ travel and emergency response in Santa Clarita. The project, which was completed at the intersection of Soledad Canyon Road and Whites Canyon Road, provides backup power to the traffic signal in the case of a power outage or Public Safety Power Shutoff event.
Although the city has installed battery backup systems for nearly all of its 204 traffic signals, these systems are designed to provide short-term power during an outage. The hydrogen fuel cell system at Soledad Canyon Road and Whites Canyon Road can keep the intersection operational for 55 hours.
The Exclusive Pedestrian Crossing by Time of Day project, also known as a Pedestrian Scramble, received an Excellence in Transportation Award from Caltrans in the category of Transportation System Operations Improvements. The project was implemented at Seco Canyon Road and Decoro Drive and is active during school hours when the intersection becomes congested with motorists and pedestrians.
A modified Pedestrian Scramble was developed that includes special timing to completely separate pedestrian and vehicular phases so people can cross the street without worrying about turning vehicles, and motorists can make turns without pedestrians entering the crosswalk. Observations since implementation have concluded that the project has led to reduced congestion and shorter travel times for motorists, in addition to enhanced safety for the students and parents who use the crosswalks to get to and from school each day.
For more information on the city’s Hydrogen Fuel Cell Technology and Pedestrian Scramble Projects, contact Traffic Signal System Administrator Cesar Romo at [email protected].