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Ask the Expert

Signal Photos

 

Ferry wasting dollars

Posted: August 12, 2009 7:47 p.m.
Updated: August 13, 2009 4:30 a.m.
 
Dear Mayor Ferry:

According to Ken Pulskamp and Ingrid Hardy, the median work for Soledad Canyon Road at Bouquet Canyon Road is to landscape with drought-resistant plants as the Castaic Lake Water Agency recommends.

However, this is a redundant and an ineffective use of scarce taxpayer money.

About a year ago, this same area was under construction. Now, a second make-over is breaking relatively new hardscape that uses no water, to be replaced with drought-resistant plants, that will certainly consume more water than the hardscape.

In talking to Ken Pulskamp, I got the impression he was unaware that the three-lane turn pocket for westbound to southbound traffic had been an engineering design flaw from the beginning.

The three left-turn lanes are ineffective because through traffic in the No. 1 lane backs up and blocks egress into this huge left-turn pocket. The lanes are wide enough, but they are not long enough for practical access.

So often with this left-turn pocket, there will be three or four vehicles stopped at the limit line, with a lot of empty space behind them. Cars with left-turn indicators blinking, are often trapped behind through traffic in the No. 1 lane. Traffic backs up and cars turning left will miss the green left-turn arrow.

What kind of engineering or even thoughtfulness is this?

Yesterday, when I saw demolition of the stamped hardscape island that is part of the left-turn pocket, I thought this might be a correction of the first design flaw. Yet according to the two City Hall voices I spoke with, this new “reconstruction” is only a type of gardening.

Our state is suffering the worst economic downturn since the Depression. Who is authorizing the budget on projects like this cosmetic makeover?

How many of these projects can we afford? Remember the reverse back-in parking for downtown Newhall? The tax-funded city paid for that back-in parking; and then the taxpayers had to pay for the changes to make a more logical, drive-in parking.

Doesn’t this latest Soledad-Valencia/Bouquet intersection project appear to be redundant, ineffective and a waste of taxpayer dollars?


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