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Council orders traffic diverter for Benz Road

City aims to limit drivers in residential area

Posted: August 27, 2008 8:07 p.m.
Updated: October 29, 2008 5:02 a.m.
 
Members of the Santa Clarita City Council hope a traffic diverter will ease the concerns of Benz Road residents who have been outraged about the steady stream of motorists using their residential street as a convenient shortcut.

At Tuesday’s council meeting, Council members directed staff to install a diagonal diverter at the intersection of Benz Road and Alaminos Drive, said Andrew Yi, city traffic engineer.

Yi said the diverter will shift traffic patterns to prevent drivers from using Benz Road as a shortcut between Copper Hill Drive and Bouquet Canyon Road, two major streets in the northeast end of Saugus.

To address concerns of those living on Benz Road over the past five years, city and county officials have used traffic-calming techniques like restricting usage of the street during peak hours.

The measures reduced traffic to 1,500 vehicles a day from the initial 3,300 vehicles counted each day.
The traffic diverter is expected to be installed in the coming months, Yi said. He said the city is required to notify transit authorities and assess the traffic volume counts of the Saugus neighborhood’s streets.
Council members were

given a list of other options in combating the Benz Road traffic concerns, which included installing speed humps and initiating various traffic signal options.

Yi said each option, including the traffic diverter, has its own pros and cons.

Residents living on the surrounding streets have been concerned that diverting traffic off of Benz Road will simply funnel the cut-through traffic onto the surrounding residential streets.

City officials have acknowledged the difficulty in satisfying all the residents in the neighborhood.
“There’s no silver bullet,” Yi said. “That’s what we’ve been struggling with.”

In other business, the council gave preliminary approval to a proposal that would prohibit modifying a historic structure without first obtaining a permit.

Included on the city’s list of historic structures are some of Newhall’s oldest homes, which has upset some residents who say they should be able to remodel their homes without obtaining a $2,300 minor use permit from the city.

The proposal is expected to return to the council for final approval on Sept. 9.

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