Council hits brakes on speed-hump updates 

A group of residents on and around Abelia Road in Canyon Country to meet Friday with city officials to discuss concerns raised by 40 speed humps on the road. Tammy Murga/ The Signal
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Santa Clarita City Councilwoman Marsha McLean sought to pump the brakes on a speed-hump implementation plan before the council at Tuesday’s meeting, after raising some questions over the staff’s proposal. 

On the City Council’s consent calendar, an update to the Citywide Speed Hump/Cushion Program drew scrutiny in response to residents’ concerns — and she shared those concerns, she said.    

“The current program requires that 67% of the property owners along the affected street support installation of speed humps/cushions,” according to the city’s agenda item. “This update will remove that requirement, authorizing city staff to perform the neighborhood survey.” 

The idea was to update the language and make it easier for the city to undergo such studies. However, McLean brought up the flip side of that concern. 

“I am very concerned with this item, to tell you the truth — that one person can get the city to use staff time and money to initiate a study, when many, many people are going to be accommodated with this, or not accommodated with this item,” she said. 

She also asked for the city to include the staffing costs for such a study in the next agenda item.  

She said making the city perform such a study based on the demand of one resident is basically a tax on all residents. She also stated the speed humps might not be as popular as some people think.  

“I do believe it’s a detriment to our emergency vehicles,” she added, mentioning other problems with the humps, including the impact to a neighborhood’s appearance, noise and parking. 

Councilman Jason Gibbs echoed McLean’s concerns and recommended a threshold of 10% of residents in the vicinity of the speed bump. 

He also requested a “cooling off” period, so to speak, which would be a timeline in between when a request could be made again for a neighborhood, similar to the three-year minimum requirement for speed humps to stay in place once they are installed in a neighborhood. 

Councilwoman Laurene Weste said there are two sides to the coin. 

“And the side where children are hit by speeding cars is terrifying as well,” she said. “So like all things, there’s a balance.” 

She also said the city has never removed speed humps over residents’ concerns once they’ve been installed, postulating that those complaining are not the ones living on the streets where the humps are.   

“I understand people not liking inconveniences — and I think that we have to be cautious to make sure that everyone is fairly represented in this,” Weste said. But she’s also seen drivers do 80 mph in front of her, she added. 

“We have this discussion pretty regularly,” Weste said, “so be very careful that you find a balance, and if that takes more time, then great. Take more time.” 

City staff received the council’s direction regarding the survey minimum and the stay period. The council is now expected to discuss the proposal again at a future date.   

The language in the nearly 14-year-old program also states the cost of the humps would be paid by nearby property owners through the formation of a benefit assessment district. 

To date, the city has paid for all such installations, and the updated language would reflect that future speed humps would be “added to the city’s speed cushion priority list, with installation subject to funding and City Council approval.” 

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