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A solution for Benz Road traffic

Posted: July 30, 2008 9:32 p.m.
Updated: October 1, 2008 5:02 a.m.
The following is in response to your recent report “Council demands solution for Benz Road” (June 6).
My staff has been working closely with its counterparts at the city of Santa Clarita to address traffic circulation in the Santa Clarita Valley. One aspect of this cooperation is to ensure that new development provides the highway capacity to mitigate the associated traffic impact.

The highway network is an integral part of the circulation element of the One Valley, One Vision plan. Your recent report implied that the county was solely responsible for the extension of Copper Hill Drive. But we consider that work to have been a cooperative effort with the city.

The One Valley, One Vision plan, intended to be consistent with the respective general plans of the county and Santa Clarita, designates Copper Hill Drive as a secondary highway.

As The Signal reported in the article “The road to the future” (March 2003), Copper Hill Drive was built as a result of new development in the immediate area. Indeed, this past development, along with others within the predetermined boundary of the Bouquet Canyon bridge and major thoroughfare district, must pay a fee or construct improvements as credit toward their fee, as the equitable financing mechanism toward the necessary capacity enhancements of the highway network.

We do recognize residents’ concerns about cut-through traffic along Benz Road and its neighboring streets.

We remain committed to working with the city and the community to determine if there are any solutions.

In other residential areas of the county where we have been confronted by speeding and cut-through traffic, we deploy solutions contained in our neighborhood traffic management toolbox, such as speed humps and traffic circles.

These measures are described on the Los Angeles County Public Works’ Web site, along with a description of their pros and cons.

However, as expressed by some Benz Road-area residents at past community meetings on this topic, what may be considered a solution to one group would have the effect of degrading the quality of life for others in the surrounding neighborhood.

The ultimate solution to the cut-through traffic concerns for this neighborhood is to further extend Copper Hill Drive, coupled with a realignment of Bouquet Canyon Road to the east.

However, this ultimate solution is dependent on many different factors, which result in it being many years away from fruition.

There are measures that the county and city are currently considering which could provide for improved travel times on Copper Hill Drive, thereby encouraging motorists to stay on this route and not use residential streets as a cut-through.

We welcome any opportunity to discuss these interim measures with the community.


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