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Saugus traffic study shifts into high gear

Officials observe patterns on Benz Road, look to address complaints

Posted: July 15, 2009 8:06 p.m.
Updated: July 16, 2009 4:55 a.m.

City officials are moving forward with traffic studies on a hotly contested Saugus street.

Traffic engineers are about halfway through a six-month study on Benz Road, where over the last several years residents have complained about constant cut-through traffic from Copper Hill Drive and Bouquet Canyon Road.

Earlier this year, speed humps — like speed bumps but with a more gradual curve — were installed on Benz, along with turning restrictions on Copper Hill Drive.

Right turns were restricted from Copper Hill to Benz Road or Buckhorn Lane between 4 p.m. and 6 p.m. on weekdays.

The restriction meant commuters driving on Copper Hill from Interstate 5 with homes south of Benz Road had to drive past Benz Road and then backtrack.

The next step is to remove the turning restrictions this month and study traffic patterns for the next three months, according to a city news release.

Once the study is completed, city traffic engineers will use the data gathered to determine the effectiveness of the speed humps and turning restriction in affecting traffic volume and speed.

Senior Traffic Engineer Gus Pivetti said the results of the study will be presented to the City Council, allowing for discussion of any future options.

It remains to be seen whether the turning restrictions will be reinstated.

For five years, drivers used Benz Road as a shortcut between Bouquet Canyon Road and Copper Hill Drive.

Benz Road traffic increased from a few hundred vehicles to more than 3,300 daily when the road opened to Copper Hill Drive in 2003.



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