City Council approves speed-limit adjustments 

Changes to certain city speed limits have been recommended via a state-required study. Without it, speeding violations issued by the Sheriff’s Department cannot be approved and deputies could no longer use radar and laser enforcement.

The Santa Clarita City Council approved speed-limit changes for more than a dozen stretches of road and approved sheriff’s deputies’ ability to keep their radar guns at the ready during the council’s regular biweekly meeting. 

None of the to-be-posted speed limits will allow traffic to move faster, according to the city’s agenda, but based on staff studies, city officials hope they’ll make Santa Clarita’s roads safer. 

“I think traffic and speeding in particular have always been a concern in the city and it is important for us to continually review traffic patterns and driver behavior and make adjustments accordingly,” Santa Clarita City Councilman Cameron Smyth said in a phone interview Tuesday. He recognized a few of the roads as having recently been developed since the city last reviewed such a study in 2018, such as the Tesoro Del Valle community. 

For some of the roads, the areas surrounding them have developed, turning them into thoroughfares that have seen increasing speeds in recent years, he added. 

“I think anyone who’s driven up around Plum Canyon and in the Copper Hill area would agree that speeding is prevalent in that area,” Smyth said prior to Tuesday’s discussion on the dais, “and hopefully these reductions will help with law enforcement and help with driver behavior.” 

The first five locations the city addressed didn’t have posted speed limits at all, according to city staff: 

• Five Knolls Drive (Golden Valley Road to Celadon Court) — 30 mph. 

• Needham Ranch Parkway (Sierra Highway to a quarter-mile west of Pine Street) — 40 mph. 

• Rio Norte Drive (Copper Hill Drive to Village Circle Drive) — 30 mph. 

• Stratus Street (for Skyline Ranch Road) — 35 mph. 

The next segment of the report talked about locations where there’s a proposed reduction in speed, which were predominantly on the west side of the city, according to the report: 

• Plum Canyon Road (Via Joyce to Skyline Ranch Road) 50 mph to 45 mph. 

• Rancho Tesoro Drive (Avenida Rancho Tesoro to Tesoro Del Valle Drive) 45 to 40. 

• Tesoro Del Valle Drive (Copper Hill Drive to Via La Casa) 45 to 40.  

• Tesoro Del Valle Drive (Via La Casa to Avenida Rancho Tesoro) 45 to 40. 

The speed limits for a handful of streets are also expected to stay the same, according to city officials. 

For the following streets, the speed limits aren’t changing: on Avenida Rancho Tesoro from Copper Hill Drive to Tesoro Del Valle Drive, the speed limit is 45 mph; on Golden Valley Road from Sierra Highway to Centre Pointe Parkway, it’s 50 mph; on Robert C. Lee Parkway from Golden Valley Road to north Vicenza Lane, it’s 35 mph; on Skyline Ranch Road from Plum Canyon Road to Stratus Street, and on Skyline Ranch Road from Stratus Street to Sierra Highway, it’s 45 mph. 

The most recent study is the first time the city has studied its roadways in about five years, according to the city’s agenda. 

The city’s regular study is the basis for establishing speed limits on roadways, a procedure spelled out in the state’s vehicle code. The study was most recently conducted in 2018. 

The city’s agenda also spells out the rationale for how it sets speed limits, using the 85th percentile: “The 85th percentile speed is defined as the speed at which 85% of traffic is moving. The speed limits are set at the closest 5 mph increment below that number,” according to the city’s agenda.  

The traffic study and the approval of radar go hand-in-hand, according to city officials.  

“Without a valid study, the Los Angeles County Superior Court will not uphold a speeding violation issued by the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department in which radar or laser enforcement is utilized,” the city’s agenda states. “If radar or laser is not used, the Sheriff’s Department must rely on less effective alternatives, such as pacing speeding offenders. An effective radar or laser enforcement will promote the orderly movement of vehicles and reduce collisions.” 

Related To This Story

Latest NEWS